Merchant Advance Capital is an alternative lender that champions small businesses by providing them with accessible growth capital outside of traditional channels. With a young, dynamic and formidable team, they’re quietly taking up residence as one of the country’s most prolific and reputable marketplace lenders.
Merchant Advance Capital is one of those rare companies that are quiet innovators, the challenge was getting them noticed outside of the business-to-business space that they serve. Through a strategic communications planning process, which included stakeholder interviews with staff and executives, and a competitor analysis benchmarking David Gens against other industry thought leaders, Yulu determined that the way to PR success for a company in a saturated space would be to elevate not only the company from competitors, but also raising the entrepreneurial profile of Merchant’s founder and CEO, David Gens, as a Canadian success story.
Yulu’s most successful campaign to date with this client was launching the Good Cents Loan, an impact lending program aimed at businesses seeking funding to make a positive impact on their community or environment through improvements. By securing an exclusive with the Canadian Press ahead of the release date, we garnered more than 50 media hits for this campaign by finding an underrepresented trend in the financial services space: social entrepreneurship and responsibility. To build the long-term brand and visibility for founder and CEO David Gens, we also took the approach of pitching versatile stories that reach beyond financial services reporters that cover lending. Our focus on building David Gens’ profile as a thought leader and Canadian success story has led to securing a regular Huffington Post column. Also using this approach, we further secured opportunities in the Financial Post, Globe and Mail, Wealth Professional, Business in Vancouver, and Betakit’s Fintech Times newsletter picked up David’s Huffington Post columns.
The Results & Impact
In the time we’ve worked with Merchant, they’ve grown rapidly: placing 23 on PROFIT 500’s 2016 list of Fastest-Growing Companies and third on Business in Vancouver’s 2016 list of BC’s fastest growing companies. Integrating social impact into the heart of our PR campaigns for Merchant Advance Capital has been integral to helping them move the needle on their media coverage.
Beyond the high volume of media results that our approach has yielded, we have also supported the dreams of several Canadian entrepreneurs. By looking at a social media contest (check it out below!) through an impact lens, we took the winner to the next level l by providing $15,000 in creative services as the prize giveaway. Canadian startup gaming studio Content4good put it towards refreshing the branding and website of SkateBoss, the game they’re developing, which is aimed at teaching kids age 8-12 the skills of being a social entrepreneur through running a virtual skateboard shop.
We continue to work with the company on elevating their presence in the Canadian market. We are embarking on the next chapter and thinking of more thoughtful and strategic ways to help Merchant leverage the media equity they’ve built.