I was hit by the hurricane that is Kelli Bielema at a recent Seattle entrepreneur panel which I moderated. Instantly, I fell in love with her vibrant personality and quirky branding for her event planning business, Shindig Events. Her business creates “events that rock your face off” so you instantly know you’re not dealing with your everyday event planner. Kellie longs to be a “Froot Loop in a world of Cheerios” and admits she stole that personal mission off Pinterest. She describes herself as a “Country girl who pines for city life. Chicago. Los Angeles. Seattle.”
Clearly she is not trying to attract your average bride or event maven. And I dig that about her. She boldly presents a unique alternative and either it speaks to you or it doesn’t. That, my friends, is targeting your brand and speaking to your tribe. But one thing is for sure: her brand stands out. So I sat down to ask her what advice she could share as you try to build a breakout brand.
RS: Welcome Kelli! I adore how your brand stands out in a world of very copycat event planning competitors. How did you determine your unique brand?
KB: When determining my business model, I knew I wanted to channel my party-participating energy into my party planning skills. Parties are fun and your planner should be too. The branding or marketing aspect part of an event is actually my favorite task, so I wanted to reflect that in my own business.
RS: Who is your ideal client? Were you ever afraid that claiming such a funky and offbeat brand would mean less revenue?
KB: People who are fun, flexible and funky are my targets. We spend a lot of time together, doing everything from brainstorming to budgeting and then the event itself is often a marathon event, so you ultimately want to like and respect one another. You’ve got to have a sense of humor during the whole process or you are going to go bonkers. Maybe once upon a time being unique was, well, unique. Any more, I see it as more the norm. People are embracing their freakdom more than ever (Tweet this!) and I am here to help facilitate that. Takes one to know one…!
RS: Well put! Based on your success, what wisdom can you share about effective positioning and differentiation?
KB: Having a point of view is great, but making it fresh, unique and distinct to your personality is vital. Finding out what it is that makes you and your business standout from the crowd is the key to developing marketing success. I’ll also add that being authentic in your business is just as critical as being authentic in your personal life. People want to like and trust you…show them you are worthy of it by being real!