A century can seem like a lifetime. But, the window of opportunity for companies to celebrate their centennial anniversary (if they’re fortunate enough to survive that long) is very narrow,
by comparison.

So, when those 100-year-old companies plan for their milestone anniversary, there can be a lot of pressure to get it right. That’s why Anchor Harvey turned to Red Caffeine last year. President Tom Lefaivre and his team trusted Red Caffeine to develop a brand awareness campaign that reinforces the existing value proposition with a fresh messaging strategy and multichannel plans for content and external public relations outreach. Internally, we created a variety of newly branded assets–including the concept and design for a custom-forged coin commemorating the anniversary.

Anchor Harvey is an aluminum forging company with a legacy in precision manufacturing, engineering, and supply chain management. By introducing sophisticated technology that monitors and controls every step of the forging process, Anchor Harvey has modernized the age-old aluminum forging process.

The Challenge

All companies facing a milestone occasion, like Anchor Harvey’s centennial anniversary, have to consider a variety of questions related to planning a marketing campaign.

  • Which internal and external audiences should we consider?
  • How has our industry evolved?
  • Is this a one-time event or a year-long campaign?
  • Are we looking back or looking forward as our focus?

In its anniversary campaign messaging strategy, Anchor Harvey wanted to deepen its brand awareness by thanking its community partners, its customers, and, of course, its employees, while reinforcing its value proposition as a trusted and innovative expert manufacturer. Although it was not intended to be a lead generation campaign, the messaging serves to fertilize the soil for future growth opportunities with prospects over the next 100 years.

The RC Solution

By their very nature, anniversaries are internal celebrations. They acknowledge the fact that a company has “lived” long enough to reach a significant milestone that not all do.

Under the surface, though, company anniversaries stretch the terms we and us to include the employees, customers, and even the greater communities that played a role in that life.

To cross the bridge from we the company to we the industry and we the community, Anchor Harvey expanded the narrative from, “We opened our business 100 years ago” to “A century of innovation and intention has shaped the forging industry, as well as the people and the businesses we’ve served since 1923.”

The former is a celebration. The latter is a story worth telling and reading.

Red Caffeine Design and Asset Creation:

Our team of skilled designers worked closely with Anchor Harvey to create a custom landing page for the 100th anniversary, as well as a new logo, custom email signatures, a company flag, billboards, social media posts, press releases, and a commemorative forged coin for employees and top customers.

The landing page features a personal letter from Lefaivre and a look back at how the forging industry has changed through historical photos and an engaging timeline.

Continuously operating for 100 years puts Anchor Harvey in a rare class of Illinois companies and industry leaders. The historical achievement, alone, made the news an easy pick-up for publications such as Orthopedic Design & Technology (ODT) and Today’s Medical Developments–just two of nearly 100 media outlets on our target list. Although Anchor Harvey has shaped the industry by helping companies innovate their products with new methods of forging, it was the significance of the anniversary that earned its media placement in those publications.

Beyond the forging industry, WREX Rockford also carried the story on television. The NBC affiliate station serves western Illinois, and in particular, Freeport, where Anchor Harvey is based and where it has become an integral part of the local community. If you live in Freeport, you know Anchor Harvey–and you’ve probably seen at least one of its roadside billboards. Known as “The Best Place to Work in Freeport,” Anchor Harvey supports other local businesses and residents through a variety of programs.

The Recap

The 100th anniversary campaign work touched nearly every aspect of the company, from its visual brand identity and employer brand recruitment and retention efforts to its marketing messaging, which reinforced the positioning and brand story we created for Anchor Harvey in 2019. The range of designed deliverables and developed media platforms spanned print and digital, online and offline.

If your company is approaching a milestone anniversary, contact Dayna Kramer to discuss an ongoing partnership that you can lean on for many years to come.

Bill Skowronski

Content Director

Meet The Author

I’m a staunch defender of intentional strategy, return on improvement and outcomes over outputs as a model for better marketing, rather than more of the same. As a former journalist and a student of Philosophy, I’m a question asker and a deep thinker. That’s why I know what content moves people from awareness to action—and I’m not afraid to use it.

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