In 2020, QuickBooks tasked its agency partners to change perceptions around the brand, to reinforce amongst an audience of Small Business Owners that QuickBooks and its modern business tools can help them navigate challenges to reach success, in whatever form that means to them. The campaign, “A Hero’s Journey to Success,” was born, emphasizing QuickBooks’ purpose to create opportunity and prosperity for all small business owners as they work toward their goals. Specifically, QuickBooks tools and services are designed to equip them to take control of their finances, and the organization is committed to using its resources to help educate and empower individuals surrounding their services.
As part of the campaign, TBWA\Chiat\Day LA, The Content Collective, Hearts & Science, and Courageous Studios came together to create a series, called “Shift Happens,” highlighting the over 90% of businesses who say they had to pivot operations to manage the ever-changing landscape of the pandemic. Knowing that within this group, BIPOC and female founded organizations were disproportionately impacted, QuickBooks wanted to prioritize these businesses in the series.
When we learned about Compton Girls Club (CGC), founded by Chrystani Heinrich, a librarian at Compton High School in South LA, we immediately wanted to partner with them. The objective of the QuickBooks x Compton Girls Club: Business G.IRL Incubator was to put tangible support behind the CGC mission in giving young women and gender non-binary people the life skills and knowledge not taught in school to become more confident and empowered.
When COVID hit, CGC’s in-person workshops, field trips, and access to the safe space Chrystani leased were put on pause. So Chrystani quickly pivoted and turned to online resources to keep in touch with their young club members who were searching for ways to stay inspired. Chrystani’s dream was to teach the girls more about business ownership and financial education, so they could turn their hobbies and talents into businesses, and a way to earn money. Namely, Chrystani wanted to share the knowledge they’d gained from running a small business, the CGC, with the young women of their community.
With its mission to support small business owners, QuickBooks jumped in to provide tools and support the dual needs of Chrystani and CGC. Together, we created a virtual entrepreneurial workshop that gave these young women the education and skills they needed to start, and sustain, their own small businesses and give them a big leg up against the financial pitfalls many face. The QuickBooks Business G.IRL Incubator was a 6-module course that taught 11 young women how to start their own small businesses, guiding them through creating a business plan and teaching them about the power of branding and marketing. To complete the course, each participant pitched their business Shark Tank-style in front of a panel of judges. Upon graduation, each participant received a stipend of $500 to launch their business, along with headshots and printed business cards with their new branding.
The content series that was developed shined a spotlight on Chrystani’s real, relatable story and offered valuable financial education, and inspiration, to other small business owners who were “making shift happen” during uncertain times. Through the series, QuickBooks amplified their mission of creating opportunity and prosperity for small business owners, while showcasing how their suite of tools can further drive success for these businesses and, as a result, their communities. Storytelling featured key QuickBooks products that had enabled Chrystani to navigate the needs of their growing organization and shifted perceptions about the brand as being complicated or “just an accounting tool.” Leveraging CNN’s social and digital platforms for reach, the brand was also able to share Chrystani’s incredible story, at scale to QuickBooks’ core target of Small Business Owners.
Through this tight partner collaboration, we were able to bring maximum impact for Compton Girls Club. TBWA\Chiat\Day LA acted as creative consult, creating the Incubator program and orchestrating the different partners involved in the larger “Journey to Success” campaign. QuickBooks provided monetary support for the program by sponsoring the incubator course and providing speakers, mentors, and judges throughout the event. The Content Collective and Courageous Studios captured content during the sessions and turned it into film assets that could be used to share CGC’s story and spread the word about the work they are doing. Long-form (2:46) and short-form (:30s, :15s) videos were made and distributed through Compton Girls Club, QuickBooks, and TBWA\Chiat\Day’s social media, plus paid media on CNN’s digital and social platforms.
Through the combined efforts of the agency teams and media partners, we were able to bring awareness to Chrystani and the incredible work they do through Compton Girls Club programming, as well as help shift perceptions of QuickBooks as a brand. Through amplification of Chrystani’s story on CNN’s social and digital platforms, we delivered more than 1.3MM impressions against storytelling assets and 100% positive sentiment — showing the positive engagement surrounding the content. Not only were we able to drive awareness and engagement around the CGC, but we also drove an incredible 19-point lift in Brand Favorability, helping change perceptions of QuickBooks and build visibility of the brand’s purpose. QuickBooks was also able to manifest their mission of backing small businesses by helping bring awareness to Chrystani’s organization. For the CGC organization itself, there were over $60k in donations since the launch of the Incubator and campaign and a 25% bump in the org’s site traffic in the two months following the activation (March 2021-May 2021). In May 2021, Compton Girls Club and the Business G.IRL Incubator sponsored by QuickBooks were featured in the Los Angeles Times both in print and online, which showcased Chrystani, their mission and a few of the entrepreneurs who participated in the Incubator. Most importantly, 11 new small businesses came to life.
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