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[CASE STUDY] Celebrating Diversity and Supporting Small Businesses: Knix Ambassador Program Gift Box

As the Manager of the Creator Community and Ambassador Program at Knix, I am always looking to find new ways to engage and celebrate the diverse representation of our over 2,000 ambassadors. With February 2023 approaching, I decided to curate a gift box featuring Black-owned businesses from both within our ambassador program and highlighting friends of the brand. I didn't know it at the time, but this initiative would expand to become an ongoing amplification tool within the Knix brand portfolio.



Goal:

The primary goal of the Knix Ambassador Program's curated gift box initiative was to engage program participants from the global majority, celebrate cultural heritage months (Black History Month, Asian Heritage Month, Indigenous History Month, and Hispanic Heritage Month), and amplify small businesses within the Knix community.






Strategy:

The strategy involved designing curated gift boxes for various cultural celebration months, featuring products from Knix ambassadors and friends of the Knix brand. The aim was to foster community engagement, celebrate cultural diversity, and support small businesses. To ensure authenticity and relevance, community members and content creators were chosen to curate the boxes. For instance, the Black History Month box was curated by myself, as I hand-selected Black-owned businesses from within the ambassador program. Our Asian Heritage Month box was curated by Vanessa Frankard of ModernMix Vancouver, and the Hispanic Heritage Month box by the first Latina Executive Director of a national charity in Canada, Gabriela Estrada.


Execution:

The execution of this initiative involved meticulous planning and collaboration. Here are some of the critical execution steps:


1. Curating the Boxes:

Each month, 30-40 curated gift boxes were assembled, featuring a range of products from Knix ambassadors and small businesses that aligned with the cultural theme. The items were carefully selected to represent the rich diversity of each culture. For example, for our Asian Heritage Month boxes, it was of the utmost importance that we highlighted the rich diversity of the Asian diaspora, ensuring that businesses from East Asia, Southern Asia, Western, Central and Southeast Asia were included.




2. Selection of Curators:

Community members and content creators who had a deep understanding of the cultural significance and importance of the respective heritage months were chosen to curate the boxes. This ensured that the selections were authentic and meaningful.


3. Distribution:

The curated gift boxes were distributed to a select group of recipients, including Knix ambassadors, influencers, media members, and tastemakers across Canada and the United States. This ensured that the initiative reached a wide and influential audience who could in turn amplify the reach of these businesses.

Correlated blog posts highlighting the brands were also shared on the Knix blog


4. Inclusive Messaging:

Each curated box included an insert card with a personalized note from the Knix team, highlighting the businesses in the box and explaining the significance of the cultural celebration. Boxes curated by community members also included a note from them, sharing their personal reasons for participating in this initiative.





Results:

The curated gift box initiative achieved remarkable results, showcasing the success of this thoughtful and community-driven approach:


1. Engagement and Participation:

The Knix Ambassador Program significantly increased engagement and participation during the cultural celebration months. Ambassadors and community members actively shared their involvement on social media, generating buzz and excitement.


2. Amplification of Small Businesses:

The initiative led to a boost in sales and visibility for the small businesses featured in the curated gift boxes. Many reported increased website traffic, new customers, and a surge in social media followers and engagement.



3. Community Building:

Collaborating with community members to curate the boxes strengthened the sense of belonging within the Knix community. It fostered connections and partnerships that extended beyond the initiative itself.


4. Media Coverage:

The initiative garnered attention from various media outlets and influencers who praised Knix's commitment to celebrating diversity and supporting small businesses. This positive coverage further enhanced the brand's reputation.


5. Social Media Metrics:

The curated gift boxes generated significant social media engagement, including likes, shares, and comments. The program's reach expanded, attracting a more diverse and engaged audience.



In conclusion, the Knix Ambassador Program's curated gift box initiative successfully achieved its goal of engaging the global majority within its community, celebrating cultural heritage months, and supporting small businesses. Through thoughtful curation and strategic execution, Knix strengthened its brand identity and demonstrated a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and community empowerment.

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