Celebrating 31 years in business!

22 Apr

Birthdays are big deals to people. And to companies. They’re not such big deals to a company’s customers. Unless there’s something in it for them, which there rarely is.

Copeland is going to be 30 next year. The rumblings of celebrations to come have begun. Is 30 any more significant or noteworthy than 29? Or 31? Is it in fact deserving of any celebration at all?

To put it in perspective, JWT, my former company and the world’s 4th largest ad agency is 145. Twinings Tea is 404 years old.

People tend to find significance in milestone birthdays. They become less frequent as we get older rather than the other way around, which is odd. 1, 10, 13, 16, 19, 21, 25, 50, 75, 100.

It’s my experience, and my bus trip in to work this morning bears this out, that companies will glom on to just about any number as a way of getting attention. I saw a carpet company celebrating 31 years in business. They have been doing so for a year now, with a SALE NOW ON! sign proclaiming to all that the party is still going on.

Do consumers fall for this stuff? What happens when they hit 32? Any guesses?

We sometimes get asked to do logos for our clients in celebration of a milestone birthday. Last year we did one for Edoc (10 years) and BC Ferries (50 years). And fair enough, those are two biggies. But we also got asked to do one for an 18-year old company (I won’t say who, and we talked them out of it).

If turning 18 as a company, or 31, is a big deal, by all means whoop it up internally. Buy your staff some fantastic presents.

But you probably shouldn’t expect that your customers care one whit.

You’re not going to be buying presents for them, right?

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2 Responses to “Celebrating 31 years in business!”

  1. Anonymous April 22, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    Doug,

    This is for you:

    http://gigaom.com/2010/04/12/mary-meeker-mobile-internet-will-soon-overtake-fixed-internet/

    It’s how you’re going to get from 31 years to 61 years in business. Have fun in the 140 character world–I think jumping sounds preferable.

  2. dougbrowncreative April 22, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    Thanks Anonymous, great to hear from you. I am no fortune teller, but I find it hard to believe that the landscape is not going to continue to evolve beyond what we can currently predict. Let’s re-connect in 10 years and see how the earth is rotating. We’ll be almost 40 by then!

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