It’s time for a “Sell-Abration”!
If your business is fortunate enough to reach a milestone — 1 year, 5 years, or more — it’s time to give serious thought to throwing a party. Not just any party, either. A well-planned business anniversary party is the perfect opportunity to:
Reward your greatest supporters and raving fans
Grow your reputation in the community
Showcase your business’ unique features and achievements to prospective customers
Raise employee morale, performance, and loyalty
… and let’s not forget: make additional sales!
A business anniversary party is what is visible to the public, but, there is a lot of necessary planning and implementation required before and after the event itself. There are the practical logistics of party planning and the follow-through to maximize marketing potential.
First, consider your party’s objectives and positioning. For example, would you like the party to:
Reinforce a sense of stability and loyalty?
Reposition your role in a changing marketplace?
Demonstrate how your products and service differ from the competition?
Create customer connection to your brand’s story?
Generate new awareness and sales leads?
Consider how long your company has been in operation, too. If your company is young, you have the opportunity to thank early customers for being “part of the story.” For example, we gave personalized, handwritten cards to our core customers our first year. The second year, we threw an anniversary party with a “terrible twos” theme. The first year’s gesture gained plenty of goodwill, which translated into sales. The second year’s party was effective because it brought people into the shop, and most left with purchases.
If your business is older you can reinforce that you’re still going strong. Perhaps you should demonstrate how you’re innovating in other areas and staying relevant.
Once you determine your needs you can brainstorm a strategy to support these goals.
Don’t limit your business anniversary parties to dates that end in “0” or “5,” either. Every first anniversary with a customer can also be celebrated with a special gift or other recognition. Personalization can go a long way towards building the healthy customer relationships that will make the other milestones possible.
Similarly, if a certain number has significance to your brand you could develop a business anniversary party them around that, too. For example, ketchup maker Heinz 57 has an ongoing tradition to throwing a party for couples celebrating 57 years of marriage. They got particular marketing mileage out in 2007 when they recognized their 5,700th couple.
More detailed business anniversary “milestone marketing” ideas can be found in this whitepaper.
With a little planning, you’ll be itching to send out your invitations and get the party started!