Standing Out in a Competitive Market: Strategies for Building a Unique Brand

by | Apr 16, 2024 | Podcast

In this episode of “Between Over & Next,” hosts Holli and Robert sit down with Jill Frechtman to delve into her journey from creating a popular office party treat to becoming the powerhouse behind a nationally admired gourmet brand, Fretzels. The episode promises a blend of personal storytelling, practical advice, and inspiring entrepreneurial insights that are bound to engage listeners from various walks of life.

Known for her innovative approach to marketing and her expertise in branding, Jill articulates the challenges and triumphs of starting and scaling a business, touching on key moments such as receiving overwhelming support and the serendipitous feature on Daily Candy that skyrocketed her sales. She provides a candid look into the evolution of a business, the strategies deployed to thrive in the competitive market, and the bittersweet but necessary decision to close the doors to her venture. As a bonus, listeners will gain an understanding of how personal experiences and professional expertise can pivot to seize new opportunities and guide others.

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In This Episode

00:00 Introduction to the podcast and the featured guest
01:14 Jill’s journey from advertising to starting Fretzels
03:17 The inspiration behind launching Fretzels as a business
05:10 Overcoming initial hesitation and launching Fretzels
06:49 The lack of entrepreneurship education at the time
08:32 Leveraging design and branding background for Fretzels
09:52 Strategies for scaling the business and securing retail partnerships
11:08 The significance of being featured on Daily Candy
12:06 Launching the Fretzels website and the impact of the feature
12:38 Jill’s website gains traction after a feature article is published
13:55 Jill’s product is featured in Real Simple magazine
14:24 Jill’s product is featured on the Today Show and Rachael Ray
15:11 Jill starts selling wholesale to bring in more consistent revenue
16:16 Jill shares her journey of getting her products into Nordstrom
17:01 Jill secures a large order from The Fresh Market
17:39 Jill overcomes challenges in fulfilling large orders
18:27 Jill creates a new product called Fractured Fretzels
19:41 Jill explains why she closed Fretzels in 2017
23:17 Jill leverages her experiences to guide other entrepreneurs
25:04 Robert discusses the value of failure as a stepping stone for entrepreneurs
25:55 Holli asks Jill about balancing meticulous attention to branding with innovative strategies
26:22 Jill emphasizes the importance of customer focus and attention to detail in branding
27:46 Jill shares examples of going above and beyond to create a positive customer experience
29:41 Holli asks Jill if she is happy with her journey and accomplishments with Fretzels
30:08 Jill discusses her current plans, including launching two new businesses
31:21 Jill talks about the challenges of transitioning between careers and finding personal identity outside of work
33:19 Holli reflects on the importance of support and collaboration in pursuing dreams
34:37 Robert and Holli discuss the multifaceted nature of entrepreneurship and the need for diverse skills
37:14 Holli encourages listeners to tap into their unique strengths and surround themselves with complementary talents
38:04 Don’t let obstacles hinder your belief in what can be achieved
38:16 Stay open to opportunities that come your way
38:44 Endings can lead to new beginnings
39:04 Share this episode with others if you found it valuable
39:09 Leave a review to help us create content that resonates
39:16 Find relevant links in the show notes
39:26 Contact us with any questions or comments
39:37 Thank you for joining us on Between Over & Next
39:43 Visit for more inspiration

Key Takeaways

  1. Jill Frechtman shares her story of transitioning from advertising to entrepreneurship, building the Fretzels brand from scratch.
  2. Serendipitous opportunities, such as being featured in Daily Candy, can significantly boost a new business.
  3. Transitioning a product from direct sales to retail requires a rethinking of packaging, branding, and distribution strategy.
  4. The importance of excellent customer service and personal touches in building brand loyalty and standing out in the marketplace.
  5. Closing a business can be a complex emotional journey, yet the experience gained is invaluable for future endeavors and mentoring others.

Jill Frechtman Quotes

“I never invented chocolate-covered pretzels, but nobody was marketing it as a high-end gourmet gift item.”
“I just leaned into what I knew and what was available to me when I started.”
“Say yes and figure it out later.”
“Attention to detail is really important. It’s the little things that are important.”
“People just want to be seen and heard and understood.”
“I certainly knew nothing about the food industry.”

About Jill Frechtman

Jill Frechtman is an award-winning entrepreneur turned brand strategist and trusted startup advisor. Her journey from advertising to entrepreneurship embodies the spirit of resilience and reinvention.

Inspired by the acclaim her homemade chocolate pretzels received at an office holiday, Jill launched Fretzels by Jill in 2005 as an online gift business for just $300. Her creative ingenuity propelled Fretzels into a nationally recognized brand, featured on The Today Show and in The Wall Street Journal. Navigating the challenges of the 2008 recession, Jill pivoted to wholesale distribution and secured retail partnerships with Nordstrom, The Fresh Market, and various independent specialty food shops.

Beyond her entrepreneurial success, she played a pivotal role in expanding Chocolate Works, a second-generation chocolate company, into a national franchise. Her roles at organizations like TIGER 21 and Russell Reynolds Associates further honed her branding, marketing, and community engagement expertise.

Today, as a consultant and educator, Jill shares her insights with aspiring food entrepreneurs, teaching brands to stand out and set themselves up for success. She recently co-founded and launched The Aura Project, a community for women leaders navigating a period of personal reinvention due to a career transition.

As Seen In….
Daily Candy Features Fretzels by Jill

ABC Eyewitness News – Kitchen incubator helping start-up food enterprises

Mentioned in Episode 14

What Should I Do with My Life?: The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question by Po Bronson 

Between Over & Next Podcast Episode 6 From Personal Passions to Profitable Pursuits

Wedding Podcast Press featured mention in Daily Candy – New York Psyched to Get Hitched
Tailor the Super Ego: The fantasy: You slip into the perfect Victorian-inspired dress from Edgardo Bonilla and a cozy cashmere wrap from White+Warren’s new bridal line. Thank your lucky stars for nonpsycho bridesmaids with Zoë Chicco’s new zodiac necklaces and initial rings. Be grateful that BFF Bridal consultants (and those wedding talk podcasts) helped you figure out how to do it all.

Daily Candy 

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