Digitizing the Corner Shop
Early-stage global venture firm Flourish Ventures backs mission-driven entrepreneurs and industry influencers working to create a fairer financial system. The firm regularly funds and conducts proprietary research to inform investment themes and decisions, spotlight global opportunities for entrepreneurs and guide portfolio company founders.
Waltz worked with FV to develop a campaign to give life to a series of reports providing fresh insights into corner shops in Brazil, Egypt, India and Indonesia–a $900B industry. Having worked on the Digital Hustle campaign in 2020, we were excited to use our experience and learnings from that campaign to make an even bigger impression with this one.
- Campaign Branding
- Data Visualization
- Web Design
- Social Media
- Collateral and Digital Assets
- Video Animation
- PowerPoint Design
Aligning Goals and Objectives
As a thesis-driven VC firm, Flourish conducts primary research and funds in-depth analysis with global organizations to better understand customer sentiments. These efforts help the investment team keep current on how technology can positively influence the financial lives of today’s consumers and small businesses across the US and emerging markets, which in turn informs investment strategies.
Additionally, the valuable insights derived from this research are a key element of Flourish’s Founder Support, informing go-to-market strategy and accelerated growth for current and prospective portfolio companies.
With the Digital Corner Shop campaign, Flourish sought to create a framework for understanding optimal business models for corner shops across emerging markets. Goals for this framework and the insights it provided included:
- Help portfolio companies access and serve corner shop owners
- Build a narrative for the opportunities observed
- Showcase the portfolio companies that are already helping corner shops
- Create new insights
On a deeper level, accomplishing these objectives served three higher-level business goals:
- Solidify Flourish Ventures’ position as a deeply thoughtful resource for investors by creating new and valuable insights
- Showcase Flourish portfolio companies
- Establish Flourish as an expert that entrepreneurs would seek out first
With a clear understanding of everything we hoped to achieve with this campaign, we got to work, starting with campaign branding and identity.
Visual Identity Exploration
In early discovery conversations, the Flourish team shared the importance of illustrating key insights through report design. They wanted graphics and charts that were a real depiction of the information the reports were communicating. We needed to both show and tell.
The unique nature of corner shops, the vital role they play in their communities and the nuances and diversity of each featured region all needed to be captured in a compelling and engaging visual identity. Moreover, the identity had to illustrate the juxtaposition of the physical and digital worlds in which these corner stores operate. Narrowing in on the right visual treatment was the first step in developing and communicating campaign messaging.
Our team explored several concepts with a focus on the shop owners, the physical shop itself and the idea of the shop's location on bustling corners within the community. We considered how the identity would be applied to web report headers, infographics/charts and social media and also how the identity could pick up where words leave off in applications that called for a heavier emphasis on visuals, rather than text. Considerable attention was given to looking at the data to be presented and how we could visualize that information in compelling, engaging ways, with eye-catching, legible infographics that clearly communicate key data points to the two main audiences: the Flourish investment team and founders of relevant Fintech companies and startups.
As the campaign's primary purpose was to communicate data and research results, deliverables were pretty text-heavy by nature. We turned to dynamic, story-telling imagery to truly capture the essence of corner shops in each of the four regions featured. With a goal of illustrating visually what the reports described, photo research and selection were critical components of the work.
A heavy emphasis on images of real corner shops and their owners, provided by the Flourish Portfolio Companies developing digital solutions to help these businesses grow and thrive, added energy, life and authenticity to all aspects of the campaign.
Waltz worked closely with the Flourish marketing and research teams to turn months of research and analysis into visually compelling, easy-to-digest web reports, white papers, infographics, charts, slide decks and social graphics to communicate the team's findings and conclusions to their audience.
Putting it All into Context
After the reports were released, Flourish hosted a live discussion of report findings with founders of four portfolio companies whose digital-led business tools were already transforming corner shops and helping these stores access the resources they need to thrive in their local communities. Hearing directly from entrepreneurs pioneering promising models to digitally serve the corner shop and how they approached the needs and market infrastructure challenges in each geography provided additional, invaluable context and real-world examples.
This Flourish Conversations event demonstrated some of the many possible approaches for start-up entrepreneurs to create value through digital technology, thereby helping entrepreneurs evaluate and prioritize these opportunities. The webinar helped emphasize report findings and show entrepreneurs and investors that with a ready set of existing customers and better visibility into corner shops’ business cash flows, technology platforms have an opportunity to offer tailored financial products at a lower cost and lower risk, which underscores Flourish's goal of investing in mission-driven entrepreneurs and industry influencers working toward a fair financial system.
As the event served as the primary public release of the campaign, Waltz created a suite of branded deliverables to promote the event, including a landing page, eBlast, social media graphics, video production assets and animated graphics to ensure a consistent, branded presentation and support messaging.
The Digital Corner Shop campaign was the culmination of more than a year’s worth of research and involved a considerable amount of time and resources to execute. With this in mind, it was important to leverage the campaign’s momentum and value to ensure its shelflife extended beyond the release of the reports and the featured event. Knowing that this campaign would be the cornerstone of Flourish’s efforts for some time, we designed campaign elements with an evergreen approach wherever possible and made sure the campaign identity complemented the look and feel of the new website launched a few months after the Digital Corner Shop was released. Campaign-branded social skins further highlighted this important research long after the initial campaign release.