1. Issue press release to targeted markets
  2. Convene events to provide detailed information

a.     Issue Press Release

Key staff: Marketing

As with any new investment product, issuing a press release is a key component of the product launch. But there are some unique considerations for retail impact investment products. First, it is important that the press release targets the segments identified in the marketing strategy. These segments will be more specialized than the market segments for conventional products. Credit unions will have to do some additional work to identify the right contacts for the press release. Partner organizations may be able to provide access to some of these contacts. For example, Oikocredit promoted the release with its press contacts, resulting in positive media coverage in Now Magazine in Toronto. Advertising space was also purchased in Your Guide to Responsible Investing, a regular supplemental magazine in Investment Executive and the Toronto edition of the Globe and Mail.

The table below identifies some key organizations and publications that could assist with the product launch.

Non Traditional Media Partners
The Responsible Investment Network – (online network)
The MaRS Centre for Impact Investing
Socialfinance.ca
Canadian Credit Union Association’s Monthly Newsletter
Other Trade Publications

b.    Convene Events and Use Social Media

Key staff: Marketing, Community Engagement

Information sessions: An effective strategy for promoting a retail impact investment product and for engaging with potential investors is to host information sessions. These sessions could be specific to the retail impact investment product, but could also include more general information around a broader range of retail impact investment products. For example, when launching its second bond, the CSI team hosted a community bond fair. To share the costs of hosting such events, credit unions should look to community partners and other credit unions that are promoting similar products. For example, CSI worked with Zooshare and Solarshare to deliver information on impact investment options to individual investors. The joint session exposed CSI to a wider market of potential investors.

Leverage credibility and history: While launching the first product will require investment to reach new audiences, subsequent retail impact investment product launches will be able to draw on an established reputation and networks by leveraging testimonials from investors and community members.