American Express champions the vital role of SMEs with return of the UK’s Shop Small campaign
American Express continues its long-standing backing of small businesses by once again running its flagship Shop Small campaign, encouraging the nation to support their local, independent businesses.
Shop Small launched on Small Business Saturday (4 December) which was founded by American Express back in 2013, and of which it remains principal supporter.
This winter’s UK Shop Small campaign includes a range of impactful multi-channel activity celebrating the vital role small businesses play in their local communities – all designed to help drive customer footfall and spend. High-profile advertising will be running throughout December across TV, cinema, radio, online video and OOH. At its heart is the ‘Perfect Present’ TV ad encouraging consumers to shop with small businesses this festive season.
The campaign seeks to mobilise American Express’ loyal cardmembers, encouraging them to spend instore with small retailers this festive season, generating additional sales, new customers and boosting brand loyalty for merchants. The centrepiece of the campaign is the Shop Small Offer, that rewards UK American Express cardmembers with £5 when they spend £15 (up to 5 times) at participating businesses between 4-15 December. American Express is accepted at more UK merchants than ever before, including hundreds of thousands of small businesses.
Dan Edelman, general manager, UK Merchant Services at American Express, said: “The nation’s small businesses are at the heart of our high streets and local communities across the UK. That’s why we’re encouraging people to continue to show their appreciation for these much-loved independent businesses and help them go from strength to strength in the years ahead. Now in its ninth year, our Shop Small campaign is stronger than ever and is just one of the ways American Express backs small enterprises all year round.”
Shop Small campaign activity supporting merchants this year includes:
- The Shop Small Map – displaying the physical address of small businesses participating in the Shop Small campaign, helping Cardmembers locate their nearest outlets
- A range of downloadable digital assets designed to help merchants promote Shop Small to their customers via their own social media channels. In addition, a dedicated merchant campaign pack including branded window stickers, open signs and personalised collateral
- Social Spotlights putting merchants front and centre of the campaign, telling the story of four independent businesses in London; The Shed in Notting Hill, Bens Greengrocer in Primrose Hill, 12:51 in Islington and Black Gull Books in East Finchley. These spotlights are being shared across UK American Express social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
- Shoreditch Takeover – a bespoke mural in Redchurch Street designed by renowned specialist artist Jo Hicks and featuring a number of local small businesses, supported by temporary artwork on selected merchant shop fronts
- The Little Blue Book of Celebration – from Alexa Chung to Richard Quinn, American Express has asked some of its favourite designers and celebrities for recommendations of their go-to independent stores. These are combined with the business owners’ insider tips to make for a compelling collection of fantastic small, independent businesses.
To further back small businesses this year, American Express has launched Business Class: The Series – which aims to provide business owners and entrepreneurs with essential know-how on topics such as managing growth, digital marketing, cashflow, and more. The 5-part video series offers an inside look at how common hurdles are approached by various small business owners around the world. UK businesses featured include Brighton-based Bird & Blend and sustainable design and manufacturing company Pentatonic in London.
Research carried out by American Express in conjunction with Small Business Saturday in the run up to this year’s Shop Small campaign revealed that the UK’s small business owners are feeling significantly more optimistic about their future prospects than they did in the summer. Some 70% feel good about the current state of their business – up from 52% six months ago.