Tobias Walter






Ageing gracefully – how to communicate anniversaries effectively

Anniversaries are often a reflection on the beginnings – but instead of wallowing in the past, it makes more sense to take a look into the future and present both in a well-thought-out narrative.

For companies, anniversaries are a milestone that is often widely communicated as a reference to their own success. However, this is not only boring, but also too short-sighted. History is full of examples of traditional companies that missed the boat on new innovations or market conditions and later went under. Youth is not a mistake and old age is not a merit – as the old German saying goes. This also applies to companies. Nevertheless, anniversaries should be taken as an opportunity to evaluate and communicate your own career – both internally and externally. There are a few points to bear in mind.

Don’t just reminisce

“Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future development.” – This or a similar statement can be found in the advertising material of all asset managers. If you want to convince investors and customers, you should also use an anniversary to communicate what the way forward looks like. A mere retrospective builds little trust in the future. A good communication strategy knows how to present the past, present and future in a coherent narrative. Customers should understand how the company came into being, how it developed and how the experiences of the company’s history led to the current and future strategy.

Celebrate appropriately

There are many ways to celebrate an anniversary, from big and gatsby-esque to small and informal. But before you fly in Rihanna or Beyoncé, you should ask yourself what image you want to present and what the expectations of the company are, both internally and externally. For example, if the excesses of the party seem to contradict the values of the company, this can cause lasting damage to the company’s image. Caritas will not bring Madonna on stage for its anniversary, although this would certainly be an attractive idea in terms of media coverage and reach.

Finding the right narrative

There are many companies with many anniversaries. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you have to stand out. A message along the lines of “We’ve been the best for 10/20/100 years” offers little chance of success. Instead, you should find a narrative that accompanies the company throughout its history and can be communicated well. Finding the right narrative, the right story to tell the company’s history, is probably the most important and most difficult step in designing a good communication strategy for an anniversary. At the same time, it offers the opportunity to stand out from the mass of anniversaries with creative ideas and to position yourself sustainably in the market.

The right place for the right story

In order to utilise the available resources efficiently, once a communication concept has been developed, consideration should also be given to which channels are best suited to the company and narrative. Some stories are better told audiovisually, while others work better as a classic print product. It is therefore important to consider at an early stage which budget can be used to reach the relevant target groups where and how as efficiently as possible.

Also look inwards

An anniversary is not only an occasion for a marketing campaign, but also an opportunity to express your thanks and appreciation to your employees. Especially in times of a shortage of skilled labour, it is important to show your own employees that their work, often over many years, is an important building block of success. To do this, it may be necessary to adapt the narrative somewhat. After all, employees are already familiar with the company. A more personalised approach and the targeted creation of links between individual work and the company’s successes can further strengthen employee loyalty. The same applies to existing customers, who have often been loyal to the company for many years.

Overall, the effective communication of company anniversaries is crucial to strengthening the company’s image, reinforcing customer loyalty and promoting long-term growth. Through careful planning, creating a creative narrative, utilising different communication channels and involving customers, anniversaries can realise their full potential.



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