The Year of the Anniversary

In China, they have the year of the tiger, monkey, rat and so on. This year in Poland seems to be the year of the anniversary. Whether going shopping, watching television or just living life, it’s not difficult to notice advertising, and a footnote to many advertisements at the moment seems to be that the company or brand is celebrating an anniversary. Of course, like with individuals, companies have an anniversary every year – but for the sake of clarity an anniversary in this context is seen as one of the ‘big’ ones. This would mean a 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th… etc anniversary or birthday. (For the sake of literary licence, one or two non-‘big’ anniversaries are included, but they are exceptions).

One of the big anniversaries this year was the 1st anniversary of the Smolensk crash. It was also 25 years since the Chernobyl disaster, and while this was not a Polish affair specifically, it did have enough of a knock-on effect on Poland. The significance of the anniversary was highlighted by the Fukushima nuclear power plant damage in March of this year. Another anniversary that might not always be worth remembering is the 30th anniversary of the imposition of martial law in Poland, following the protests of 1981. However, these examples are the exceptions, with most of the following examples applying to companies and corporations, rather than events.

It should also be noted that in this case, the ‘year’ of the anniversary can be seen as being stretched a little more than the calendar year, with some of the anniversaries occurring at the end of 2010, but with the majority taking place in 2011. Thus the following list shows which firms are celebrating big numbers:

Deloitte – 20 years in Poland

PWC (PriceWaterhouseCoopers) – 20 years in Poland

Oriflame – 20 years in Poland

Yves Rocher – 20 years in Poland

WWF (World Wildlife Fund) – 10 years in Poland

DB Schenker – 20 years in Poland

Avis – 20 years in Poland

Renault – 20 years in Poland

Scania – 15 years in Poland

Lufthansa – 40 years of flights to Poland

Ikea – 50 years partnership with Poland

Wedel – 160 years in Poland

Thus, with the above main examples, it is easy to see a large number of companies celebrating a milestone in Poland, whether having established a market position, a relationship with Poland or a Polish company specifically. The above is only a sample of course, meaning that there should be many more in similar positions, but perhaps just not marketing and advertising it in the same way.

One point to note from the above list is the large number of foreign companies that jumped on board approximately 20 years ago. In one way this is understandable, as many took the chance to forge ahead into a new market once the ‘Iron Curtain’ fell in 1989/90. Within a year many companies saw the potential for tapping into a new market. It has to be said that this process is still ongoing as huge mutli-nationals continue to explore Poland and other Central and Eastern European countries as potential areas for growth.

A question that remains is why more companies were unable to break into the market earlier. Naturally, the Communist government would have made things difficult for foreign companies to enter the market, but as the example of Ikea shows, they were able to set up a partnership in Poland at least, where furniture would be produced. This example is probably one contributing factor to Poland being one of the top 4 exporters of furniture globally.

As more and more companies do consider the expanding potential of the Polish market, we can expect to see more and more such ‘anniversaries’ coming up in the next few years.




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4 thoughts on “The Year of the Anniversary

  1. Gabriela says:

    Well…happy anniversaries then!

  2. […] posts a list of companies celebrating anniversaries of their presence in Poland in 2011. […]

  3. […] posts a list of companies celebrating anniversaries of their presence in Poland in […]

  4. Poland was the only EU member technically not in recession when it clocked a growth rate of 1.5 in 2009. Having won political freedom and becoming in the process the first nation under the iron curtain to do so Poland faced an immediate challenge the transition from a centrally planned economy to a market economy. Over the past 20 years Poland not only built a free market economy but one that grew at a rate of close to 7 in 2007.

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