Reaching an anniversary or other major business milestone is cause for celebration, especially considering that only 44 percent of businesses survive their first five years. Commemorating these achievements makes you feel good about the work you’re doing and can keep you motivated, of course. But milestones also offer a unique opportunity to market your products or services.
Celebrating occasions like your first year in business, a move to a larger location or hitting a significant sales goal can bring positive attention to your business. These commemorations show that your company is doing well and that you’ll be there for your customers or clients in the future.
With a plan in place and a few fresh promotional ideas for your upcoming milestone, you’ll be able to attract new customers and keep current customers excited about your business. Here are a few creative ways to get the word out about your special occasion, and leverage that momentum to keep growing your business.
1. Launch a customer appreciation campaign
You owe your success, in part, to your customers or clients. So why not put the focus of an anniversary on them? Have a customer appreciation sales promotion, offering discounts to your email subscribers or members of your rewards program. Send out hand-signed thank-you cards. Showcase frequent customers on your social media pages (with their permission, of course).
As a business owner, you want to build a customer base that not only returns to your business time and time again, but also recommends your products or services to their friends and family. Acknowledging your customers’ role in your success shows them that you appreciate them, which in turn can help improve customer loyalty.
2. Hold an anniversary event
When commemorating a special occasion, it only seems natural to throw a party. A blowout event or gala in which you invite the community to your location and offer refreshments, coupons and fun giveaways could be just what you need to attract attention and build your customer base.
You may also consider having smaller events throughout the year. One month you could have a sales event, the next you could donate a portion of sales to a local charity or school, and the next month you could invite a special speaker to your location. Throwing several smaller events will keep your business in customers’ minds throughout the year.
3. Create commemorative merchandise
Have a commemorative logo designed in honor of your milestone (or design one yourself) and then have it printed on items like hats, T-shirts and jackets. You and your employees can sport your branded gear to let everyone know that you’re celebrating. You can also sell or give away anniversary apparel to customers, so they can serve as brand ambassadors, promoting your business everywhere they go.
4. Release limited-edition or limited-time offerings
Limited-edition offerings create a sense of urgency. Consumers who’ve never done business with you or who haven’t visited in a while will have an exciting reason to check you out, while frequent customers will be happy to check out something new. A restaurateur could create special, commemorative menu items in honor of an anniversary, while a plumber might group together several services into a reduced-price anniversary package.
5. Decorate your marketing materials
After you’ve had your commemorative logo designed, put it on your website, social media profiles, mailers and email header. This will let everyone know that something exciting is happening at your company and help support all of your other promotional efforts.
Use one of these ideas — or all of them — as you celebrate your big milestone, and your customers will be happy to celebrate right alongside you. Whichever route you choose, be sure to publicize well in advance. Try mailing out flyers or postcards, printing an ad in the local newspaper, posting updates on social media, hanging up promotional posters at your location and sending email updates to your subscribers.