Kikki.K was founded in 2001, when Kristina Karlsson decided to set up her home office. She found the available stationery and organization solutions to be woefully lacking. Designing her own stylish and practical products, she conducted focus groups to make sure there was a demand for these products. She received an overwhelmingly positive response and launched her brand.
Today, Kikki.K has stores in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and the UK and their online stores ships to over 140 countries. They reached an estimated $60 million in sales last year, and they’re looking to expand globally.
How have they harnessed the power of word-of-mouth to get here?
1. A rich in-store experience people love – award-winning decor and an invitation to browse and an online store with the same principles.
kikki.K stores are carefully designed to reflect the brand’s commitment to organisation and Scandinavian design principles. For people like Kristina who love their stationery, it’s a serious and emotional affair.
As co-founder Paul Lacy said,
“There is a lot of emotion in stationery for consumers. Whether it’s about the fresh school year… the need to be organised, the power and freedom you feel when you’ve got clarity and order. They’re fairly powerful emotions in there, so it’s really fun to play with a brand in that space because there is so much emotion to tap into.”
The brand’s purpose, “Dream. Do. Enjoy. Share.” is up on the wall in every store. Collections around the store are framed by moodboards, with sketches, photos and text. It encourages customers to imagine how products can be used to improve their own lives in a playful way.
Kikki.K has also been named “Employer of the Year” and been recognised by Business Review as one of the “Best Places to Work” 4 times since 2012. Cheerful and friendly employees contribute to the great in-store experience, quick to assist you with anything you need and sharing their own favourite products.
When kikki.K decided to take their store online, they were committed to ensuring the in-store brand experience translated well online. The kikki.K website is designed to replicate the store experience – it’s easy to find what you’re looking for, while encouraging you to stick around and browse. Online orders are delivered in gorgeous packaging, with a thank you note.
2. Give your community something to talk about – a new range every three weeks!
Kikki.K releases over 20 ranges a year. That’s at least one every three weeks! Christmas, Valentine’s, stationery, bags, home accessories, glassware… they have it all. It’s an easy way to keep your customers coming back and talking about you.
And talk they do! Kikki.K has hundreds of thousands of avid fans. kikki.K has over 260k followers on Instagram, compared to competitor Filofax’s 24,000. They actively engage with fans, with frequent posts, Kristina’s personal posts, and reposting images showing how fans use their products. They’re active on YouTube, with videos showing their products close-up. They have over 30 boards on Pinterest, ranging from workspace inspiration to free downloadables.
3. Collaborations with popular authors – Gretchen Rubin, Arianna Huffington and more
kikki.K also frequently releases product lines that are collaborations with other designers and authors.
For example, they sell specially designed editions of Gretchen Rubin’s bestsellers “The Happiness Project’ and “Better Than Before” and Arianna Huffington’s “Thrive” along with journals, quote cards and habit trackers.
4. Workshops where people can meet and learn to be more organized
Last night I attended a Kikki.K workshop, and it was the most gorgeous night! ? It was such an intimate setting with dips and drinks to enjoy ? while we learnt how to be more organised ? I got so much from the planner workshop and I know I will definitely be attending more of their workshops in the future! ???? #kikkiKLove
Their more popular stores also invite customers to hang out and meet like-minded people, through workshops. Personal consultants run workshops on Organisation, Happiness, Goals, Mindfulness, Planner, Habits and DIY.
For those living in countries with no stores, you can even participate through Skype! These workshops invite word-of-mouth sharing (and spending!) as customers discover tools that can improve their lives.
5. Sharing user-generated content with everyone else
When kikki.K first launched their website, they started getting “bombed with online orders from around the world”.
They discovered that there was a highly active “planner community” with thousands of people sharing their planners on YouTube. There are videos of people unboxing their packages, setting up their planners and even weekly plan-along videos! Today, there are over 100,000 results for kikki.K on YouTube.
They encourage more posts with hashtags and contests on Instagram and Facebook. Their blog features posts like “How to take better Instagram photos” and Diary Challenges.