Marketing & Branding Advice

Brain Dump: Firm Anniversary Advice & Ideas

Firm Anniversary Cake

Whether you’re celebrating your 5th year in business or your 50th, it’s important to take some time to reflect on your accomplishments and celebrate your success. A significant anniversary milestone is worth commemorating.

Celebrating your anniversary is an excellent way to:

  • Show your appreciation to your team. Your team has worked hard. It’s important to show them your appreciation.
  • Thank your clients. Your clients are why you are celebrating a major milestone, so it’s essential to thank them for their support.
  • Build brand awareness. How you share the anniversary could shape the perception of your firm, help you stay top-of-mind, and possibly generate buzz in the press.
  • Boost excitement for the future. Celebrating your anniversary is a great way to look ahead, plan for the future, and appeal to prospective employees and clients.

Firm Anniversary Advice:

  • Start with the question, “Why are we celebrating this anniversary?” Interview partners to get the answer.
  • Make it a yearlong event instead of just a party. Repurpose content and share across multiple platforms, i.e. newsletters, on your website, social media posts, etc.
  • Make it about the client so it can also be used for business development purposes.
  • Think about how the anniversary can be leveraged for recruiting.

Anniversary Ideas:

Anniversary Logo

  • An anniversary logo can either temporarily modify the existing firm logo or be a separate logo emblem.
  • The anniversary logo can be used on the website, email signatures, social media, etc.
  • Print branded items with the anniversary logo for team members, important clients, and/or recruiting fairs. Popular items include mugs, water bottles, wearables, tote bags, umbrellas, pens,  etc.
  • Learn the questions to ask before designing an anniversary logo.

Fun Facts/Timeline

  • Ask everyone for old pictures, including retired partners!
  • Fun Facts can be firm history, city/local milestone events, the names of other companies founded that same year, stats about the firm today, etc.
  • Use the fun facts in multiple formats:
    • Share the fun facts on social media.
    • Send a compilation of fun facts out in email newsletters (i.e. one email for one decade)
    • Add a timeline to the website and use it as the firm’s history page. For example, see Cades Schutte’s Centennial page.

Video Stories

  • Create a series of short videos and/or one longer video.
  • Determine how you plan to share the videos to determine the format, length and content.
    • Social Media Posts – Series of videos, horizontally-formatted.
    • Instagram Reels & TikTok – Series of videos, vertically-formatted, up to 90 seconds.
    • Email – One video or a series, depending on how many emails you plan to send over the course of the year. These videos should be horizontally-formatting for video hosting on Vimeo, YouTube, etc.
    • In person – One video to show at the anniversary party, formatted horizontally.
  • Interview founding and retired partners.
  • If applicable, ask the children of firm founders to tell the story of their parents and why they are following in their footsteps.
  • If the video is only shared internally, you might feel more comfortable making it funny. For instance, one firm hired actors to play the firm’s founders.
  • Create an animated video including stats and photos. See this year-in-review video for inspiration.

Social Media

  • Create and share branded anniversary graphics for social media.
  • Set up a template or multiple templates based on the type of content you plan on sharing, such as an anniversary announcement, historical highlights, giving back, fun facts, current firm stats, people profiles, quotes, etc.
  • Consider creating animated graphic posts and reels.
  • Create a hashtag for social sharing.
  • Remember, social media should be social! Encourage team members to like, comment, and share. Maybe consider encouraging interaction by creating polls on LinkedIn.
  • Tip: 9 steps to successful social media management

Giving Back

  • Giving back is a great way to celebrate and excite others outside the firm about the anniversary.
  • Hold a volunteer day.
  • Give charitable donations to causes that are important to major clients.
  • Make it a campaign, such as “[anniversary year] Acts of Kindness.”

The Party

  • Invite clients as well as retired team members.
  • Hold a decade-themed party. For example, Anders CPA went all out for its 50th anniversary with a 60s-themed party with food, drinks, and music from that time period. They also had a photo booth with 60s props, a caricature artist, and a candy bar with popular 60s sweets. The candy bar also became the takeaway gift.
  • A more laid-back internal-only party could be an outdoor barbeque and lawn games, such as an inter-office cornhole tournament.

Other Ideas

  • Hire a drone photographer to take a picture of all the staff. Possibly, organize people to spell out the number for the anniversary.
  • For companies with multiple offices: Have a competition for the best-decorated reception/lobby.
  • Create an animated card to coordinate with the firm anniversary. Here is an example of a Thanksgiving eCard that doubled a holiday and a firm anniversary thank you message.

Good luck to everyone planning a milestone firm anniversary celebration! Remember, the first step is to ask “Why?” and start early.

This blog was initially inspired by a campfire brainstorming session on celebrating firm anniversaries at the Accounting Marketing Association (AAM) Summit in New Orleans. It includes advice from the moderator and the session participants and some new ideas from the Clockwork team. 

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