Building a digital community to share key insight and opinions

Helping London’s early-stage businesses flourish

Sector

Finance

Discipline

Client

Thrive

Relevant links

Year

2016

Thrive is an online journal that features interviews with and opinion from entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts. A mix of contributors from all areas of the industry is encouraged in order to spark genuine discussion about ongoing critical issues. While it showcases the effectiveness of successful ventures, it also encourages sharing lessons learned from missteps and unsuccessful projects.

Background

Funding London focus on bridging the funding gap for early-stage businesses in London. As part of their work with budding enterprises, they sensed a need for a resource for discussion and learning to illuminate the ever-evolving challenges for growing a successful business in London.As an ongoing partner with Funding London on their brand and website having won a nationwide procurement process, we were naturally excited to work with them to explore this new venture.

Together, we outlined the goals for the project and the kind of content that would be most useful to an early-stage audience. We determined that a set of interviews published each month and regularly added opinion pieces from expert contributors would be both relevant to the audience and feasible to achieve for the content creators. To maximise flexibility of content for possible contributors we set a brief for three types of assorted opinion pieces:

  1. Short quote/comment

  2. List of key points/top tips

  3. Extended thought piece

With a content plan in place we then worked with Funding London to create a strategy for building the brand. How would this product look and feel? How would it appeal to our intended audience and garner both readers and contributors?

Brand

We looked into what resources existed for early-stage businesses and found that what few there were didn’t focus heavily on the issues we were seeking to tackle. We sensed a space was open for establishing an intelligent brand voice to become a source of expertise on the early-stage market.

In addition to being a respected resource, we wanted to create a collaborative environment that encouraged the idea of mutual growth and participation. After going through a name selection process we chose Thrive to build on the idea of the flourishing early-stage environment that we were hoping to facilitate.

We created a custom set of illustrations of work-related paraphernalia in a hand-drawn style to bring a human touch to normally impersonal objects.

Build & launch

Shortly after establishing the core visual style we developed a brand deck to send out to Funding London’s network of contacts to build awareness and generate interest from possible contributors.

This first contact campaign to relevant contacts allowed us to gauge initial reactions to the brand and our messaging before we had launched the full site. This meant we could incorporate any relevant feedback into our ongoing development of the product before launch.

Working with Funding London, we attended interviews and editorially assisted with content production for the initial launch. We built and launched the site with content we had gathered both from internal writers at Funding London as well as pieces we had received from several outside contributors.

We supported the launch of the full site with the creation of a Mailchimp email marketing campaign – that could be customised directly by Funding London moving forward – with key messages and highlight content from the site to maximise exposure.

Printed publication

After a warm reception to the launch of the site and a steady flow of interested contributors we wanted to look at how we could continue to grow Thrive’s readership. With this in mind, we decided to create a physical publication using content from the site and distribute it at co-working spaces and early-stage incubator campuses across London. A printed product conceived and funded by Studiomade.

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