By Malay Desai
From: Stockholm, by Forsman&Bodenfors
A Swedish mobile payments company whose product, iZettle, supports and promotes small businesses, decided to go beyond conventional advertising to reach out to its audience – SMEs. It asked entrepreneurs across UK for video entries for a competition, the prize of which would be getting their own flagship store space on Britain’s greatest shopping street. The six winners got their moment in the sun by setting up shop for their products for 12 hours each.
Why we Like?
Let’s step out of the smoky bar that online businesses have created and get some fresh air, for there is a much larger world of entrepreneurs out there, offline. Sometimes, away from Facebook ad spends and Google optimizations, small ideas turn big simply by that magical old world mantra – location. Ask the owners of Anokhi in Delhi’s Khan Market or those of Metro Shoes on Mumbai’s Linking road to know.
iZettle may sound like yet another mobile payment app in today’s times, but given that it was launched in 2011, I’m safe to assume the service has broken many paths in its markets –UK, Spain, Brazil and the Scandinavian countries. It was the first to develop a chip-based card reader and an app for smartphone-based payments, its interface even resembling a traditional cash register.
But look around now, iZettleisn’t alone, and for it to not slip away to the dozens of takers of the m-commerce pie, it had to do this campaign, which unconventionally defined the app’s values – support to small ideas, encouragement to bright minds.
The firm ran a campaign, albeit online, to invite entrepreneurs to apply for a massive opportunity to put up their wares at the ‘12 hour shop’. The location was Soho, UK’s greatest shopping/entertainment districtdemanding rents most applicants would never have afforded.
Any T-shirt company or organic tea brand or your neighbourhood’s cupcake baker would give a limb for this, so I assume iZettle didn't run out of applicants for this fabulous idea. Among the six chosen ones(who’d get the shop space for 12 hours each for six days in a row)were a designer who hand-drew Scotland’s sights on fabrics, a firm that had devised ‘sky planting’ gardening devices and a tea mixology firm. Hipster level – max!
The six lucky entrepreneurs’ gratification may have been a turning point in their businesses, but the activity also gave iZettle a firm push, in the middle of the country’s finest shopping zone. By catchy signage such as ‘grand opening today’ next to ‘grand closing today’, all the parties involved may have got much attention in the footfall world.
Now, the reason why I feature this here, is to show the dozens of our mobile payment services (catering to millions of urban and rural smartphone users every day) that to stand out, you must sometimes build a bridge and step into the real world.
To watch the film type‘goo.gl/A0LAv8’in your browser
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