Growth Diaries: How We Chose the Recipient of The Growth Grant and Why

Cheryl Teo
Cheryl Teo
March 28, 2022
2 min read
Growth Diaries: How We Chose the Recipient of The Growth Grant and Why

In this article

The second edition of our Growth Diaries, a series of educational and insightful content following the Growth Grant, is here. 

In this article, we’ll be sharing the process of how our team chose the recipient of the Growth Grant from an overwhelming number of 245 applicants. 

Phase 1 - looking at the brand’s products and founding stories

Our brand marketer, You Yang, who led the Growth Grant campaign, made the initial selection, narrowing the list from 245 applicants to 45 applicants. 

The key point of this phase was looking at the brands’ main product and their founding stories. The main factor that we looked at was how far the brands went to build and sell products to champion a cause, or solve a community's needs, even if it wasn’t directly leading to an increase in their sales or growth. Several things that caught our attention were how thoughtful the brands were in creating a product specially catered to solving a problem that a certain community faces.

To illustrate this better:

Instead of a brand that sells pantry snacks, we preferred a brand that sells sustainably-sourced groceries with an effort to reduce plastic waste through compostable packaging. The latter goes beyond simply selling a product because they care about creating a more sustainable food system and planet progress.

Another thing to note was that the initial selection was not only for brands or products that had an obvious environmental or social impact. Our brand marketer also made sure to pick brands that wanted to help their community beyond their product.

While it IS great to be a social business or a brand that is charitable, we’re looking for more than just that. We’re looking for brands that step up their efforts to have a positive impact on their community. 

Phase 2 - looking at secondary activities and impact

For this phase, our brand marketer focused on looking at secondary activities. 

The overarching question we had for this phase was: What else has the brand done outside of selling products that impact their community positively?

This required more research into the brands and looking at their social platforms. At this point, it’s clear to see which businesses put effort into projects and campaigns that may not directly translate to revenue right away.

Things like:

  • Whether they create educational content like blog articles, videos, or social media content
  • Whether they take the extra effort to build a community
  • Whether they are using social media to facilitate useful discussions

Part two of this phase was also to look into each brand to see what their consumers were saying about their products and customer service. This was to get a sense of what the overall sentiment is of the brand and its products.

And finally, our brand marketer also looked at how the brands were planning to use the money if they were to receive the grant based on what they have submitted in their applications.

Some key points we looked out for:

  • Has to be marketing-related
  • How comprehensive and detailed their plan is
  • How impactful the money would be for them
  • How useful/relatable will their story be for other brands to learn from. (This would be in line with our goals for the grant as it’ll be helping thousands of brands through one.)

At this point, we also considered what stage the brand was at. Unfortunately, this meant that we had to rule out brands that have not launched officially or are newly established brands. 

As a company, we have significantly more experience and partners in marketing. We believe we can contribute more by helping brands with a certain scale with marketing than setting up new brands.

Also, results from producing new products could take a longer time to show. Given this is our first grant, we prefer to stick to something we are more familiar with. Brands that showed a clear plan on improving the marketing side of things for their businesses had a greater priority on our list. 

We would love to explore supporting newly launched brands in the future if this grant goes well.

These are some of the brands that made it to the final phase!

Phase 3 - consolidating opinions from the team

For the final phase, we dove deeper into each brand, taking into account all of the conditions that were mentioned before. This was an effort by the entire marketing team to decide who should be the final recipient. 

Our brand marketer came up with a scoring system based on the following factors:

  • Does the brand have impactful products?
  • Is the brand impactful to their community through secondary activities?
  • Will the brand put money to good use? Is the grant maximally impactful for them?
  • Does the brand have a relatable story that we can help to share so that other brands can learn from their journey?

We took into consideration another internal factor which was how aligned the brand was with ReferralCandy’s values. Since we would be working very closely and endorsing the final recipient, it was important for us to consider this as well.

Team members scored the factors from 1 to 5 for each application. With 1 representing that the brand showed little to no impact and 5 representing the greatest impact. 

The highest scoring application averaged across the board was chosen.

The marketing team then came together for one last discussion on the highest scoring application and to voice any objections or concerns if any. 

And the winning recipient is…

Happy Human

The brand produces refillable cleaning care that works wonders to reduce single-use plastic waste and carbon emissions.

We’ll be working very closely the next few months with the Happy Human team to share more about their story and document their growth journey through our Growth Diaries. 

Do stay tuned to our Twitter, LinkedIn and subscribe to our blog to keep up with the latest!

Growth Diaries Series:

Cheryl Teo
Cheryl Teo

Cheryl is a full-time Content Marketer at ReferralCandy by day and a "Learnaholic" (aka always learning something new) by night. She loves learning new languges, storytelling, and creating experiences that are functional and visually compelling. She's also always lurking on Twitter so drop by and say hi!

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