It makes you unique

The good news for firms with such histories is that it’s something that differentiates your business from lots of your competitors. Newer firms don’t have long-standing backgrounds to draw upon and there is real value in heritage if it’s used in the right way and aligns to the brand you want to create today.

Your starting point is to be clear about your firm’s business strategy and to have identified the marketing objectives that filter out from this. If your main objective is to be seen as a forward-thinking, innovative firm advising cutting-edge technological clients then having a 200 year history and black and white photography on your website is going to jar!

Once you have identified your objectives you can assess whether/how your company’s history and traditions can compliment your marketing strategy. Here are some of the ways you can do this, if you do decide to use your history as a marketing tool:

Tell us a story

What values and ethos did your firm have when it was established? Are these still applicable now? What journey has your company been on and what are the lessons learned along the way? Who were the founding partners and is there a family history to talk about? Story-telling is a powerful marketing tool and a rich company history can provide the perfect material for story-based content. It’s great for social media posts and community engagement.

Creating a timeline of interesting milestones and achievements such as acquisitions, mergers, new services launched or key appointments is a great visual way to talk about the firm’s history. If you can, make this interactive with short videos and images to bring it to life.


Once you have established the role you want your heritage to play in your marketing, review your brand identity. This should be more than just the visual expression that portrays your brand. It also includes your tone of voice, culture, key messages, mission statement and values.

In terms of visuals, you can consider including elements which draw on your history, for example, colours, fonts and styles. You might want to ensure your branding reflects key parts of your heritage that are still relevant today, such as origins, values and traditions. A classic serif font that projects quality and assurance for example, or deep colours.


Playing on people’s natural love of all things nostalgic stirs people’s emotions and creates strong connections. Raid the company archives and look for old photographs of staff or premises. Old marketing collateral and campaign material from a by-gone age create a fascination that works well especially through social media. An excellent example is how RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) capitalised on old campaign materials found when clearing out a warehouse. They created a huge amount of content and held an exhibition featuring 40 iconic posters dating from the 1930s to the 1970s, covering all aspects of safety.

Old before and after photos of high street premises are always popular. If you haven’t got any in your archives Google may produce some gems, or even visit to your local museum.

Milestones & Anniversaries

If you have a major milestone or anniversary coming up consider how you can get maximum publicity from it. For example, creating promotions based around the anniversary, a then and now comparison, share archive images for a visual comparison or hold a celebratory event. There may be scope for some PR to be generated too, perhaps in the local or trade press.

In summary, using your company’s history and heritage can be a unique way to help differentiate yourself in a crowded market. By celebrating your past and showing how far you have come while at the same time looking to the future, you will be able to create a strong brand built on trust and emotional connections that should stand you in good stead for the next 100 years!

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Editors Note: This article was originally posted in 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Cara Flood