When your business celebrates an anniversary, it's more than just an opportunity to party and feel good about your accomplishments. An anniversary celebration is the perfect time to promote your business and drive consumers to your store. Use your anniversary not just to mark a milestone in your career, but as a marketing tool that can help improve your bottome line.
Make it a Party!
One of the best ways to acknowledge a business anniversary, thereby drawing customer traffic, is to throw a party. Whether you choose a one-day celebratory event or a year's worth of activity, pulling out all the stops will surely get you noticed. Plan for your "big day" by getting as much media attention and alerting your customers, and potential customers well in advance of the event. A local band or celebrity drives traffic as does a day of "free eats" such as coffee and cake in the morning, hors d'oeuvres and wine or beer and ribs for after hours. Family day themes are universally known to increase local traffic or an in-store carnival theme can encourage the excitement that you want your clientele to experience. Choose an event theme or activity that will highlight your company's best-kept secrets---maybe taking the opportunity to focus on employees and their contributions to the community or the local charities that have been helped by company contributions. Remember that this is an opportunity to put the face of the business square in the public's eye---no apologies necessary for tooting your own horn.
Coupons, Coupons, Coupons!
Nothing drives traffic more than a bushel of savings, discounts, special buying opportunities and coupons just waiting to be shared. These can be designed for an entire year---something new each month---or for a one-day-only exchange. Keeping the enthusiasm going for an entire year may be tricky, but if the savings are deep enough, and the roll of chatter consistent enough (be sure to make use of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook), it could translate into many new customers at the end of the anniversary celebration. A coupon program that culminates in a substantial give-away---say a car or a trip---is one way to keep the buzz going. A program that coincides with the number of years in business, such as a 20 per cent savings for the 20 years in business, is a great promotional marketing idea.
One way to attract customers and alert them to your business anniversary is to run a contest. This could be anything from a raffle to a promise for an appearance for an up and coming musician to perform your business jingle. A contest that offers the chance to design a new logo---maybe incorporating the year that your business was founded---or to name a mascot can generate lots of talk in the marketplace. Or, have customers guess the number of jelly beans in the jar or send them on a treasure hunt, offering clues about your business at various spots---let's say the corner deli holds the answer to how many chicken BLT's the manager has eaten over the course of a year or a local car dealership knows the year of the first car owned by the business---this could be a way to alert the public to some interesting facts about the business and bring in other local marketers as well, which would help to spread the news about the anniversary. Be sure to adapt any contests for your web site as well and lookout for added appeal.
People love promotional items and what better time than an anniversary to give some away? Hats, T-shirts, sweatshirts, tote bags, scarves, beach towels, and polo shirts are great surfaces for logo imprinting. A saying, motto, anniversary logo or company name will take your business a step ahead in the marketing arena. Giving these items away in the weeks leading up to your event and offering a deep discount to those who wear their "give-away" on the day of the celebration will add another layer of attention to your anniversary. You could start a tradition by having a T-shirt design contest and offer a different level of savings for those wearing the T-shirts; for example someone wearing a T-shirt from 10 years past might receive a deeper discount than someone wearing last year's design. Favours that are given during your event could be potted plants or seed packets to thank customers for their help in "growing" the business. For a service business such as insurance or medical or a financial institution, a giveaway of an umbrella with the motto: "We've got you covered" might be clever. Make these promotional giveaways do double duty---one, as a thank you for patronage and two, as an advertising billboard out in the community.