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Your next big milestone is just around the corner: The 100,000th user, the 40th year in business, or the 10th anniversary of your industry-defining product.
You know it’s important, but when you’re gathering ideas for what you should do — it all feels tired and generic. You might even be thinking to yourself “Well, honestly, I don’t really think anyone cares about this milestone but us.”
If that’s where you’re at, you’re not alone.
Unfortunately, a lot of milestone celebrations and outreach campaigns never really get past that feeling. Companies just press on in spite of the fact none of the effort feels like it matters to anyone outside of the company.
But your celebration doesn’t have to be this way.
Hitting a major milestone can be a meaningful moment for everyone connected to your company’s success — not just those within your office’s four walls.
The key? Celebrating from a heart of service, genuine reflection, and authentic gratitude.
It’s these celebrations that make a lasting impact on the future of your staff, leadership, and customers while reflecting and learning from the legacy that laid the framework for your success.
But how can you structure your milestone celebration so that it does demonstrate your authentic gratitude, makes an impact, and draws legitimate interest?
To best answer this question, let’s dive in together and learn the types of company milestones, why they’re important and uniquely impactful, and your celebration can authentically connect with your staff, leadership, customers, and community.
What Are Company Milestones and Why Are They Important?
By definition, company milestones are the significant moments of accomplishment that mark your company’s development and growth.
However, that definition doesn’t quite give due reverence to the importance of what milestones really represent.
What milestones truly represent and celebrate are relationships.
Whether it’s your relationship with your founders and their vision for your company, your relationships with your workers, or the relationships with your community and customers, milestones are a celebration of how authentically connected your business is to the people that help make it a success.
What Meaningful Milestones Can Your Company Celebrate?
The milestones that each company chooses to celebrate will vary, but there are a few key milestones that celebrate the vital relationships your company has with its legacy, its workforce, community, and customers.
Company Anniversary Milestones
Celebrating founding milestones allows your company to delve deep into its history and reflect on your company’s long-winding journey that has led to its success.
From the company’s founding, where times were likely lean and every victory was hard-fought, you’re able to share the stories of the challenges you’ve overcome and the early partnerships that made new opportunities possible.
By reflecting on those early partnerships and how much they still mean to your company to this day, you show your customers and staff alike that the bonds you build with them, and the promises you make, aren’t taken for granted.
Moreover, your leadership is able to draw wisdom from the lessons learned by your founders. And with that valuable knowledge, your leadership can build a strong and consistent company culture that honors those founding values.
Location or Service Area Milestones
Location milestones, commemorating the longstanding relationships you have with the communities you serve, present some of the richest opportunities you have for real human connection.
And using the celebration of your milestone to do so isn’t simply a good public relations practice. It has real, measurable benefits.
When companies cherish and nurture the relationships they have with the communities that support them, they enjoy increased sales, higher rates of return store visits, and higher rates of customer advocacy.
Product and Service Milestones
No matter what industry you’re in, the products and services your company provides, at some level, are designed to help people.
And when they made a lasting impact on your industry or the lives of your customers, they become more than a part of your brand. They become a part of your legacy.
When celebrating these milestones, you have the opportunity to highlight exactly how your products and services have consistently been a real help to real people throughout the years.
Staff Growth and Employee Anniversary Milestones.
Without your team’s faithful effort, all of the sales milestones, territory expansions, and positive customer relationships would likely have never happened.
When you celebrate your staff’s growth or the anniversary of one of your team members, you show both them and your customers that your company cares about people — and recognize their efforts as the driver of your success.
These milestone celebrations are also powerful drivers of company culture, cementing your appreciation of your workforce, and signaling to future talented hires that their time with your company would be well-spent.
What Makes an Impactful Company Milestone Celebration?
No matter what type of milestone you’re celebrating, if the messaging that accompanies it feels inauthentic, it simply won’t resonate.
By drawing from your company’s legacy and placing the focus of your celebration onto the relationships you’ve built, your milestone can act as a beacon that draws in new customers, strengthens your company culture, attracts talent, and builds closer community ties.
Reflecting on your company’s roots
Looking to your founders, their ideals behind the founding of your company, and the virtues with which they operated allows you to draw wisdom from your past.
Through this historical lens, you’re able to see how your company is carrying forward those virtues and how they have formed the backbone of your company’s standards of practice and straight-dealing with customers.
By drawing from your company’s roots, and infusing the lessons you learned and the challenges that were overcome into your messaging, you demonstrate — to customers and staff alike — that you’re still the same values-focused company that you always have been.
Moreover, you visibly demonstrate that you’re dedicated to creating the same virtue-centric, trust-based relationships that have underpinned your company’s success throughout its history.
Without authenticity, you can’t win customer trust.I want customers to trust me
Commending the hard work of your staff
With nearly 70% of Americans feeling completely disconnected and disengaged at work, and with the national distrust of employers at record levels, recognizing your staff’s efforts has never been more important.
Throughout your celebrating, take the time to highlight the people that are the “glue” in your company and the extra-mile efforts they contribute.
Be honest. You’ve probably got at least one person’s name in your head as you’re reading this, right?
By recognizing those linchpin people — the people who you would miss if they left your company — you boost company morale and create a more loyal and effective workforce.
And aside from the benefits it yields your workforce and culture, celebrating your employees dedication also resonates with your customers, building their trust in your products, services, and brand as a whole.
Cherishing the relationship with the community
Whether you’ve sponsored chamber of commerce events, invested in community job training programs, or just hit your 5th year of sponsoring a local little league team, these community connections — and others like them — should be celebrated.
Those moments are what light the spark of connection between you and your city.
But when you honor these relationships as your company achieves greater and greater success, that is what speaks to the communities that supports you and what resonates with customers.
It shows that you aren’t investing into the community for good PR’s sake. You’re doing it because you and your company truly cares and because you want to build a legacy with the communities that your customers call home.
Honoring your customers
We live in an age of rapidly-decaying trust. And this isn’t just a shared gut feeling. As of Edelman’s 2019 Global Trust Barometer, levels of trust are at all-time lows across every sector.
But for all of the distrust, there’s an antidote: Authenticity.
When celebrating a milestone, instead of focusing the limelight purely on yourself, take the time to honor the customer relationships that made your success possible.
Whether you’re focusing on your relationship with a single customer or with an entire industry, highlighting the relationships you’ve built and reflecting on how you’ve grown together transforms your message from a hollow PR stunt into an authentic message that shows genuine gratitude.
Through this recognition, you sow the seeds of trust and prove to your customers — and future customers — that you’re authentically invested in their success and your continued partnership with them.
Building a Legacy One Milestone at a Time
Your company’s success and continued accomplishments are worth celebrating. You’ve worked hard, formed a winning team, and created bonds of trust that have grown into a loyal customer base.
But your milestone celebrations don’t have to be the same dry, lackluster events or campaigns that are, unfortunately, the norm.
By tapping into your company’s rich history, reflecting on your founding values, and honoring the relationships that made your success possible, you build a lasting culture that values people and demonstrates your authenticity to customers.
Your legacy engages customers, builds culture, and attracts talent. Let’s reclaim it together.Let’s reclaim my legacy
We’ve had the privilege of helping companies across North America reclaim their lost heritage and transform it into an asset of continual value.
Whether you’re celebrating your 30th year in business, or you’re wanting to tell the story of your company’s founding, we’d love to work with you in bringing your legacy to life.