Rahul Sachitanand
Mar 29, 2021

Happiness Saigon launches free consultancy for small businesses

Inspired by local blue collar workers using street stickers to advertise their businesses, this initiative aims to help small business owners hobbled by the pandemic get back on their feet.

Happiness Saigon launches free consultancy for small businesses

After working with large clients such as Nivea, Coca-Cola, Lays, PepsiCo, Spotify and Unicef, Vietnam-based creative consultancy Happiness Saigon is now turning its attention to small businesses stricken by the Covid-19 pandemic. The ageny has started what it calls the Happiness Small Business Initiative.

The offering is a free consultancy service for small business owners that puts them directly in touch with one of Happiness' leaders. This service is free to any and all small business owners in Vietnam who want the help figuring out how to get back on their feet and hit the ground running.

The small businesses initially have a short conversation with one of the Happiness team leads over the phone, and after getting a general understanding of the needs the business, an in-office meeting can be arranged with a team of people from the creative consultancy handpicked to meet the specific challenge.

Inspired by local behaviour in Saigon, the creative consultancy announced this program to the public with a local twist. It’s typical in Vietnam to see blue collar workers advertise their services using miếng dán đường phố, or street stickers. These can be seen across Saigon pasted on street poles and in alleyways, and have become part of the aesthetic of the city.

Happiness Saigon has been advertising its SMB initiative in the same way. It tells Campaign it has received 28 calls in the past four days since the stickers went up around Saigon.

The businesses that have sought help include a local mattress realtor looking to increase traffic to stores, where the agency has an unconventional idea to show test their product outside of the store and give a discount; a coffee bean manufacturer focussed on B2B that wishes to boost its orders; and a local micro brewery and taphouse exploring a Covid survival kit for people who enter Vietnam and are in quarantine (mandatory for 2 weeks). Other calls have been more traditional consultancy, providing some guidance on ecommerce, partnerships or affiliations with other companies, and establishing social media presence on Zalo and Facebook.

Unlike major multinationals, these local businesses typically don’t have reserve funds to make it through more than a few tough months, let alone the budget to hire an advertising agency.

"We love Vietnam, and this program is a way for us to give back to the community that we’ve been lucky enough to call home for the past 6 years since our founding," says Alan Cerutti, CEO, Happiness Saigon. "Using the one thing we’re best at, creative and out-of-the-box thinking, we know we can really help the local business community and do some good."

“We want to give a useful hand to people who want and dare to think and do differently,” adds Son Nguyen, partner of business and operations.

Considering the early success, Happiness Saigon plans to continue to put stickers up and maybe over time expand the plan to have everyone at the agency pick up calls.

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