Be In Bakersfield is a grassroots movement + nonprofit that shares the interesting, creative and captivating side of Bakersfield.
As founding members, we helped build a marketing campaign turned movement to rally around the city we call home. From brand identity to creative direction to event planning, Purveyor House’s development of Be In Bakersfield is at the helm of changing the conversation in Bakersfield.
Situation + Strategy
Bakersfield’s lack of economic diversity + low number of educated professionals make it seem unattractive to the burgeoning creative class. Limited marketing efforts put us at competitive disadvantage when new residents contemplate moving here. When that is paired with a perception of low quality of life by outsiders + a lack of civic pride by residents, the conversation tends to be negative.
Our team used to think that Bakersfield wasn’t where we wanted to be because of its lack of developed creative business opportunities + overall poor perception. We were planning to move to a cool city in a few years because we didn’t see what was right in front of us.
Instead of living in that negative mindset, we chose to start a business in this seemingly “uncreative” town. To our delight, it’s working. There is a tremendous need here for new thoughts, innovative businesses and a positive conversation. It all starts with us residents.
Back in early 2017, we were brought into talks with folks who believe the same things. It was time to build a platform to share what we knew to be true—Bakersfield is a great place to live, work + enjoy.
Plan + Implementation
We developed a brand behind the Be In Bakersfield movement, defining the mission, vision + story. Our strategy was to build a marketing campaign to share the experiences we all have—triumph, pushbacks, success, challenges + excitement.
We wanted Be In Bakersfield’s website and social media to be a place of connection + positive conversation, but we also wanted it to be real. It's ok that we have things to work on here in town. That means there are opportunities for growth.
Our plan was simple—create a brand around what we know Bakersfield to be. Be In Bakersfield is a movement that shares the interesting, creative + captivating side of Bakersfield.
Our team has worked tirelessly to capture personal accounts on film and in writing, asking our community to share their vision for the city by filling in the blank: “Be ________ in Bakersfield.” We launched a website, social media presence, events + an ambassador program to connect potential residents to our community.
Results + Transformation
Be In Bakersfield has moved from a marketing campaign to a movement. We see cars with the BKFLD bumper sticker driving around town. We see people posting about their hopes + dreams for their city. Our team is asked to share about this movement to high school students in hopes they come back to town after college or consider staying in town to attend our great university or community college.
One special success we saw was our inaugural event, which happened to be in the middle of summer. The heat didn’t seem to bother many—the event sold out in a few weeks, and over 100 residents joined together to share their Bakersfield stories. It was a time of connection + fun that supercharged the conversation through a thoughtful activity.
We have also leveraged this marketing campaign to partner with financial sponsors in the industries in Bakersfield that benefit from the creative class. These businesses are the ones who hire + retain talented people, and they have a heart for sharing their story. We see this platform as a way to come alongside Bakersfield businesses in their own marketing efforts.
From where we started to where we are today, it’s an inspiring story. We set out to share our perspective + came to find out we weren’t alone. Our community has supported us and, most importantly, shifted the conversation from “we have to be in Bakersfield,” to “we GET to be in Bakersfield.”
We are excited to continue developing this project as we collaborate with even more partners to share this version of Bakersfield. We like to think we’re re-branding this city + think we’re on to something quite big!
BE IN BAKERSFIELD