Creating a Community of 20k+ Evangelists with Strategic Branding, Crowdfunding, and Event Marketing
In April of 2016, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors passed legislation that would turn a large part of San Francisco's South of Market Area (SOMA) into a Filipino cultural district called SOMA Pilipinas.
As part of his commitment to help the community, Plinth Managing Director, Desi Danganan, created a non-profit called Kultivate Labs to help develop this new cultural district.
Kultivate Labs turned to the Plinth team to find a way to establish SOMA as a cultural district spur economic development within the community.
- Build awareness and spark economic activity in the new Filipino cultural district.
- Develop a brand identity and website for the event.
- Develop a marketing campaign.
- Produce a monthly "Creative Night Market Festival" that appeals to the Bay Area's diverse population while showcasing the creative culture of Filipino Americans in SF.
- Curate an experience that distinguishes itself from traditional Filipino Festivals.
- Design a brand that resonates with the younger generation of Filipino Americans.
- Design a website to showcase the event and become a nexus for the community.
- Use crowdfunding to develop a community of evangelists instead of attendees or customers.
inspired by the famous night markets in asia
The new event needed to accomplish 2 goals: jumpstart economic and public awareness. In order to create an event that could serve these goals, we took inspiration from the night markets of Asia. Night markets are famous for being a places to experience a city's culture through food, art, music, and entrepreneurship.
UNDSCVRD SF: Creative Night Market Festival
We named the event "UNDSCVRD SF" because it was important to Kultivate Labs to signal that the new SOMA Pilipinas District wasn't a museum for a displaced community, but vibrant culture waiting to be re-discovered.
CREATING AN EXPERIENCE THAT RESONATES WITH THE YOUNGER GENERATION
There are a few large Filipino cultural festivals that happen in the Bay Area. These festivals focus heavily on the culture in the Philippines and cater to an older generation of Filipinos raised there. In our research, we found the programming and branding of these festivals failed to resonate with younger Filipino Americans raised in the US.
Our strategy for UNDSCVRD was to create an experience that could represent the culture of younger Filipino Americans while simultaneously re-invigorating the older generation.
Although it is important to feature traditional cultural dances and arts, we focused heavily on showcasing EMERGING entrepreneurs, artists, and performers in addition to local community organizations.
In order to ensure we curated an authentic experience, we enlisted the help of the local community organizations as well as Filipino American tastemakers in art, music, food, fashion, and culture.
DESIGNing a brand identity FOR a community constantly redefining itself
Our design strategy was to use cues to Filipino culture rather than the iconography typically associated with the country of the Philippines. A mix of hand-drawn cultural elements and modern fonts were used to represent a Filipino community bound more by culture than by country.
"In order to represent the Soma Pilipinas community, we created a design language focused on symbols of culture rather than the colors and icons associated with the Philippine flag."
- Andre Sibayan, Plinth Creative Director
crowdfunding as marketing: Create community not customers
To build support for this new non-profit event and promote Kultivate Lab's mission, we developed an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.
Crowdfunding campaigns are powerful way to tell the story of your brand and establish a loyal community of evangelists. These evangelists help aid the virality of the marketing and go a long to building a community that would keep supporting the event.
We developed a video to communicate WHY people should contribute to UNDSCVRD and designed rewards to appeal to potential backers.
Keeping the audience engaged with video content
To help ensure the success of future events, we commissioned recap videos for social media as well as promotional videos to support each aspect of the upcoming months.
The August launch of UNDSCVRD drew an overwhelming 10k people to the SF Mint. Since its launch, the event has attracted an excess of 30k total in just a few months.
National and International press
UNDSCVRD has received positive press from around globe, but more importantly, it has received support and enthusiasm of the of community it serves.
"Festive Night Market to Debut in San Francisco’s Filipino Cultural District"
"SF Mayor Ed Lee Praises Success of Monthly Filipino Night Market"
"The Power of a Night Market"