Catherine Kaputa

Catherine Kaputa BrandCatherine Kaputa is a brand strategist, speaker, author and founder of SelfBrand, a New York City-based branding company. From Madison Avenue to Wall Street to the halls of academe, Catherine Kaputa perfected her ability to market products, places, and companies. She first learned brand strategy from Al Ries and Jack Trout at Trout & Ries Advertising, and then led the award-winning “I Love NY” campaign at Wells, Rich, Greene. For over ten years she was SVP, Director of Advertising and Community Affairs at Citi Smith Barney, and she developed and taught a branding course at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Yet Catherine came to appreciate that one of the most important applications for branding is not for products — it’s for individuals to define and own their career identity and create their own performance success. That’s why Catherine wrote the award-winning book, You Are a BRAND! How Smart People Brand Themselves for Business Success, winner of the Ben Franklin award for Best Career Book 2007, a bronze IPPY award and is a Top 10 Business Book in China.. In addition to personal branding, Catherine also speaks on women’s leadership, the topic of her book, The Female Brand, Using the Female Mindset to Succeed in Business (May, 2009). Her new book on branding building and innovation is Breakthrough Branding: How Smart Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs Transform Small Ideas Into Big Brands.

Catherine has spoken at a wide range of organizations as part of professional development and motivational meetings, sales and client meetings, small business and branding meetings, and women’s programs. She has been featured on CNN, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fortune, CNN Money, USA Today, The Financial Times and The London Observer. Her speaking clients include PepsiCo, Microsoft, Intel, UBS, AT&T, Dow Jones, Unilever, Marsh, ADP, KeyBank, Whirlpool, BNY Mellon, Harvard University, Northwestern University, Symphony IRI, Time Warner, and The Wall Street Journal. Catherine has a B.A. from Northwestern University, a MA from The University of Washington and she was a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard University.

breakthrough brandingPrograms

You Are a Brand: Brand Yourself for Success

Corporate icons, star athletes, and Hollywood celebrities all have what it takes to be in control and in demand — a unique brand. Personal branding can be subtle or grating, up-to-date or out-of-date, but if you don’t participate, you will be left behind. After all, if you don’t brand yourself, other people will. And no doubt, they won’t brand you the way you want to be branded.  Through vivid case study examples, you will learn how to use brand strategies and principles from the commercial world of brands. You’ll learn the secrets of developing a strong, positive “visual identity” for yourself, how to communicate a memorable “verbal identity” through communication style, story, and a compelling 60-second personal commercial or Elevator Speech. In short, you will learn how to brand and market your most important product — Brand You.

Breakthrough Branding:  How Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs Grow an Idea into a Big Brand

Branding is not a name or logo design. It is everything you do to market the real, tangible value that your business offers. It means thinking of brand not only in terms of customer interaction, but also in terms of internal company brand and leveraging Brand You as the business owner.This talk will bring branding to life though vivid case study examples that relate to you and your business. You will learn the multi-step branding process – ideas and tips that can move your business forward. You’ll learn the secrets of developing a strong “visual identity” and a powerful “verbal identity” for your business and yourself. You’ll learn new ideas for creating visibility and a “branded experience” and how to expand your community of customers through digital channels.

Leadership Brand: Brand Yourself as a Leader

While many believe that leaders are born, not made, in fact, we can all learn how to be effective leaders. This talk or workshop will cover the three key imperatives that all leaders should master. It will also introduce leadership brand strategies from the commercial world of brands that people can use to create a path to leadership and to lead and influence others. Through vivid case study examples, you will learn how to brand yourself as a leader.

What’s Your Pitch?  Speaking to Persuade

Many of us never took a course in persuasion. Yet the ability to pitch ourselves, our ideas and our company’s products and services, negotiate a good deal for ourselves or our company, and persuade others impacts us every day in business. This talk will cover how to structure the right pitch for the target person,

how to figure out their personality profile and hidden agenda, and how to persuade your clients using the art of story and other branding techniques.

Brand Strategy: Competitively Positioning Your Company, Product or Service

Strategy is the brains of branding. This talk/workshop will introduce the 13 most common positioning strategies used by marketers or innovators such as positioning your brand as the Leader, a Maverick, a Cheapener, having a superior Attribute, a Magic Ingredient, Special Process, and others. You’ll learn how to find the best competitive positioning for your brand to succeed in the marketplace through vivid case study examples.


“Catherine Kaputa came in like a whirlwind of fresh ideas that turned my thinking about my brand  upside down! She gave me the ideas and motivation to define and differentiate my personal brand, to think bigger about myself and talents, and the tactics to bring maximum benefit to me and the company I work for.” Elizabeth Hitchcock, Sales Executive, Microsoft

“Your brand can make you a star in the business world – or break you. That’s why Catherine Kaputa and her ideas on personal branding can make such a difference. Her speaking event at PepsiCo was very well received. She gives those who attend her talks, practical and strategic steps to achieving what they once saw as an impossible dream.”
Beverly Tarulli, VP Organizational Development, PepsiCo

“Catherine’s advice is not to be ignored. I read her book a year ago and was fortunate to be able to get her as a speaker at one of our events. Big impact and advice. Have her speak to your group… you won’t regret it.”   Lisa Watts, Senior Technologist, Intel

“We are receiving rave reviews on your session with us. I’m starting a blog on the notes taken by several members. They were very impressed with you and the need to brand ourselves..”  Executive, AT&T

“Thank you again for bringing your knowledge and advice to Cardinal Health with your personal branding session two weeks ago. We have had phenomenal feedback on the event; it has been the most highly attended of the year and we are getting numerous emails of thanks from members!”  VP, Cardinal Health

“Thank you so much for your world class presentation on personal branding. I have attended many keynote presentations and have never before left with so many concrete steps to improve performance and with such an overwhelming sense of empowerment. This is exactly the right message we needed to hear.”  Executive, Whirlpool

“Thank you again for joining us last night as our featured WEBB guest speaker..I really enjoyed seeing you bring even more life to the stories and examples portrayed throughout your book.  We had over 120 attendees and the feedback has been overwhelming positive.   A number of the women expressed an interest in reaching out to you directly to assist with either their corporate initiatives or personal branding goals.”  Melissa Carmichael, Managing Director, Marsh

“Everyone loved the presentation. You did a great job motivating our high potential women to achieve great things. It was witty with great stories. It really got the group talking about personal and business goals.” Kathie De Chirico, VP, Dow Jones

“Catherine’s talk was passionate, insightful and, most important, relevant to our women sales professionals. She offered provocative insights about how they can nurture their strengths and aptitudes to empower themselves for increased success. We’d love to have her back at another event.” Theresa, Russel, Group VP, ADP


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