273 A Brand is Your DNA – Hap Klopp

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Leadership, Team, Influence, Customer Service, Branding

273 A Brand is Your DNA – Hap Klopp


When you talk about your “brand,” what comes to mind? A logo or website is important, but a brand is much more than that. Today’s guest shares how leadership at The North Face created a culture where the DNA of the company truly became the brand. You’ll learn strategies and be inspired by stories that will help you lead with a culture of customer service and quality. 

Mr. Klopp, who holds a BA and MBA from Stanford University, was the founder of The North Face, where he served as President and CEO for over 20 years. During that time The North Face was honored with many awards for being the best managed company in its industry, including being lauded by Business Week magazine for providing one of the best brands and highest quality products of any company in the United States. Mr. Klopp led The North Face to become one of the largest privately held companies in the San Francisco East Bay.

Adventurer and executive, Hap Klopp, has run numerous companies and spoken around the world on branding, adventuring, leadership, and entrepreneurship. Among other achievements, he is credited with establishing the backpacking industry through the development of The North Face. After selling his highly successful company, he began an international management consulting firm, HK Consulting, with offices in Berkeley, CA and Tokyo, Japan. 

He is the author of the highly acclaimed book on leadership: Conquering the North Face: An Adventure in Leadership, as well as a recently released best-selling book on business in Silicon Valley entitled Almost: 12 Electric Months Chasing a Silicon Valley Dream. Mr. Klopp is a Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Hult University and also lectures at various graduate business schools including Stanford, the University of California, Carnegie Mellon, and the University of San Francisco.

We’ll explore: 

  • Why manipulation doesn’t work in leadership.
  • A story of remarkable customer service from The North Face.
  • How Hap came to understand his leadership skills.
  • Why a leader doesn’t need to be the smartest person in the room.
  • What a “brand” is: the DNA of the company.
  • The power of storytelling in leadership.
  • How great leaders can stay great leaders.
  • Projects Hap is working on now.

Interview Links

Conquering the North Face by Hap Klopp

Connect with Hap on Facebook

Connect with Hap on LinkedIn

Follow Hap on Twitter


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