Telling A Brand’s Story - Kristen Freeland - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 158

Joining the show this week is an award-winning brand innovator who is responsible for the design and experiences across most of IHGs family of brands. Please welcome to the show A Director of Design Strategies at IHG, Kristen Freeland!

Kristen joins Host Dan Ryan to dive into the nuances of telling stories. Kristen shares the importance of mentorship programs, the best ways to get customer feedback, and the need to cater to different audiences. 

  • Hospitality is all about telling a story. Regardless if you are creating a new story, or breathing life into an old one, the intent is to tell a story and deliver it successfully to your guests. 
  • To effectively cater to your audience, first understand their needs by gathering insights, and then develop and test solutions. Ensure your projects are guided by clear, focused briefs that align with your success metrics to avoid losing direction.
  • To better understand customer preferences, engage directly with your target audience to gather valuable insights. Real-life dialogue and firsthand observation are crucial in confirming whether your strategy and design efforts meet customer needs.
  • Seek opportunities where you can work closely with industry leaders and immerse yourself in real-world business environments that aren't taught in college. The hands-on experience gained from these situations will boost your professional courage.
  • Nurturing and maintaining relationships is crucial in hospitality, as they form the foundation of your professional network. Make it a priority to stay connected, meet new people, and keep learning about new things to thrive in the hospitality industry. 
  • In the strategy world, continual innovation prevents work from feeling monotonous and keeps things exciting. Embrace the idea that nothing is off the table, as new challenges constantly emerge once solutions are found.

Quote of the Show:
  • “When your target guests and target audience are telling you, ‘Hey, there's other ways that you could appeal to me.’ It's important that we listen to that and that we evolve with them.” - Kristen Freeland


Shout Outs:

Ways to Tune In: 

Creators and Guests

Dan Ryan
Dan Ryan
Host of Defining Hospitality
Telling A Brand’s Story - Kristen Freeland - Defining Hospitality - Episode # 158
Broadcast by