048 Kristen Brown | Brand Differentiation Is More Than Your USP

Kristen BrownNo more clones.  No more being just like everyone in your industry. In episode 48, Kristen Brown shares how you can stand apart from everyone else by properly using a few simple aspects of branding.

Kristen would know; after 15 years, she left corporate America to strike out on her own.  Since creating and branding her own company, she has been featured on top radio and TV shows like “Live! With Kelly and Michael”.  This episode is all about standing out and what is possible when you do.  Join us in this conversation to get Kristen’s perspective on establishing your personal brand.

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Kristen’s Target Audience: Kristen’s target market has two sides:  Fortune 1000 and small businesses who want to help their workforce create positive culture, be more productive, and have a less stressful work environment.  The other group is entrepreneurs who are looking for ways to build business and personal brand, and differentiate themselves through her 15 pt brand format. 

Kristen didn’t start out like a lot of business owners and entrepreneurs, she actually spent her first 15 years of her career in the corporate world. She worked in branding, product development, marketing and product research for Fortune 500 companies and their vendors.

But all of that changed on the day her husband died unexpectedly of a heart attack in his sleep. Their daughter was just ten months old at the time and Kristen felt the combined toll of stress and grief very quickly. She began to explore the world of being a business owner by looking at the impact stress has on a company’s bottom line. When people are stressed, either by a tremendous loss like hers or by simple things like not getting along with co-workers, their productivity suffers and as a result, their company suffers as well.

TWEET THIS: "If you are not open to change, experimentation and failure, you'll be a failure." Kristen Brown

In response to that, Kristen eventually came up with the concept for her company, Happy Hour Effect. She chose the name because people tend to be happy, relaxed and open during happy hours, it’s the effect that experience has on people.

And she created Happy Hour Effect’s philosophy to reflect that. It’s philosophy is to help people create brand buzz, work life fun and more productive workplace culture.

From there, Kristen began the typical journey of finding her clients, marketing to them and discovering what works and what doesn’t work in that marketing process! She says she spent quite awhile going to events, speaking and never landing paying clients of any sort. She was quite frustrated.

TWEET THIS: "You really have to think about your customer and what they are looking for.” Kristen Brown

Until she niched down to her ideal clients and started telling her story…then she really found her groove. At that point things turned around in a matter of 9 months! So much so that she was appearing in the media, like a spot on the national morning show “Live with Kelly and Michael”. And today her level of success and leadership continue, thanks to her openness and her ability to market and connect with her niche.

TWEET THIS: "Put all of your energy towards something, the Universe will align for you." Kristen Brown

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Why does she believe in brand differentiation?
  • Why to never trust that having one “big whale” client is enough.
  • USP: what it is and why she doesn’t believe in it.
  • How to find your dream client.
  • Who do you never pitch when submitting a media pitch?
  • What does she look for when working with clients?
  • Why having just something to “pitch” won’t land you press.
  • How to tell your story and be human with your audience.
TWEET THIS: "People buy from people." Kristen Brown

Practical & Actionable ([21:43]):

For practical and actionable steps, Kristen says to prioritize what’s most important in your work, what’s bringing you money and then create a niche that helps you accomplish that. You can also find out more at her Brand Ignition Bootcamp on her web site at Happy Hour Effect.


To give Kristen a shout out for being on the show, follow her and send her a message: Kristen Brown. Connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter at @genehammett and let me know what you liked about the episode!

Do you have questions about today’s episode!?!

Did you know that you can apply to chat with me by phone? This is a limited time offer to help anyone that is serious about refining their business as well as developing a clear & compelling strategy that will drive them forward. Complete the questions and our team will follow up with you to schedule time for your “Business Breakthrough Session”. These are limited to 30 minutes, completely free and oh, so valuable.  Apply Now!


And lastly, please leave a rating and review for the Leaders in the Trenches on iTunes (or Stitcher) – it will help us in many ways, but it also inspires us to keep doing what we are doing here. Thank you in advance!

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