Kaye Putnam

How To Build A Brand That’s 100% You With Kaye Putnam


TRANSCRIPT AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED [00:00:00] Diane: Hey, Hey, today's guest Kaye putnam is a psychology driven brand strategist for entrepreneurs. She's a master of setting up brands that work for and represent you and all your uniqueness in the world. And as somebody who is obsessed with sticking to your super powers, letting your brand reflect, that sounds like just adding rocket fuel to your business. So I have a lot of questions. Hey Kay. Welcome to the show. [00:00:20] Kaye: Diane. Thank you so much for having me. We are going to geek out about all things branding and I cannot wait. [00:00:26] Diane: I'm very excited , before we get our nerd on, let's do a quick intro to you, Angela business. [00:00:32] Kaye: Lovely. So I call myself the psychology driven brand strategist. I started this business when my first child was born, which is now nine years ago, veteran of the online space. Grandma in online years at this point. And I help entrepreneurs change the world with what they know by being true to who they really are. And we do this through a mix of brand archetypes through consumer behavior, psychology, just good old fashioned energy. We like to bring a little woo in there and mix that all together so that you're speaking to your ideal clients on a gut emotional level. My metaphor that I like to say is it's like turning around and swimming downstream for once. Instead of trying to battle your way upstream every single day business just gets easier when you're doing things based on your innate advantages, instead of trying to model somebody else. [00:01:28] Diane: Ooh, I love it. Okay. So you said brand archetypes, what are they. Why does it matter? Can they change? Tell me all the things about brand archetypes. [00:01:38] Kaye: we could talk this entire time about brand archetypes, And I haven't been obsessed with them ever since I discovered them. I think it was back in 2012, 2013, around nine through this circuitous journey, through the interweb. I discovered these 12 archetypes that defined these universal patterns that show up in humans and characters in brands and their unique fears, motivations, and desires. And immediately, when I read through this list of 12, I could start to see the different arc or the different entrepreneurs that. Was so inspired by and literally inspired by at this point, I was kind of awkwardly trying to be like them. I could see, oh, that, that entrepreneur is the hero archetype. And this entrepreneur is the Royal archetype. And this one over here is, is the entertainer. And no wonder my brand isn't working. Cause I'm trying to mash all of that together into this Frankenstein thing. And I immediately needed to know what my archetype was and I've kind of built my. Massive portion of my business model around this framework to help people figure out who they really are. And then the architects can point us in a direction in terms of our colors, our stories, our metaphors, that we use, the symbols that we use in our brand, so that our ideal clients understand us. They're really a shortcut to understanding what you're about on this really deep, psychological. [00:03:08] Diane: Yeah. I really loved any kind of like assessment or test, I use disc and wealth dynamics in my space, really looking at how people show up at work and. It's interesting to me that whenever I take the quiz, because it, whatever you come up, I'm always like, oh, I wonder what was my archetype again? It never fails to amuse me like how bang on they are. But also how far I have sometimes strayed just from that fundamental. So mine is the same. And it is actually one of my happiest things on earth to take something super complicated and make it simple for people. And I love being able to explain things in multiple different ways. And then the other one that always comes up for me is the Maverick which is kind of feels contrary to the Sage, but I'm usually trying to teach people something that is different from the norm. So I love how they kind of interweave. And sometimes I come up more Maverick and sometimes I come up Sage and I think it just depends on how feisty I'm feeling on any given day. [00:04:07] Kaye: Yes. [00:04:08] Diane: So what is your archetype? [00:04:11] Kaye: So we S we share the stage. I was like abundantly head bobbing over here. When you're talking about your, your propensity and your desire to make the complicated, simple, the Sage is all about finding the truth and teaching it to people. We're natural teachers in our brands and our businesses. Also am the Sage. And then my second is the magician and the magicians all about transformation. How can we give people tools that work so well that it feels like magic and they can go through this dramatic metamorphosis through the work that we do together. And you're right. We, we lean in different directions and we actually have pieces of all 12 in us to varying degrees. And every once in a while a client or a student will have a dramatic shift, but that doesn't happen often who we are is pretty. Steady from even from year to year to year. And this is part of the magic of adopting the brown archetypes to help us make us make decisions is that we don't have to be in this cycle of every six months feeling the need to scrap everything and rebrand, like, just throw it all out the window and, and reinvent ourselves. We can find like deeper and more meaningful ways to express these same themes. Yes. So it's not going to be stagnant. It really does speak to who we are on a very deep and essential level. [00:05:42] Diane: So, how does that work? As we grow and pivot and evolve our businesses. If that stays pretty static, how does our brand then grow with us? [00:05:55] Kaye: So we might find new offers. Like we might find a new audience or like market offer fit. I know that as I've matured as an entrepreneur and as a business owner, my like, masterminder like my higher level offers. The VIP intensives that I do with clients have gotten better and better and better, but it's still based around identifying what this truth is for the brand. I always like to say we build brands on truth, not trends. And then it's, it's about the transformation that. They are stepping into, so like whatever their next iteration is. I have evolved my offers, even though those themes have stayed the same in the background. And I think it gives even just like, kind of the, some of the surface level decisions that we make a lot of staying power. So I've had the same color palette for. Four years or five years, I've had the same fonts for three years or four years when we're making decisions that represent who we are in this really deep level, it means that we don't have to play Madonna and scrap everything every time that we want to make a new offer, we can just like continue to add things underneath our numbers. [00:07:11] Diane: so it's almost like the core of your brand. Stays the same. And it just expands with that like underlying, I guess message or, or like little nugget of what you stand for kind of like your values. Right? You wouldn't expect your values to be changing every three minutes [00:07:27] Kaye: we would be concerning like as humans when we encounter people. Cause some people are like that, like, and this was actually my story. When I was growing up, I was a chameleon. I was different in all of these different situations that I found myself in and that's inherent. Distrust worthy. Like it's, it doesn't build trust. If somebody is willing to change who they are all of the time. So to provide that consistency to the market, even if you're coming, like we said, even if you're coming out with new offers or like you might upgrade your Instagram templates or. What platform you're, you're showing up on that may shift and change over time, but at least this enduring core of who you are has continuity. So you get to build momentum over time. Instead of having that 51st states type of situation, where you have to re-introduce yourself every six months. [00:08:22] Diane: And I guess there's some safety in that for your audience or your clients in, oh, there's a new offer, but I still know what to expect. I guess it's like Coca-Cola coming out with a new flavor, right? You still know like the core of the business. This is just something new that's being added. [00:08:40] Kaye: yes. So you get to kind of appease that psychological need for something new and surprising. And the psychological need for safety and consistency at the same time with your brand. So that's really this, the magic sauce, the special mix of the two, [00:08:54] Diane: I'm very into the psychological need for something new, right. That's a hundred percent me. Yeah, I think that's, why, when I take the test, if I'm like super on a, I need something new, the Maverick. comes on and then if I'm not, then I'm on the, if I'm in the middle of learning something and deeply understanding it and figuring out how to communicate it, then my Sage is I can full in full blown. I think that's. They kind of interact with each other, but I think a lot of people, even more established entrepreneurs think of branding as in we've branded our websites, we've branded our social media. because I think we see, oh, I've just rebranded With new colors and new, all the things, what do you see happening when somebody goes all in on like, okay, this. I think you said the truth of my brand. what happens when you can really sink into that brand versus worrying so much about the, I guess, branding being the colors, the fonts, the et cetera. [00:09:50] Kaye: Yeah, branding itself as a branding problem. I think [00:09:55] Diane: re-invent branding. [00:09:59] Kaye: we have people who are, who are quote unquote branding experts who are really just Instagram experts and that's fine. Like we express our brand on Instagram. That's one of the places where we show up to me when you get. Don really well, your brand is a system. It's a system that you get to pass every single decision through, which means you can make decisions faster and you have the certainty and the confidence, the swagger that comes with knowing who the heck you are. So the way that I think about my brand is. I've done the work as a visionary, as the CEO to set what this larger movement and values and mission is behind my business. I communicate that to my team. And we've now set standards about how we express. Those big ideas. And those are like, okay, here's our hex codes for our colors. Here's the logos that we're using here are literally the words that are on brand for us and the words that are off brand for us. And then my team. And I get to use that, that system, I guess I'm trying to look for a synonym here and it's not coming, but we get to pass it through the system so we can take anything that is just kind of like a generic output of content. Generic, even like an email template, they might purchase from another creator, pass it through the system and everything comes out the other side. So you, that people recognize you, whether they're looking at just text, if they're hearing you on an interview, if they're seeing you on stage, if they're seeing your website, it informs all of those decisions. [00:11:44] Diane: To what degree? So I have a very good friend and we joke her brand color is yellow. It's a hundred percent of her personality. And she is always on brown. I think it helps that it's her favorite color. And if she posts a photo and she's not wearing yellow, I immediately send her a sarcastic DM, just to check in, is everything okay? Do I need to send help? Is this your message? Because you've been taken hostage, you know, all the things, because I literally can't see the color without thinking of her. where's the line . My brand colors, I was very specific with my branding person not to bring me anything beige, cause I cannot wear Browns or beiges right. So for me, I wasn't coming at it from like, what are the right colors for my archetype? I came at it from like, what am I going to look. In photos. So vain. I know, [00:12:33] Kaye: Ideally, it's both right. [00:12:35] Diane: yeah, but, but how much do so, we've come up with our truth. We've got our system to check everything through, but how like all in do you go, when you're thinking about, like, when you say you're going to an event and you're going to meet people, are you wearing Your brand? how intense does this get? [00:12:54] Kaye: Your friend has done a really great job of creating a memory cue for her brand, similar to the way that Tiffany blue is that way as well. Right. So I, I look at it in terms of a hierarchy of importance, wherever people are going to come into contact with my brand, the most that's where I'm going to. Of the highest intention. So I'm really intentional about my homepage of my website, because I'm assuming that a lot of people are going to land there. I'm really intentional about the first welcome email that somebody gets after they take the quiz because so many people are going to come into contact with that. I'm also definitely going to wear my brand colors when I get a photo shoot done, because those photos are going to show up in many different places. I'm less intentional or less concerned about. Showing up on Instagram stories or just these like one off types of situations. So I guess it would depend for me personally, if I was on stage or not at that event, or if I'm just a, in the audience. And I think that truly every touch point that somebody has with your brand is an opportunity. It's an opportunity to tell more of your story and ideally we don't ever want to be contradicting it. So for me, the magician is, is all about like dramatic change. And it's about imagining this like future reality and being an agent of change and, and taking responsibility, or just being the shaper, like the person that chooses what reality that they live in, for example, so a edge for my brand would be those types of messages that people. Put out, like, basically stop expecting so much or like, just be okay with where you're at, which is also true in, and it's also very true for other people and other brands, but I'm going to stay away from those messages because they're at odds with my core belief, which is that you are in charge of the reality that you live in. So I think that it's important to you. Like what you stand for, what your standards are. And then you start with that hierarchy of like, where's the most amount of people going to, coming to contact with my brand and cascade down with how intentional you want to be. And then also just have awareness of what's on my not to do list or what, where am I going to stay away from for sure. So that I'm not confusing people about what I stand for. I think if you do those three things, you can also live your life and be a regular human . [00:15:20] Diane: I tease her a lot, but my brown color is blue and like 99.9% of my wardrobe is blue. So, you know, it's just, it's just not, I think yellow is just so much more noticeable than blue [00:15:34] Kaye: My husband literally buys me Christmas gifts. Actually. I have one right here. But we're recording the audio. So he literally got me this, this diamond or this pyramid shaped paperweight that has copper in it because copper is my brand accent color. So like he's, he knows what's on brands for me. That's how much of a system I've built? [00:15:56] Diane: like Brandon, the whole house. [00:15:58] Kaye: Pretty much. Yeah. Like, again, this, this background behind me is one that I know that it's going to be a touchpoint, that a lot of people are going to see. So it's really intentional. Like I have my hat that I often wear in my brand photos behind me. I have the books that are on brand quote unquote, on brand for me behind me. So. All of the different aspects of your brand and just ask yourself like, which one of these is gets the highest party gets the most attention. [00:16:26] Diane: So when I think branding, I just always think about big brands. We see this like massive logo. That's super recognizable because it's been around for years and years and years, and years and years. Does it actually translate in the online space. So we all know that when we were newbie entrepreneurs, like our logo was like the biggest thing. We couldn't do anything that we had a logo and now we have a logo. And now I'm like, did I put a logo on that thing? Right. Whereas my whole business would have stopped. I wouldn't have been able to publish the thing without a logo. Back in the day, Does that actually try and say it in the online space? Should we be looking for that kind of logo representation or are we just too much of a personal brand and it's actually us? That's the trigger? That's the, what did you call it? A memory trigger. [00:17:09] Kaye: such a great question. Thanks for asking this. I think that the retail space and big brands are such a fantasy. Point of inspiration. So they have these like multimillion dollar campaigns and agencies, so we can get a lot of ideas from them, but you're absolutely correct. They don't all translate, especially to service-based entrepreneurs or people that are selling courses or creative work or consulting. Our clients don't care about our logo. We're going to use it as a, maybe like a lesser important memory cue. Like we're talking about. It's our face, like you said, I think it's really powerful. There is an effect in psychology, psychology. I think it's just called the. Mere exposure effect. So the mere exposure effect says that the more that we see a face or actually see a logo, the more that we like it. So we want to just continue to show up to consistently show up that helps build our brand and build affinity in people's minds for us. But I think that we have unique opportunities as online entrepreneurs. We have an opportunity to. Not only how we look, but what our unique process is like a proprietary process, the way that we do things matter our system, our intellectual property matters and also our unique point of view. So we're a brand massive brands like Nike. They do have a unique point of view. So they have these beliefs that anybody can be an athlete that you can work hard and achieve amazing things. And that we can look up to these professional athletes that are doing amazing feats for inspiration, for example, but as a individual or as a small team, we have even a greater. Need to stand out to elevate what we're selling beyond a commodity by having a very unique point of view. And because we're smaller because we don't have quite so many people that we're representing, we can do that in even stronger ways. Especially you Maverick archetypes out there. I'm always jealous of how unapologetic my Maverick archetypes are. So yeah, process point of view and personality can shine through and in a lot of different. Both in the way that we show up the way that we look, the way that we speak, the words that we choose to use, we have different touch points in different opportunities than those really big brands. [00:19:34] Diane: So how do we, as the eyes that online brand, how do we know if we need like a little brand job? Right. My Maverick wants to know if we can rebrand the websites, basically. I'm not ever, it's been, it's been very on brand. It's still very on brand for you, but, you know, should we change the colors I see people in the online space going, okay, it's been a couple of years. Let's refresh and it's a new logo and its new colors and maybe it's the fourth or fifth time. I've seen them since I became aware of them. Is there something that goes. I think now's the time or if we're already in that true brand, shouldn't not really need, I mean, obviously we want to update photos, right? You don't want a photo of you at 25 when you're actually now 55 running the same business. I get that. We want to update some pictures and maybe a bit of design, but is there like a, like an, a trigger or an alarm that says like, Hey, actually, The brand needs looking at it needs a refresh [00:20:35] Kaye: Yes. I think that when ever we're at an inflection point in our business, and I think the most common ones that I run across are either people are coming out with a new offer. That's at a higher level, or they're really clear on the intention that they want to move. For example, from one to one into one to many. So they want to make sure that they have. Theory best expression of their brand to step into that new reality. I think that those are really great times. Another inflection point is when your hiring team. So if you haven't done the work to get your brand out of your head in a unified systemic, systematic way, that that's also a really great inflection point. But to be honest, a lot of that, and maybe I shouldn't say this out loud, like this is the part that most people keep quiet, but if you're being honest, like if it's in alignment before, it's actually more of an energetic decision to do that than a practical business decision to do that. It's more of a signaling to you and a little bit to the market of like, Hey, things are changing, they're getting bigger. I'm stepping into this better expression of myself. Then this is going to make me sell X amount more dollars. It's more of a swagger type of thing that's happening there. [00:22:01] Diane: It's kind of like putting on like on your dress and heels and makeup for your business before going on stage. It's your business showing up in the world in a slightly different way. And so you're just giving it a little bit more oomph. [00:22:13] Kaye: The other that I need to mention too, that's coming to mind is that sometimes, well, oftentimes as entrepreneurs, particularly ones that are the face of our business, we have a tendency to hide. We have a tendency to not step into our full selves. I think a lot of my students and a lot of my clients come to me when they've had that realization, like I've been doing, what's been safe for a really long time and it's time. I like it's painfully obvious that I need to bring my full self to my business now. So if you find that you've just been showing this perfectly manicured ideal Virgin self of yours, that is only 10% of who you really are. It's probably time to do that deep inner work and that brand work to bring more of yourself so that you can bring more power to your business. [00:23:03] Diane: Yeah, I guess potentially then your previous iteration of your brand was also potentially not even on archetype or was a very kind of watered down version, or like when you were saying you were trying to. Somebody else's all Cuttack peers. You didn't know. So we talked about your archetypes and Maya archetypes and people are probably being, I know, I don't know what mat archetype is. Cause that's what I would be doing. I'd be very irritated right now. So what's the best place for them to find the archetype so they can join in the conversation. [00:23:34] Kaye: Yes, I would love for everybody to join in the conversation. I have a quiz on my website that we alluded to earlier. That's the best place. So it's just K putnam.com/quiz. I'm sure we'll have it in the show notes so that people can access it. And as of right now, it points you directly to your. Archetype. And you can always retake the quiz a few times with slightly different answers. If you want to play around with it, which people have been known to do, but that is a fantastic starting place because when you land on the outcome pages and you start to read what the architect stands for, that's usually our very significant moment of awareness for people. And 90% of the time people are like, oh my gosh. Yeah. This is me 10% of the time. People have a freak out moment and they're like, is it, this is really me. I'm not being this at all. [00:24:25] Diane: Yeah. This is completely different from what's in my, I have that when I do like wealth dynamics and someone and they get a profile and they're like, I felt my whole business out of flow and you just see that the eyes get like wider and wider and panic. Can we just clarify that if that is the case for somebody that they do not need to delete their website or anything overnight [00:24:43] Kaye: Deep breaths in and out [00:24:45] Diane: deep breaths sleep on it, [00:24:48] Kaye: Yes, [00:24:49] Diane: DMK something. [00:24:53] Kaye: I always tell people you have veto power. So if you land on one, that's truly not right. That happens every so often you have veto power, explore the other archetype. See what does. Right. And you'll know, you'll know. And you land on it. The key is to pay attention to what, what is true now and has been true as opposed to, oh, I really want to be this architect. Like I really wish I was the Maverick. I really wish I was bold and edgy and, and willing to tear down the institutions that were no longer working, but that's really not me. So if I tried to be that, it would feel like, again, like I was swimming upstream, so we want to find that one that just feels now. [00:25:32] Diane: I think another thing I find on when I'm doing assessments with people is sometimes people get very attached to the name. Of the profile, right? Just like, pretend the name is not there and focus on the actual information that you're being given. [00:25:45] Kaye: Some of the names can be a little triggering. When I created the quizzes, I tried to make them as neutral as possible, but they're still very co like culture wide and also also culture specific implications or associations we make with all of them. It happens with the caregiver a lot. Like we're in this patriarchal society, we don't value our caregivers as much as we should. So when people land on the caregiver architect, Or the innocent archetype, for example, there can be like, oh, I don't want to be this like this. Isn't what people are going to want me to be. But it truly is like, we value those aspects of those archetypes and there is incredible power when you step into it and you let yourself be those strengths that have been in the background for so long. [00:26:33] Diane: So definitely go and take the quiz. As I say mine changes depending on my mood, but it only changes between the two. [00:26:39] Kaye: 100%. I typically recommend that people hone in on a primary and a secondary that's typically works best to get a good mix of uniqueness that is uniquely you. And without trying to be everything to everyone. [00:26:55] Diane: Oh gosh. This is so fun. I could talk about this all day, but. The listeners, like I need to go and take the quiz. Can you wrap this up please? So to finish off, I asked all my guests the same, two questions. First step. What is the number one lifestyle boundary you have for your business? [00:27:10] Kaye: I don't work on weekends. [00:27:11] Diane: What time does a weekend start? 5:00 PM on a Friday. [00:27:14] Kaye: No more like 2:00 PM on a Friday, to be honest. Yes. This mama doesn't work very well after about two or 3:00 PM. That's about my energetic, like natural, like physical energy cutoff. So yeah. Yeah. I've, I've held that boundary for a long time and it's been so rejuvenating to not work on weekly. [00:27:34] Diane: I always like to challenge people on like what they consider a weekend. Cause it's often. You know, so there's so many variations of what does that look like? Well, I don't work on weekends, but I do do some planning on a Sunday night. I'm like, so the weekend ends at like Sunday at 3:00 PM or, okay. Finally, what is the worst piece of cookie cutter advice you have been given as an entrepreneur? [00:27:56] Kaye: I'm going to. Give one that I have heard so often, and I actually have said things that danced around this, even in this very interview. And it's the advice to just be yourself. I think that that's true, but it's so woefully incomplete, especially for people like me. That were had those like chameleon tendencies, and didn't know who I was when I started my business. And I continue to deepen an understanding of who I am. I think that it takes work and self-reflection and a process to get to the point where you can be yourself. I may not resonate with everybody because some people are just born into this world with a very strong understanding and belief of who they are. But for those of you who have heard that advice and you're like, what does that mean? I think the archetypes will help a lot. [00:28:51] Diane: yeah. I think there's this, this underlying current of like how, and it's the same thing when I talk to people about why they should be in flow in their business. And I'm like, and I'm going to tell you how to get into flow. We're not just going to talk about it as some, like out the concept where he actually talked like instructions. Right. And I think this is the same thing here. Right? Here's here's your brand. Here's your instructions to just be. Annual business, which I think is so powerful. Oh, this has been so fun. So I want people to DME when they know what their archetype is, I'm going to have to Google what that means, unless you're a Sage or a Maverick, but K, where can they reach out to you? Where can they carry on this conversation with you? Which are the best DMS. [00:29:34] Kaye: definitely take the quiz. If you're just yearning for more learning Sage that I am, I have a ton of videos on YouTube, so I'm highly active there. Recommend that. And then to have a conversation I'm on Instagram as well. And I'm Kaye Putnam on all of my platforms. [00:29:52] Diane: awesome. This has been magical from the magician, obviously. [00:29:56] Kaye: Yes, it has to end. Thank you. I will receive that compliment. [00:30:00] Diane: I don't need, my jokes have improved as the interview has gone on, but at least we're amusing each other. [00:30:05] Kaye: I had so much fun. Thank you so much for having me. [00:30:08] Diane: Thanks very much.

Branding has become synonymous with pretty Instagram feeds and the colors and fonts we use but your brand is something much deeper and more valuable.

Kaye Putnam walks you through why your brand is a powerful asset in your business, where branding fits into the process, and how to work with a team and keep your brand consistent.

Key Takeaway

When everything is viewed through the lens of your brand, business decisions become easier. 

We talk about

  • What’s a brand archetype and why you need one
  • How to grow with your brand instead of rebranding every couple of years
  • Where to focus your time and energy first
  • How to know it’s time for a rebrand
  • Kaye’s lifestyle boundary for her business
  • The worst cookie-cutter advice Kaye’s been given on her lifestyle business

About Kaye

Kaye Putnam is a psychology-driven brand strategist for entrepreneurs. Through work with hundreds of clients from international corporations to solo-entrepreneurs, she developed her signature Clarity Code™ method. She believes that online business should be more human and that all entrepreneurs have genius they can use to impact the world. She works with students in her Brand New Brand incubation program and with clients 1-on-1. When she’s not transforming brands, she’s exploring the world with her husband and two little ones.



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The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this podcast episode and article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article or episode. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Diane Mayor disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.