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"My name is Mickey Wilson and I am a Firestarter!"
I've said this line countless times at networking events and it never fails to get a wide-eyed 'what is a Firestarter?' response. Just what I wanted. So I tell them. After all, I've been practising my 30 second elevator pitch and believe me, I still need every chance I can get to perfect it! Sometimes I get a cheeky 'are you a twisted firestarter?' to which I excitedly reply 'yes! I'm creative with a business twist'. Many try to pigeon-hole me... 'ah so you're a designer?' to which I answer, 'kinda but with added business spark!'.
These days it would be wrong to label myself a designer. Not that there's anything wrong with being a designer, I was one for years. Hell my husband is one, my mother and my brother too! It's clearly in the blood. But I needed a new name for what I do best and how I love to help my clients. And I have this big, crazy, awe-inspiring vision... Firestarter isn't just a new company, it's a whole new category! Let me explain…
I've been working in the design industry since 1993. Many of those years were spent running an agency. We had great clients - Tesco, CIMA, Sodexo to namedrop only a few. But working with large established companies leaves little room for real origination. I craved the creative freedom we had when we worked with entrepreneurs and smaller companies. The thing is I have always been a big concept girl. Addicted to the ‘aha’ moment… the point I realise we have come up with an inspired and ingenious idea which has the power to transform the success of a brand or project. It's like solving the greatest kind of puzzle, and that feeling is unbeatable! Add to that an obsession for differentiation, (you'll hear me talk a lot about authentic differentiation!), our differences are the making of us, they should be hung from the rooftops… etcetera, etcetera. But way too often many of the smaller companies we worked with were confused on HOW to differentiate themselves. They had no idea how they were different or what set them apart and they would often go round in circles trying to find something they could stake claim to. 9 times out of 10 a business owner or entrepreneur will end up skipping this crucial step and go straight to briefing a designer on the tools they need. But without this vital positioning it is impossible to have any real, lasting message to attract customers, and therefore it’s impossible to have any real brand identity!
So I set up Firestarter to fill this gap. We work closely with entrepreneurs, investors and business owners to help them differentiate and position their brands. To identify and align their vision, values and USP. To discover their ideal customer type and then carefully plan how best to engage them. And then we bring all of this together to create one amazing, authentic, highly differentiated brand.
This stuff is right up my street. It keeps me awake at night... in a gooood way! Bridging the divide between business and creative... that's me. That's Firestarter. And that’s our new category!
I'm not sure I'll ever get to say this much at a networking event. And actually that doesn't matter, I can't get enough of hearing other people's stories either, and finding out what they are best at and why they do what they do. And then thinking.... hmmmm, now how would a Firestarter position this company? 😉