Personal Branding Strategist, Speaker and Author
From Madison Avenue to Wall Street to the halls of academe to founding a New York City-based brand strategy company, Catherine Kaputa’s experience has taught her how to brand products, services and herself. Now, Catherine shows others how to apply the principles and strategies from the commercial world of brands to your most important product - You.
Catherine is the author of the award-winning 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 medal in the IPPY awards and a finalist for 2007 career book in Foreword magazine. Her book, The Female Brand: The Advantage of the Female Mindset in Career Success is on women and success. Her latest book, Breakthrough Branding, targets entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs on how to transform a small idea into a big brand through branding. As SVP, Director of Advertising and Community Affairs at Citigroup Smith Barney, she was responsible for world-wide branding and advertising at well-known financial services giant for over ten years. Her role included overseeing all advertising: corporate image, wealth management, investment banking, and internet campaigns, many of which won awards for creativity and effectiveness.
Catherine cut her teeth in brand strategy and advertising at two major ad agencies. Serving as VP, Management Supervisor, Catherine led the award-winning I Love New York campaign at Wells,Rich, Greene, where she recruited celebrities and Broadway stars to appear pro-bono in the dazzling New York City commercials. Catherine’s first job in advertising was under the marketing gurus Al Ries and Jack Trout at Trout & Ries Advertising. Catherine has also taught branding and advertising at New York University, Stern School of Business.
In 2002, Catherine launched SelfBrand, a New York City-based brand strategy company that works with people, products and companies. She has been featured on CNN, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, The New York Times, Fortune, CNN/Money, Pink magazine, Investors Business Daily, PM magazine, Tom Peters.com and a host of other print, radio and webzines. Her articles on branding have been published in The New York Times, T + D magazine, the leading magazine for training and development and other print and on-line publications.
Catherine has been a brand builder and rebrander throughout her life. Originally a journalism and advertising major at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, she switched to fine arts her senior year. Pursuing her interest in Japanese art history, she earned an M.A. from the University of Washington, and was a Ph.D. Candidate at Harvard University. She won a two-year scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Education (Mombusho) to study at Tokyo University, and was a Smithsonian summer fellow in Washington D.C. Catherine translated a book, Kano Eitoku and the Kano School of Painting from Japanese (Kodansha) and co-authored Asiatic Art in the Seattle Art Museum. And no branding move in her career was more extreme (or took such a complete brand makeover) than the leap she made from being a Japanese art historian to an executive in the branding world of Madison Avenue.
"Your brand can make you a star in the business
world – or break you. Catherine gives those
who attend her talks, practical and strategic
steps to achieving what they once saw as an
“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."
"People who are seeking to carve out a fulfilling
niche in their careers will find her inspiring and captivating!”
“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 to my company.”