When Molly Guy got engaged in 2010 she was “super bummed” with the Manhattan wedding industry. Everything was frills and lace, formal, ultra-traditional and utterly not her.
Her own disappointing search for cool and edgy bridal fashions inspired Stone Fox Bride, a Manhattan bridal boutique curating handmade, local designs. It literally “flips the bird” at the traditionally conservative wedding industry with its line of “F#@k Weddings” gear, unconventional bridal gowns and erotic imagery. Stone Fox Bride was named the “Best Anti-Bridezilla Bridal Showroom in New York” by Time Out New York magazine.
Even the name “Stone Fox” is sexy and bad ass enough to send hundreds of bleached blonde, strapless gown-wearing brides running screaming for safety of tulle.
Stone Fox Bride’s branding is brilliant and absolutely fearless. It’s time to take some lessons from a new kid in the industry who’s kicking butt by powerfully connecting with artistic, creative Millennial “anti-brides” fed up with all things mass-produced and traditional.
5 Steps to Bad Ass
1) Connect with grumpy brides and solve their problems.
In the case of Stone Fox Bride, Molly Guy was her own disgruntled bride avatar. Her problem: lack of non-traditional bridal fashions. She saw a gaping void in the bridal market for edgy, non-traditional fashions and filled it.
The first step to really standing out from the competition with a bold message is to find the need that isn’t being met, and for that, you need to recruit the disgruntled bride. What is she complaining about? What does she want that she cannot find?
Uncover the unsolved problems of a market that’s searching for a solution and you’ve got a solid branding foundation.
2) Know your niche.
Stone Fox Bride’s first fashion selections were inspired by Molly Guy’s own taste, and many were too edgy for her market. She toned down her curations to meet the needs of her non-traditional, but not off-the-wall clientele.
While it’s tempting to offer the products and services that you want, you may find that no one is buying. When you let your target clients guide your brand and offerings, they’ll steer you towards profitability.
3) Be brazenly bold.
Most wedding professionals take the safe route by blending in with the crowd. The problem with a vanilla message is that your clients can’t tell the difference between you and the competition. Not to mention it’s booooring.
Standing out means taking a stand for what you believe in and alienating a portion of your market in the process. A puritanical bride would be horrified by the phallic candles and erotica carried by Stone Fox Bride, but her risque sisters find it charming.
What are you for? What are you against? Proclaim it from the rooftops for bold branding.
4) Go where no competitor dares to go.
It’s impossible to stand out and blend in at the same time, and that means doing things your competition would never dare. A bride model displaying her “naughty bits” through sheer fabric or making out with another bride? Stone Fox Bride goes there, and then some.
When your competitor’s zig, you need to zag. Stand out to get noticed.
5) Align your brand with your authentic self.
For many wedding professionals, your brand IS you. It’s what you believe in and what you’re passionate about delivering to your clients. You can only find it by aligning with your true self because the inauthentic leaves a stench worse than dog poo on the bottom of your shoe.
The Stone Fox Bride mission: “Our goal is for all brides to walk down the aisle in truth and in style.”
A wedding business infused with your genuine passion draws like-minded couples like a magnet.
You don’t have to like the Stone Fox Bride brand or embrace its philosophy to appreciate the brilliant marketing. It takes guts to go against the grain, but you need shock value to pull this off. Simply narrowing your message to serve the needs of a very specific market is enough.
Of course, if you want to throw in some sex appeal, I won’t complain. 🙂
What do you think?