Smart question about how to celebrate wins for the team — especially remote teams. I have two answers to this:
(1) on the work side — you should celebrate wins and losses both, and always focus on the learning. I really like seeing teams set expectations after every release — major, minor, or even a small A/B test — that they will look back and see what behaviors they shifted and changed for users. I like to do this in a regular weekly or bi-weekly meeting so it becomes common practice.
By creating this loop of release, analyze, discuss, and go forward you celebrate everyone’s work. Both the wins and the non-wins become learning and everyone feels celebrated for doing smart work. Obviously the wins feel even better, but this way you have a forum where it is expected to see and understand results from everything.
(2) on the team and culture side, celebration and schwag go a long way towards helping everyone feel a part of the mission. Since you are asking about a remote team, I would think more about schwag than parties. I still have my shirt from when LinkedIn hit 1M registered users that says “Size Matters” in big letters on the back. A few years later at LinkedIn, @adamnash wrote the best blog posts I have seen on schwag: http://blog.adamnash.com/2010/11/29/why-t-shirts-matter/ http://blog.adamnash.com/2011/07/11/how-to-make-a-great-t-shirt-goals/