THE THOUGHTFUL ENTREPRENEUR PODCAST
Are you tired of feeling like another business in a sea of competitors? Do you want to stand out and make a meaningful impact in your industry? Look no further than Meg Prejzner, founder, and CEO of Hackett Brand Consulting.
Meg shared her insights on purpose-driven branding and marketing. For Meg, branding goes beyond just logos and colors. It's about understanding your brand's story, vision, and mission. It's about having a north star, a guiding principle that helps streamline decision-making and align you with your purpose.
Meg encourages individuals and businesses to show up as their whole human selves and let their personalities shine through in their marketing output. It's about infusing your values and purpose into everything you do and making difficult decisions to stay true to them, even if it means letting go of some clients and revenue.
At Hackett Brand Consulting, Meg and her team specialize in helping emerging and challenger brands on the cusp of change, whether they need a brand refresh or are breaking into a new market. Their services include monthly or quarterly consultations, retainer services, PR, content marketing, social media, graphic design, creative services, and paid media.
About Megan Prejzner:
Meg is an entrepreneur, mindset coach and brand builder who has worked with more than 100 brands across a dozen industries to grow their business. She is an award-winning strategist and the CEO and Founder of Hackett Brand Consulting, a digital agency for purpose-driven brands, and MegPrez.com, where she helps entrepreneurs find their purpose, be an unshakeable force for good in the world, and turn their passion into profits.
About Hackett Brand Consulting:
They are a leading marketing and brand consultancy focusing on social good. Specializing in brand strategy and marketing roadmaps, they support businesses at all stages, from startups to well-established brands poised for their next growth phase.
Their expertise fosters purpose-driven, social-impact brands, driving growth at the intersection of brand and marketing. Guided by a conviction that their work can shape the future, they partner with organizations advocating for local communities and social change. Their ultimate goal is to build marketing programs that drive business results and make a positive global impact, enhancing the satisfaction derived from their work.
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Links Mentioned in this Episode:
Want to learn more? Check out Hackett Brand Consulting website at
Check out Hackett Brand Consulting on LinkedIn at
Check out Megan Prejzner on LinkedIn at
Check out Megan Prejzner on Instagram at
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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey, there thoughtful listener, would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than 10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence.com and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget, the Thoughtful Entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence.com and click on podcast. We'd love to have you with us right now. It's Meg Prejzner. Meg, you are the founder and c e o of Hackett Brand Consulting. You're found on the web at Hackett Brand Consulting. That's Hackett with two t's brand consulting.com, and then your personal website, meg pres.com. And that's m e G p r e z.com. To our friend that's listening to our conversation, just click around, you'll find where you, we have show notes, we have direct links, Meg, to both of your websites. Thank you so much for being here.
Megan (00:01:24) - Yeah, thanks from so much for having me. I always appreciate a great conversation around marketing, branding and all of that.
Josh (00:01:30) - Ah-huh. Now you are in the Denver area, and you've been at the helm of Hackett Brand Consulting for over five years, which you launched, and you've worked with a number of great brands. Would you mind just kind of giving us an overview of your work with Hackett?
Megan (00:01:44) - Yeah, so I started Hackett Brand Consulting in 2018 and really was on the heels of a corporate marketing career, but I knew I wanted to do something different, heart-centered that I just wasn't getting in that earlier stage of my career. So when I started Hackett, I really wanted to work with brands that care, brands that gave back in some way. And so for some people that means giving back through donations. Other people means our whole brand is based around purpose and values-based marketing. And really my background is in PR marketing. I was doing it for more than a decade before I started Hackett. So it just felt like a natural extension to go and do that. And they started Hackett as a remote company, where all the people we work with are across the United States and a hundred percent digital. So everybody, you know, hops on the zoom, the slack.
Megan (00:02:31) - So in 2020 when everybody had to go remote and digital, we were really set up nicely cuz all of our systems were already in place. And we've worked with a number of really great brands. Everybody from Fortune 50 companies like Micron, s a p, Intel to Startups. We work with some local retailers out here in Denver where we're based. And everybody in between e-commerce brands, education industry, Floyd's 99 barbershop, a cannabis franchise. And so it kind of really runs the gamut, right? We, I've worked personally with more than a hundred brands, more than a does in industries, and I love the breadth and depth that that brings to marketing and the different ideas it can bring to people.
Josh (00:03:16) - Yeah. What is the, what are some of the commonalities that you found or what would better way of asking, you know, what is kind of the difference between working with a client or working with a brand where like there's mission purpose, like they are leading with their mission purpose values, they are committed to making impact in the world, or giving back in some way. Like what do you notice? Like if they're truly leading in that way, what is it like to work with them versus someone's like, whoa, we're just trying to improve our quarterly share earnings for our investors? . Yeah,
Megan (00:03:46) - , you know, I think it's twofold. Number one is definitely the people. And so without fail, we actually right now are working with two clients that have a policy that is like no bad person. It's policy. And I think that's fantastic, right? Because it really speaks to the culture of the organization, the fact that they care and it breeds through. And the fact that we have two that are saying the exact same thing unbeknownst to one another is amazing. The other piece is that they have a North star without fail. Whenever we work with brands that have a mission or values-based organizations, or sometimes we help established businesses turn themselves into brands that have missions, right? Maybe they started this thing and they're like, holy cow, my business is taking off, but I want to do something more, give more. Is there's this north star that they are charging towards that they fall back on. And it allows them to really weight the decisions that they make as an organization against their core purpose or their core mission. And it, it kind of keeps you streamlined towards what you're doing, like across the board. Like when they make decisions as a business among hiring, everything can be run through that filter and it helps streamline that for them.
Josh (00:04:59) - Yeah. Meg, the, the types of work that you've done. How do you grow and how do you, let me ask you this. How did you launch a branding company and where did your clients come from? Initially,
Megan (00:05:15) - Yeah. Even my background in marketing still, because I had been doing it for 10 years,
Josh (00:05:22) - Can eat your own dog food, probably Rosa.
Megan (00:05:24) - I was lucky enough to have a lot of referrals coming my way. Actually, one of the clients, one of my, actually my first client, and we still work with them today, and like they're a wedding dress shop here in Arvada, Colorado. I actually worked with them in my corporate career. They went on to buy a wedding dress shop, and then when they were needing marketing, somebody referred them my way. And so really about 90% of our business has come from referral referral. A lot of repeat referrals come our way. And then the rest is, you know, the traditional business development of making sure that you're getting out there and talking to people and growing your business by those, you know, but also knowing when to say no. So an interesting story that not a lot of people know about is about a year and a half ago, I had made the decision to give up 50% of my revenue of my business because we had just grown through business development that wasn't really aligning with that values purpose-driven marketing. And I made a really hard decision to forego about 50% of our revenue, not renew retainers, not, I would let go of some clients in some instances and to bet again on myself that I can build this up the right way with the right people. Mm-hmm. and it worked out really well. And in doing that, it's given me even a north star to be, to vet against the partners that we work with too. Yeah.
Josh (00:06:46) - Yeah. I can tell you, and, and I've talked to a lot of leaders who, who had to make difficult, difficult choices. Obviously I always hear the good versions of the story where it turns out that this is, this was a good choice, was that history is written by the winners. But, you know, we went through that at at 1.2 where, you know, my ego said, well, but this is what I am, this is who I, you know, but yet, you know, everything was indicating that there was a better opportunity for us and it was scary to let go of income or let go of clients or team members. But if that's constantly coming up in a way where it feels out of alignment, yeah, I think, you know, you kind of experienced what I felt and it's like ultimately I felt like it was holding me back. Yeah. We made the hard decision and it turned out to be absolutely the best thing. I a matter of fact, I shudder to think if I had not made that choice today, what life would be like. Yeah. I don't think we'd be having this conversation .
Megan (00:07:44) - Well, I feel like at some point when you're making this decision and, and for people who are listening too, like if you're a business or a brand and you're, you're wondering where to pivot is, I'm always gonna lean into the factor of like leaning with the heart because that's your guiding light, right? And so you said something about being misaligned or making sure that it's in alignment. And for me that's really true. And if at any point that's not resonating, you're either you're gonna burn out as the c e o and the founder entrepreneur. So entrepreneur or your team. Well, we were getting a lot of rif from the team and, and you know, they're not gonna come to you as a leader and say it directly, but you, if you have a pulse and regular one-on-one check-ins, you can feel that, right? Um, and so making a conscious decision, you know, you, you run the risk of like, holy moly, the financial factor of that. Um, of course there's a lot of other things that go into it, but for me it really wasn't a risk at all because to your point, had I not made that decision, I don't know if we would be here because you're just so misaligned and then that's even riskier than taking a step back to build on a foundation that's really, really settled and grounded versus one that's kind of shaky for you.
Josh (00:08:57) - Yeah. Meg, what does a brand advisor do? So if a company's like, yeah, does that mean they're just gonna redesign my logo or my colors or what, what's included in that?
Megan (00:09:08) - Yeah, I love that, because that's what a lot of people think, right? Like they're like a logo, but a brand advisor. And what our team does is we come in and we scrape from the beginning, right? We get back o oftentimes we sit with the founders, the CEOs themselves, and we say, okay, why did we start this concept? And we, we wanna hear the good, bad, the ugly. Um, it's all privileged and, you know, and das and all of that. But we listen for the in between the color commentary that you don't necessarily get if you just started a business and you don't know how to tell that story. And so we go back and we lay the foundation, um, for building a brand. It's almost like, if you built a house but now you wanna build a skyscraper, we're helping you build the foundation for the skyscraper, which is different than the foundation needed for a house.
Megan (00:09:56) - And so that entails really, you know, finding your story, finding your vision for the future, your mission in that, how and why you're gonna do it. And then we start to put together the pillar. So if we now know where it is that we wanna go and it's values-based, purpose-driven, then we can align, you know, our customers accordingly, our team accordingly, our values accordingly. And when we build these brands, we do really layer all of those elements. And last is the colors, and the last is the logo and the icons. And really that's all driven from the idea that if you came to me and said you wanted to be an environmental sustainable brand, but for luxury company and give back and make sure we're protecting the future of the environment, that is gonna be a completely different color logo experience than if you came to me and said, Hey, you know, I know we're in environmental outdoors brands, but really we're focused on giving back to children and children's hospitals because the founder has this beautiful story of overcoming cancer or something like that.
Megan (00:11:03) - The experience is so different that the color, the visual representation is last and it's built on the foundation of the stories, the mission, the values, et cetera. Maybe in the house example, right? You're laying a foundation, you're setting the bricks, you're doing the drywall, the last thing you do is hang the hang the pictures choose the color of the paint. Yeah, yeah. And the exteriors, right? So you wanna make sure that like the bones are there before you slap on the paint. Otherwise you're gonna see like the house fall over one bad breath. And
Josh (00:11:39) - Meg, I thought you, I think you mentioned this and it's definitely on your website, but you know, when we think about branding and great branding and, and this idea of what is your personality, right? And then so, you know, how much personality are you sharing in a world that might be, just, you know, we think about like output that comes from chat, G p T, it's not filled with personality. Yeah. And yet human to human interaction. Like if you and I, you know, were to grab coffee or something like that, like after a while, like we're each going to sense each other's unique and distinct personalities. And I think, like when I think of like a really great brand person, generally, they are usually not always with usually pushing for, no, your website and everything is way too generic. Give it more personality. No more,
Megan (00:12:34) - More and just
Josh (00:12:35) - Go all in on pers like, that's my impression. Am am I wrong? Or like, what, what's your thought on that? No,
Megan (00:12:41) - I think you're, I think you're spot on. You know, your website, well, the, I'll say like, the output of marketing becomes the, the output of who you are. Mm-hmm. . And you want that personality to come through, right? Otherwise you're just gonna, people are gonna feel that it's kind of like copycat or you're looking nice, somebody else, or you're not gonna be authentic. Now how you tell that story or when you tell that story is up to you. But like, one of the things that actually I'm working on with personal branding and people I work with in that space is really taking up space and owning yourself as a whole human. And so I think a lot of times, and, and I am guilty of this earlier in my career, you have to be polished and wear suits and, and be the meg, the marketer in this moment.
Megan (00:13:26) - But forget about Meg the hiker, Meg, the mom, , you know, all these. But to me, I'm like, how can you possibly do that if you're up all night with a toddler who's sick and then you're supposed to go on a trip because you love traveling and you ha you know, you have all these parts of you and we are whole humans. And so I think letting your personality show, letting those elements come out is super, super important. Definitely if you have a personal brand, but you can see this in if you're building a brand through your business as well. Right. So on my website you've mentioned I bring in the mountains, and that's because I live here in Colorado and that's a huge part of my heart and soul. But I work with a brand that's in the education space, and one of the beautiful things that they do is, they help teachers, but she was a former teacher. And so you can see that in the, what they write, in the content they create. She, she goes to marches when teachers have marches even though she is leading a business now. And so you see that personality come through in different ways, but, oh man, I could talk about that for hours, but I am spot on with you take up space, show up as a whole human Yeah. In all parts of you. And I think that's like when the best leadership, the best brands come to be.
Josh (00:14:43) - Yeah. I wanna ask you this question. How is, how does Colorado resonate with you? Your personal brand? Like who you are, who Meg is
Megan (00:14:52) - Y the,
Josh (00:14:53) - Because I know you're a fan of my daughter lives in Colorado as well. Like we go out there all the time. It's definitely got a vibe. Yeah.
Megan (00:15:00) - Yeah. It's you know, for me it's really instrumental in the success that I've had. So I'm from Chicago originally and if you know people from Chicago, they are tried and to like love that city, born and raised, like till the end. And I'm no different, right? And when I was moving to Colorado, people thought like, really, like you, you're a Chicago person. Mm-hmm. But for me, when I moved to Colorado, I found that it really opened the doors to this new way of living and a new life for me, new people. And I could reinvent and rewrite my story in a way. And so I went from like taking trains and going downtown Chicago from a very young age to learning to snowboard at 28 years old. Which lots of bumps and bruises, learning to hike, climb fourteeners.
Megan (00:15:47) - And it's, it subsequently, you know, kind of led to really great career opportunities out here. Cause I was moving from a big city to a smaller city. And then ultimately my business here, right? Cuz I started to travel when I moved to Denver. And it was a bungee jumping excursion in New Zealand that led me to start my business of all things. And so I think for me, you see that come through and I'll often make references to like hiking mountains or if you're on a path or a trail, but it's just because it's really innate to how I spend my time when I'm not sitting in front of a computer. And it's a really great analogy for me that I think a lot of people can resonate with. Even if you're not a hiker, you know, the metaphor of, you know, climbing a mountain is there mm-hmm. .
Josh (00:16:35) - Yeah. Meg, who should be reaching out to either you through your personal website, meg perez.com or who should be working with Hackett? And again, Hackett's website is hackett brand consulting.com.
Megan (00:16:48) - Yeah. So we work with everybody from solopreneurs to established brands. Fortune 15, I kind of mentioned that earlier, but it's these brands who are on the verge of change. If you're, whether you're an established brand who needs to wanna undergo a brand refreshed, or you're an emerging and challenger brand breaking into a market or your personal brand and you wanna break into it really for us it's emerging and challenger brands who are on that cus of change and we help you propel into that next stage for you.
Josh (00:17:19) - Yeah. And when somebody goes to your website, what would you recommend they do?
Megan (00:17:24) - Yeah, so if you're go to Hackett Brand Consulting dot com, take a look around cuz we offer marketing and brand consultants. So I have a whole team of consultants that can support monthly, quarterly, just if you wanna hop on a call and bounce ideas around all the way through to regular retainer services. We help with PR, content marketing and social media primarily. And then by extension of that we have graphic design, creative services, and paid media and really anywhere in between. So if you're just starting out and you want to bounce ideas, you need a consultant or want a brand refresh, we're on that realm. If you're looking for strategic direction with marketing, we can help with that. And then of course, the services that naturally fall out of that. I have a whole team of people who can help, that are very talented, that really are the backbone of everything that I do and I'm so grateful for them. Yeah.
Josh (00:18:14) - Meg Prejzner, again, your website's one last time. Meg perez.com, the p r e z.com. nd of course hackett brand consulting.com. Meg, really appreciate the conversation. Thank you so much. And thank you for inspiring. Again, more personality in branding. I think that's one of my biggest takeaways from here is just own it , you know? Yeah. be who be unabashedly who you are because that is attractive. That is, you know, that's you know, it's interesting like when I catch up with people a and you know, they're not commenting on my marketing copy on my website, they're commenting on, you know, me posting pictures from Disney World or Yeah. You know, me taking a picture with Bucky from Bucky's or something like that. You know, it's like, it's those yeah. Personality things that those, those kind of like those things that we just have in common or that we like and, and we love seeing people geek out on the things that they love too, in a non-salesy just personality way. And so why not, you know, infuse that into who you are and who you are professionally as well. So me, I appreciate great conversation. Thank you.
Megan (00:19:24) - Yeah, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
Josh (00:19:32) - Thanks for listening to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my influence.com/guest. If you're a listener, I'd love to shout out your business to our whole audience for free. You can do that by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or join our listener Facebook group. Just search for the Thoughtful Entrepreneur in Facebook. I'd love even if you just stop by to say hi, I'd love to meet you. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. We love our community who listens and shares our program every day. Together we are empowering one another as thoughtful entrepreneurs. Hit subscribe so that tomorrow morning, that's right, seven days a week, you are going to be inspired and motivated to succeed. I promise to bring positivity and inspiration to you for around 15 minutes each day. Thanks for listening, and thank you for being a part of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur movement.