Category: Uncategorized

The Trial and What She Wore

Posted May 15, 2023 by Catherine Kaputa in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

Brand builders use a range of visual tools to create an emotional bond with customers: shape, color, design, imagery, logos and the like.

It’s the same with people. That’s why my advice to people is: Let your clothes talk. As I point out in my new book, “The New Brand You,” strong visual identities are a quick read telegraphing to us what a person is like (or so we think).

And clothes are one of the easiest ways to communicate a message about who you are. Clothes can offer more insight than what you say. Look at E Jean Carroll at her trial accusing former president Donald Trump of sexual assault and defamation.

In a trial, you win or lose on how a jury sees you and whether they believe you. The perceptions of others are the perceptions that count.

79-year old E Jean Carroll looked elegant, attractive and professional during her days in court On day one, she stepped out in a black shirtdress with a cream coat and pearl earrings. And she continued with her subtle style that was somehow both soft and strong. No flashy jewely or colors. A trial is a serious matter and her clothes communicated that.

She won her case on key charges and awarded $5 million.

Rarely has there been as educational an example of the transformative power of clothses and visual identity as the radical before-and-after makeover of Elizabeth Holmes during her fraud trial in 2021.

The CEO of Theranos, with its miracle medical product, Holmes went from the appropriation of Steve Jobs’ black turtle neck, beautifully accented with kabuki red lipstick and sleek blond hair.

Yet her trial wardrobe was the opposite. She went from glam to nondescript business casual shirts and skirts and soft curls.

In short, she went from Superwoman to the Girl Next Door. In Holmes case, visual identity can only take you so far. Jurors must have a reason for the transformation, and in Holmes’ case, they may have felt played.

Your visual identity has to sync with your actions or there is a brand disconnect. As we all know, she lost her case and found guilty of fraud.


The Rebranding of Camilla

Posted May 10, 2023 by Catherine Kaputa in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

Camilla’s rise from villain to queen is a master class in image transformation that we can all learn from.

For decades, Camilla was vilified by the British media as the villain who broke up Charles’s marriage to Diana, the Princess of Wales. Her transformation would have been unthinkable in the years after Diana’s death. Many of the scandalous details may have faded over the last twenty-five years though they have been reintroduced in our collective memory by the popular Netflix series,  “The Crown.”

Camilla’s rebrand wasn’t happenstance. It was achieved through calculated effort with the help of advisors, PR experts and image consultants. Rebranding involves positioning , image development, packaging, storyline, marketing messages, and PR, all aimed toward building and extending a person’s shelf life, just as in brand development.

So how did Camilla do it?

Camilla went dark for a while to clean the slate. Then she emerged with a spotlight on public service. Camilla’s focus was not on herself and parties or glamour but discretion and service. Camilla has a strong record of charitable causes, particularly in the medical and health care arenas, like her work supporting victims of osteoporosis, the illness that plagued her mother.

And Camilla’s rebranding campaign has paid off.

Now even if people may not like aspects of her role in the breakup of Charles and Diana, they are accepting of it, according Professor Purcell, a professor of modern British history at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont. She’s just done a great job at hanging in there and trying not to make missteps.”

She’s more popular than Prince Harry and Meghan Markle among the British public.

And her rebrand was assisted by the endorsement of Queen Elizabeth who made known her wish that Camilla become queen consort when Charles ascended the throne.

Branding is all about perceptions and taking control of the narrative, as I outline in my new book, “The New Brand You.” Whatever the state your personal brand, realize that you too can transform perceptions and the narrative others have about you.


Beware of Tough Love Talk on Zoom!

Posted April 24, 2023 by Catherine Kaputa in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

While tough talk can work to motivate everyone into the rah-rah spirit when it’s done in person, tough news – like no bonuses this year, can backfire on Zoom.

What you think of as inspiration, can sound harsh, even mean, when done on the air waves. And disgruntled employees can record a zoom call and push it out for all the world to see.
According to Media Richness Theory, “rich media” like in-person communication is more powerful way of communicating and connecting with people. There’s no barrier or distance between you and your audience.

You have a complete arsenal of tools to communicate your message and get in tune with your audience. In “leaner” like email, text and even Zoom, you’re more likely to find yourself misunderstood and branded but not in a way that you want to be branded as MillerKnoll CEO Andi Owen learned last week.
An unhappy employee made a video that went viral on social media and traditional media. (I read about it in the Wall Street Journal in a long feature story, and again when it was one of the questions in its weekly news quiz.)

Owen broke the news about bonuses not being paid this year and said that some employees were asking “not so nice” questions about it. Her advice to her team: “You can visit Pity City, but you can’t live there. So, people, leave Pity City.” The resulting firestorm over her words led her to apologize to her staff in an email.


Transform Your Personal Brand for Just $1.99

Posted April 21, 2023 by Catherine Kaputa in Branding, Personal Branding, Uncategorized / 0 Comments

In the new world of work, you’ll need to carefully consider your positioning – your differentiator – the unique power you bring to a business situation and why it matters.

And now, for a limited time through April 30, you’ll be able to get the e-book, The New Brand You: How to Wow in the New World of Work, for just $1.99.

Here’s what you’ll get out of the book:

You’ll learn the top ten positioning strategies used by big brands and how to apply them to the most important brand you’ll ever market, Brand You.

You can access the book’s online Personal Brand Finder assessment test.

You’ll learn the importance of visibility in the new world of work and how to be top of mind when you work remotely.

You’ll be able to draft your differentiator and a game plan for success.

“In short, “The New Brand You” will show you how to take on the world with your power brand.


How to Conquer Your FOMO as a Remote Worker

Posted November 14, 2022 by Catherine Kaputa in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

You may relish the freedom, sense of control, and efficiency you get working remotely, but there are risks.
If you decide to WFH and you almost never drop into the office, you’ve got to fret about FOMO (fear of missing out), the constant worry about being out of the loop and out of mind. For many remote workers, it will simply be MO.

You can miss out on the camaraderie and connection that take place naturally between coworkers. You can miss out on the impromptu meetings in the hall with senior leaders and colleagues that bloom into something bigger.

People who work together in a traditional office have a much “richer” personal experience not to mention exposure to senior executives and coworkers. It’s easier to collaborate and build relationships when you can look someone in the eye, read their body language, and hear their voice. Interacting in person is critical for company culture, innovation, and collaboration many managers believe.

So you do have reasons to worry about missing out unless you have a strategy. Read my article in Fast Company for seven ways to cure your FOMO. https://www.fastcompany.com/90805314/7-ways-to-manage-your-very-real-fomo-as-a-remote-worker 


Personal Branding is Not Optional for Women: Find Out How at the Virtual Women’s Summit

Posted September 25, 2022 by Catherine Kaputa in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

One of my passions, as many of you know, is women’s success in the workplace.

The good news is women are getting promoted into executive roles at the largest US companies faster than men. It’s a trend that began in 2001 and was still true in 2021 according to a recent study by the Wharton School of Business.

Yet: Women, who hold about a quarter of leadership roles, still rarely break into the highest levels: CEO, president, or chief operating officer. Only about 6% of women hold these titles, a number that has been flat for two decades. Women tend to hold the top job in support roles like legal, finance, marketing, and human resources.

How can more women break into the top echelon?

I believe that personal branding can help. Promoting yourself by communicating your strengths and actively seeking out leadership roles, especially ones with P&L responsibility, are areas where women can have some catching up to do according to studies.

Whether your ambitions are great or more down-to-earth, you need to avoid becoming invisible in the new world of work. Even if you don’t want the corner office, you do want to be recognized and fairly compensated for your accomplishments. And you want balance in your life.

In the new world of work, women are more likely to seek remote, hybrid or flexible roles according to studies, and that can leave women visibility challenged and hurt career advancement. That is unless you have a personal branding action plan so that you’re not overlooked for important assignments and promotions. After all, if no one knows your accomplishments, they don’t really count. It’s your job to make them known.

Come to the Virtual Women’s Conference Kicking Off on September 26

The sixteen women’s leadership experts speaking at the Unleash Your Inner Power, Break Through Barriers, and Step Into Your Greatness Summit will show you how. I’ll be sharing my tips and story with the summit hostess, Maria Victoria, on September 26, and I’ll talk a little bit about my new book, The New Brand You: How to Wow in the New World of Work.

I have a complementary ticket for you to attend. You can register using this link:
https://mariavictoriasummit.com/CatherineKaputa


Watching the Queen’s Funeral Today Reminded Me of Why…

Posted September 19, 2022 by Catherine Kaputa in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

I couldn’t stop watching the Queen’s procession and lying in state culminating in her funeral in Westminster Abbey today. I am an American. I’ve never met the queen. Yet I couldn’t take my eyes away from the spectacle, the miles of mourners, and the pageantry. I realized the importance of taking part in history, showing respect for a woman who achieved so much, a woman who represented duty, goodness and leadership.

That’s why I was so thrilled when my friend Maria Victoria told me that she was hosting an online show on women and success. The idea was born out of her own experience as a wife and mom who found herself trapped and not having the life she really wanted. I’ve been there too and will share my story and talk a little bit about my new book, The New Brand You: How to Wow in the New World of Work.

The Summit is: Unleash Your Inner Power, Break Through Barriers, and Step Into Your Greatness summit.

I have a complementary ticket for you to attend. You can register using this link:

https://mariavictoriasummit.com/CatherineKaputa


Queen Elizabeth II: The Epitomy of Royalty and Leadership

Posted September 10, 2022 by Catherine Kaputa in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

At a time when hereditary monarchies are not popular, the popularity of Elizabeth II was amazing. She was the embodiment of Britain: the foundation of the country’s national identity.

And she was amazing to behold in her brightly colored coats and matching hats as she spoke of duty and courage in the face of difficulty in her public addresses.

Elizabeth II was the epitome of royalty. She was polite, reserved, and obedient to the constitutional mandate of her reign.

She has all the trappings of royalty—the regalia – the palaces, the throne, the jewels, and the crown. And ceremonial pageantry – the processions, the carriages, the palaces.

Her regal monogram: E.R. for Elizabeth Regina appeared everywhere. Her image was on pound notes and stamps.

Yet she seemed down-to-earth and interacted well with ordinary people. I watched her getting a case of the giggles speaking via Zoom to the Jamaican bobsled team who were training in the UK before they set off to compete in the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.

There is also the feeling that she is not just a steady hand at the wheel, but a savvy leader. She insisted on personally driving Crown Prince Abdullah, of Saudi Arabia, the leader of a country that didn’t allow women to drive at the time, when he visited her at Balmoral, Scotland.

No wonder she is admired throughout the world. She stood for tradition, virtue, national unity, duty. Truly a timeless personal brand.

 

 


Who’s Looking Out for You?

Posted August 15, 2022 by Catherine Kaputa in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

The new world of work isn’t all about power to the people, flexibility to work at home, and Kumbaya. You have to keep on your toes in the new world of work.

Big Brother may be watching. There’s more monitoring of how you spend

your day such as virtual clock in and out, tracking work computer usage and

monitoring emails and other internal communications through surveillance

software.

It’s “The Rise of the Worker Productivity Score,” according to Jodi Kanto and Arya Sundaram in the New York Times, August 15, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/08/14/business/worker-productivity-tracking.html

“Across industries and incomes, more employees are being tracked, recorded and ranked,” according to NYT reporting.

Worker productivity surveillance fosters productivity and accountability says companies using surveillance softer. It’s inhumane and inaccurate say many employees. The problem is that most of the surveillance software doesn’t track offline activity like mentoring, thinking, writing on paper, or talking with colleagues. Unless you constantly jiggle your mouse in meetings or other off-line activities, you’re just labeled as “derelict” in many systems. (Check out TikTok for videos on fooling the trackers.)

As timeless wisdom says, “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that is counted counts (attributed to Albert Einstein).

Watch out if you are using devices provided by your company. Best to

have personal conversations and activities on your own devices.

The metamorphosis of the workplace can make anyone feel uneasy. We

have to accept that change is no longer unusual, it’s the rule.

Transformation is the new status quo. You can’t rely on the company to

take care of you. That went away with the gold watch upon retirement. Most

companies are fighting for their own survival anyway.

You have to take care of yourself. #surveillance #employeesurveillance  #workerproductivity