PROMOTIONAL ARTICLE ON BEHALF OF IMPRESSION COMMUNICATIONS
BY: Mark Field, Director of automotive aftermarket PR agency Impression
An anniversary is as much about setting out your future plans as it is looking back to the past. But how does an automotive aftermarket business celebrate an anniversary against the backdrop of a pandemic?
Over the past year, the word ‘celebration’ seems to have taken on new meaning. The pandemic has forced people to change their perception of how they are able to ‘celebrate’ milestone events, and celebrations are perhaps more different than they are muted.
For me personally, the end of February means one thing, it’s my birthday, and one that I share with CAT, which also turns 42.
From a business perspective, for obvious reasons, it would rightly be an insensitive move to celebrate achievements or anniversaries at the outbreak of a global pandemic.
But now, in 2021, as we gradually move out of lockdown, not only is the celebration of such milestones important, but I would also go as far as to say they are essential for the business and people around them.
Each year we always ask clients about any significant dates or anniversaries coming up in the year ahead. The benefits of celebrating such achievements are clear and includes increased awareness and interest in the business that provides an opportunity to tell the company’s story. It can also aid recruitment and sales as it serves as a reminder of what a company has to offer.
Anniversaries are a chance to celebrate and thank the people at the heart of the company who help to drive it forward day by day, providing unity and a shared sense of community within the team.
When you look at the year ahead, it’s important to plan activities, campaigns and initiatives to help you mark any anniversary or achievement that can take place over a period of time.
Let’s say for example it’s your 10th anniversary in 2021, then you could look at a number of opportunities to celebrate at different times with people across multiple platforms.
Top Tip: Start with the widest list of ideas and then work backwards. Many anniversary celebrations centre around an event, but it doesn’t have to be a fixed date 2021, it can be the whole year.
In many of our blogs we often talk about the art of storytelling as an effective marketing technique. Indeed, looking back and revisiting your past will help you create a narrative for your anniversary celebrations. There’s something nostalgic about digging into your heritage and reminding customers of times gone by where they share a common interest or happy memories.
This is also a great time to bring in customers and employees to allow them to tell their story, which can be used in all areas of your marketing activity, such as websites, PR and customer communication. People at the heart of any business and it’s always great to hear what it means to them.
Top Tip: Storytelling can take many forms. You could conduct a virtual factory tour to show your evolution or produce a time-lapse video of your business or access archived footage. Even pulling out and sharing old company photos of people, products or your workplace can be effective, especially if put into a digital timeline.
As I said, celebrating an anniversary is something that should be communicated to everybody. This includes the aftermarket, suppliers, customers and also the local area. Many companies neglect their dialogue with the local community. Engaging with both media and local public can boost your appeal in recruitment and also when going for awards.
Shouting about the good work you do will let people know how you’re proactively contributing to driving your local economy forward and makes them aware of your working environment and culture.
Top Tip: Talk to the media about your anniversary – this can be a key component of your campaign
Your digital marketing activities should be central to the celebration of an anniversary right now and it’s important to reflect this on social media. Each platform will require a slightly different tone. Engagement is key and social media can play an effective role in sharing memories and your blueprint for the future with customers.
Top Tip: Just like PR, striking the right tone is key. Celebrating an anniversary, achievement or milestone is not something you should try too hard to sell, it should be something that feels natural and part of the conversation you want to have with customers and the market.
Oh, and don’t forget the cake!