Category: Latest Work
Grow

“We brought KRC on to fill a gap in our social media coverage. The results they delivered extended far beyond the requirements of our engagement. Their scrappy attitude and creativity helped us navigate a number of events and communications challenges. Their collective positivity and intelligence would be a welcome addition to any team. Plus, they bring beer to meetings – what more could you possibly ask for?”
– Jesse Penner, Marketing and Operations Manager

Challenge

Vancouver-based startup Grow is a key player in the emerging FinTech market and the first Canadian company in the marketplace lending space – a niche that faces low public awareness and understanding. Many are wary of marketplace lending, failing to see the significant benefits of seeking a personal loan outside the traditional banking system.

Solution

It was clear to Switchboard that building trust in marketplace lending generally and in Grow specifically was a critical first step in getting people to change their borrowing behaviour. People would not trust just anyone with their money — but they would more likely trust a company founded by recognized experts in their fields. So Switchboard set to work establishing Grow’s team — and in particular CEO Kevin Sandhu — as experts and influencers in the FinTech space. This strategy had online and offline elements. Online, Switchboard worked with Grow to build a strong social media presence that struck a fine balance between being a fun, approachable alternative to traditional banks, while also being knowledgeable and trustworthy. Offline, Switchboard ensured that Grow was present — and influential — at events such as VanImpact, at which Kevin Sandhu delivered the keynote address.

Results

Switchboard worked hard to ensure that Grow emerged as a company to watch at Vancouver Startup Week. Their presence at the VanStartup Open House saw a turnout that exceeded others’ by at least 60%. Kevin Sandhu’s keynote address at VanImpact was a resounding success; in addition to receiving extensive positive feedback from attendees, the Grow team saw spikes in their web traffic that corresponded with the event. Grow’s social media following increased significantly under Switchboard’s management. Grow’s LinkedIn following doubled, its Twitter and Facebook following each increased by more than 300%, and its Instagram following increased nearly ten-fold. Grow’s influence and reputation were further validated when TechVibes nominated them for 2015 Startup of the Year.

  • Grow won 2015 Start-up of the year by TechVibes
  • Successful VanImpact speech – keynote speaker at the end of the event
  • Great turnout at VanStartup Open House at least 60% more than others

Closet Relay

Challenge

Closet Relay is a mobile app that aims to change the way people buy and sell clothing online. The start-up is a one-woman operation with only one external resource: Switchboard. Ria Mizera, the brains behind Closet Relay, hired Switchboard to help take her app from an idea on paper to product launch and beyond. In the process, Switchboard needed to help answer some critically important questions: how do we position Closet Relay in an oversaturated fashion/lifestyle market — and get an edge over competitors? And how does a team with such limited resources ensure optimal customer care?

Solution

Switchboard’s collaboration with Closet Relay began with extensive strategic groundwork, which culminated in a detailed roadmap and communications strategy to take the app from concept to a pilot product launch in Vancouver. The strategy required that Closet Relay be bold in order to stand out and grab attention amongst the app’s target audiences. Tactics included video series, a blogger launch party, and creative activations at strategically chosen venues such as Vancouver’s Largest Clothing Swap and university campuses. And because Closet Relay needed a community of engaged users to take off, the plan also included leveraging on-the-ground ambassadors who could help kick-start this community. Switchboard recommended recruiting these ambassadors by sending ‘care packages’ with Closet Relay collateral to university students — a key demographic for the app.

Results

Switchboard helped make Closet Relay’s August 2015 launch a success. Despite a windstorm (during which people were told to stay inside), over 15 bloggers and key influencers attended the soft launch party at Matchstick Coffee. Thanks to this event and to Switchboard’s broader media relations strategy, bloggers and other digital media outlets have embraced the app; it has been featured in numerous prominent Vancouver media including 604Now, LikeVancouver, and VancityBuzz. As of January 2016, Closet Relay has over 500 users, and over 600 items have been posted for sale — and Closet Relay is a recognized player in the tech, fashion and sustainability space.