From shoemaker to strong brand: “Schuh-Wunscherfüllerin” Kirstin Hennemann

17. Jan 2020

Strong brand Kirstin Hennemann

About the person

Kirstin Hennemann completed the development work for her brand in 2015. Since then, she has moved her Berlin custom shoemaking business to larger premises. Fortunately, the familiar atmosphere of the old store has taken her to Prenzlauer Berg. After several television appearances and media exposure, her shoes went on world tour for the first time in 2018. In this interview, she reveals how she specifically works with her brand in practice and what brand positioning as a personality has brought her to the bottom line.

I think I’ve been much more intentional about using what makes me and my custom shoemaking since then.

Kirstin Hennemann

You defined your personality brand in 2015. What did you do with it?

The question is: What has it done to me? I think I’ve been much more intentional about using what makes me and my custom shoemaking since then. When I look at the guiding principles today that we developed together, sometimes I still think, “Is that really you?” But the next moment I realize that I can stand by my strengths. Yes, that’s me.

You see yourself as THE shoe wish granter. How do you actually live that?

I remain eager to experiment. And I try to make decisions in the best interests of my client, even beyond my own ideological boundaries. For example, I don’t wear pumps, but if someone wants to, why not?

I think about all decisions: Is this a good fit for me?

I try – perhaps unlike other shoemakers – to emphasize less the traditional. I believe that there should be no limits to individuality.

How do you leverage your brand for external exposure?

I have completely changed the website. In this, the guidelines that have emerged from my identity are a great help to me. You’re constantly presenting yourself somewhere somehow.

Before appearing on TV, I took a quick look at my brand and the individual building blocks beforehand. That’s why it’s totally good to have a clear direction

When I present the custom shoemaker, I now always use the motto: “Unique pieces handmade in Berlin”. And I now wear my trademark rooster much more confidently on the outside. It is sewn into each shoe. There have even been customers who have asked if they could have the tap on the outside of the shoe.

What has professional brand development brought you in concrete terms?

That was very clarifying for me.

I think I dare more. We have increased our prices significantly. Since then, we have simply been able to convey the value better. I think it’s a good thing that I did. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to do it that way.

What advice would you give to someone who also wants to become a brand in an authentic way?

It takes someone to hold a mirror up to you. If you can somehow afford it, you should get support. And if not, then still. And he or she should definitely wear good shoes on the way to the brand.

The interview with Kirstin Hennemann was conducted by Christopher Spall.

The detailed development story of Kirstin Hennemann can be found in the book “Personal Branding – What makes people strong brands” by Christopher Spall.

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