by Lisa Zone

December 5, 2022

During my two-plus decades at Dix & Eaton, I’ve had the pleasure of working with dozens of clients to help them celebrate corporate anniversaries and, this year, was honored to help D&E ring in its 70th anniversary. If your organization is approaching a milestone anniversary in 2023, here are five ways you can consider commemorating the occasion:

1. Anniversary logo – A commemorative logo is relatively easy to implement and will get lots of usage, from email signatures and your website to collateral pieces and tchotchkes. Keep in mind you’ll likely want to use your anniversary logo on your social media channels as well, so designing a social media-friendly logo (or version of the logo) should be a consideration for your design team. You could take the logo a step further and include a theme or tagline as well, similar to this logo and tag we developed for our friends at Playhouse Square to celebrate the organization’s 100th anniversary this year.

2. Internal awards/recognition programs – Corporate anniversaries are particularly meaningful to internal audiences, so recognition programs that celebrate employees can be especially impactful. Consider creating a special awards program to acknowledge those employees who help the company run, day in and day out. Many times, organizations name these awards after the company founder or a particularly inspiring leader or employee who left an indelible mark on the organization. These types of initiatives can be great for employee engagement too, especially if you involve your staff in the nominating and voting process. You’ll want to ensure the recognition is meaningful to the recipient(s) as well, so you could give a monetary prize, donation to a charity of their choice or extra vacation days.

3. Anniversary video series – Music, historical photography and interviews are powerful storytelling tools, and video is unmatched in evoking emotion. Even if you don’t have the resources for more sophisticated video production, nowadays you can do basic video editing on most smartphones. Here again, these videos can be utilized in a number of ways, including your website, social media accounts and even for recruiting, as these types of videos can be very effective in showcasing a company’s culture and people. Here’s one example from our recent 70th anniversary, in which D&E’s Executive Chairman Scott Chaikin talks about the legend and legacy of founder Henry Eaton’s doorknob.

4. Reports & collateral – Certainly, any company that produces an annual report or ESG/corporate responsibility report should consider how to integrate anniversary messaging into the document. But even if you don’t adhere to a regular reporting schedule like public companies do, anniversary years present a unique opportunity to tell your company’s story. This could range from an elaborate coffee table book for major anniversaries to a simple four-page brochure for smaller ones. The purpose of a commemorative report or collateral piece is to capture the essence of your organization at this moment in time for employees, potential candidates, customers, community and business leaders, investors and partners and suppliers you do business with. The content can range from a simple historical retrospective to an overview of the community impact your organization has had over the years. For nonprofit organizations, this type of report can also double as a powerful development tool.

5. Community service projects – If your organization is looking for a way to have a positive external impact as part of your anniversary celebration, consider a community service project to benefit nonprofit organizations in the communities you work and do business in. A couple of years ago, law firm Frantz Ward introduced its 20 for 20 program, which was designed to support 20 area nonprofits with professional services and cash donations as the firm celebrated its 20th anniversary. If you don’t have the appetite for something that extensive, even a small service project like a community clean-up day can have a significant impact on your community while also engaging and inspiring employees. (And don’t forget to order t-shirts featuring your commemorative logo for staff to wear that day!)

Certainly, there are many more ways companies can acknowledge and celebrate a corporate milestone, but this should give you a bit of a head start as you think about how to commemorate an anniversary you have on the horizon. If you’d like to talk about other ideas – from fundraising galas to customer events and more – drop me a line and let’s chat.