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.