In 2015, Kabbage formed a partnership with well-known entrepreneur and Shark Tank judge Lori Greiner. The following year, we sought to expand our partnership to further align our brand with Lori, leverage her expertise and expand our support of entrepreneurs.
Kabbage was founded to help small businesses grow, so we designed a campaign that would showcase our brand's creative spirit while recognizing the innovation, passion and dedication of small business owners across the country.
Our goals for the campaign were to:
• Promote Kabbage's commitment to supporting small businesses beyond the funding we provide
• Leverage Lori's brand recognition to raise awareness about Kabbage
• Highlight the challenges small business owners face in marketing and selling their products and services
• Create highly shareable content
Kabbage's Elevator Pitch contest invited small businesses all over the country to submit a 30-second video business pitch on how they would like to expand their businesses. This ensured the campaign would be highly interactive and would allow small businesses to creatively tell their stories first-hand. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video of an entrepreneur's passion conveys infinitely more.
The campaign was publicized to Kabbage customers and prospects through ongoing emails. Other businesses nationwide were invited to participate via social media outreach from Kabbage and Lori Greiner.
Our strategy was to take the successful concept of Shark Tank and offer that opportunity to businesses across the country. Five finalists were selected to pitch Lori Greiner in person. Based on the live pitches, Lori selected one business owner to win $10,000 and a one-on-one business consultation. One finalist summarized her participation by saying, "It was a very positive experience for me. My favorite part was meeting, spending time with and getting to know such interesting fellow entrepreneurs."
We filmed the five finalists pitching Lori and created a shareable recap video of the contest. To further the campaign's interactive elements, anyone who shared or commented on the video on Facebook was eligible to win one of five autographed copies of Lori's book.
In the 11 days the contest was open, we received hundreds of video submissions from all over the country, including businesses from wine making and after-school programs to sustainable forestry and cold-pressed baby food.
Our recap video has more than 5,000 views, 100 shares and 100 comments. Additionally, we pitched the contest to local news to garner attention in small business markets. The information was featured in a variety of publications, including the LA Daily News, Miami Herald, Star Tribune, CEO World News, Wall Street Select and the International Business Times.