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Breakthrough Branding: How Smart Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs Transform a Small Idea into a Big Brand

Breakthrough Branding: How Smart Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs Transform a Small Idea into a Big Brand

4.9 16
by Catherine Kaputa

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Even the smallest idea can have BIG impact when positioned correctly. Breakthrough Branding shows entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and small businesses alike the secrets to transforming a brainstorm into big bucks. From the grassroots growth of beverage brands like Red Bull, Honest Tea, and Innocent, to the exploding growth of digital brands like Twitter, Weibo, and


Even the smallest idea can have BIG impact when positioned correctly. Breakthrough Branding shows entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and small businesses alike the secrets to transforming a brainstorm into big bucks. From the grassroots growth of beverage brands like Red Bull, Honest Tea, and Innocent, to the exploding growth of digital brands like Twitter, Weibo, and Groupon; from the cult appeal of stores like Forever 21, to the success of virtual retailers like Zappos - successful companies of all types and sizes begin with three things: ambition, a winning idea, and a brand strategy.

Branding expert Catherine Kaputa uses dozens of international brand histories to demonstrate what makes a brand thrive, and provides you with the tools to do the same. Learn how to define your audience, create a standout personality, and position yourself as superior to the competition - all by utilizing the power of branding! Packed with thoughtful reader exercises and filled with leading-edge social media strategies, Breakthrough Branding teaches everyone from novice start-ups to seasoned professionals how to leverage their assets and pursue every opportunity to create a successful business.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
2012 ForeWord Magazine BOTYA Silver Medal winner, Business and Economics

Voted "2012 - Books Entrepreneurs Must Read" by Grasshopper.com

For both long-standing and newly-minted entrepreneurs, there is no greater defeat than having a customer go elsewhere because they didn’t understand your value. Breakthrough Branding clearly and skillfully leads its readers through the need and the creative process of branding a ‘position’ in the marketplace. By first creating a ‘clear benefit or promise of worth’ which is different from that of competitors, and then by allowing social media to be a ‘big microphone,’ each entrepreneur can learn to reinvent and redistribute their personal and business branding. I highly recommend this book as a must-have marketing tool in today’s highly-competitive, global marketplace.--Patricia Sigmon, President, David Advisory Group, and Author, Six Steps to Creating Profit

If brand building were courting and marrying, Kaputa’s strategies would be the best dating advice around! She shows you how to romance the marketplace with your package, your name, and your image without sacrificing the heart of your brand.-- Dr. Wendy Walsh, America’s Relationship Expert, Co-Host, THE DOCTORS and CNN’s Human Behavior Expert

Having a great idea isn’t enough. You’ve got to develop and build your brand if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, and Catherine Kaputa is just the expert you need to provide you with great ideas in a simple, direct way. Want branding to be easy? Read this book.--Anita Bruzzese, USA Today Workplace Columnist, and Author, 45 Things You Do That Drive Your Boss Crazy

An accomplished marketer and world-class businesswoman, Catherine has created the ultimate field manual for any aspiring entrepreneur. A must-have and must-read for anyone who wants their business to succeed!--Kevin Allen, Author, The Hidden Agenda

Your brand is a mental picture that consumers carry around in their heads. But the act of branding is something you can control—by using the tools of marketing communications to influence those perceptions. Here is a cheerful crash course on how to get going.-- Steve Rivkin, Marketing Consultant, and Co-Author, IdeaWise and The Making of a Name

Catherine’s Breakthrough Branding is a book you give to the ones you love who are building their own business. She takes us step by step through a process born of security of the perfect job to the jungle of entrepreneurship. She has been thrown into it and mastered it. Her lessons are invaluable. This is a must read for anyone aspiring or working to build a business.--Jim Camp, Founder Camp Negotiation Institute, and Author, Start With No

From one of marketing’s premier thought-leaders, Breakthrough Branding is a treasure chest filled with practical and immediately applicable advice on branding and marketing strategy. It is sure to become THE handbook of entrepreneurial branding and marketing strategy.--Robert Barnwell, Author, Lead, Follow or Get the Hell Out of the Way

Whether you’re dying to launch your own company, or are more of a reluctant entrepreneur, you face the imperative to build your brand. Catherine Kaputa has made this challenge her personal and professional study, and in this book she shares secrets worth many times the cost of admission. Now go forth and brand!--Daniel H. Pink, Author, DRIVE and A WHOLE NEW MINDBreakthrough Branding is engaging, vital and packed with branding power. With examples from around the world, it’s a must read for entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs who have a business ide but need the tools to grow it into a big brand.--William H. Roedy, Former Chairman & Chief Executive of MTV Networks International, and Author, What Makes Business Rock

Anything that Catherine writes is worth reading. She was one of my best students on the subject of ‘Positioning’ and building brands. She won’t steer you wrong.--Jack Trout, World Famous Marketing Strategist

If you aim to be an entrepreneur and already have a big idea, but you never studied marketing and branding, this book will give you a running start. Catherine is a superb coach and her book delivers a wonderful collection of marketing steps and real world entrepreneur success stories.--Philip Kotler, Marketing Professor, Kellogg School of Business, Northwestern University

If there’s one thing you’ve just got to know about—but is tough to learn about—it’s branding. Catherina Kaputa tells you what you must know in this valuable book. Read it before your competitors do.--Jay Conrad Levinson Author, Million-Selling Guerrilla Marketing Series

If brand building were courting and marrying, Kaputa’s strategies would be the best dating advice around! She shows you how to romance the marketplace with your package, your name, and your image without sacrificing the heart of your brand.--Dr. Wendy Walsh, America’s Relationship Expert, Co-Host, THE DOCTORS and CNN’s Human Behavior Expert

"[Kaputa] provides direct and easy-to-grasp (and -apply) concepts within reach for any entre-/intrapreneur. . . Entertaining, engaging, and thankfully (and remarkably) untethered to marketing-, brand-, and ad-speak."— Barbara Jacobs, Booklist

Library Journal
Kaputa (You Are a Brand!: How Smart People Brand Themselves for Business Success) here instructs readers on how to develop ideas into successful brands. She presents numerous case studies to illustrate success stories: Carole Middleton and Party Pieces, Reed Hasting and Netflix, Jack Dorsey and Twitter, and Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. Readers are grounded in such nitty-gritty topics as selecting a brand name, creating the company or product's logo, seeking celebrity endorsements, marketing the brand, creating a company culture, and using social media to promote the brand. Kaputa stresses the importance of building "a personal brand—Brand You—in tandem with your business brand." Throughout, Kaputa includes "Brainstormers" sections in which she asks readers to consider specific questions, e.g., "How would you launch a business around a personal passion?" and "What are the new trends that might be a business idea?" Bibliographical references for each chapter are provided. VERDICT A practical and detailed work, this book should be of use to entrepreneurs, potential entrepreneurs, and business students.—Lucy Heckman, St. John's Univ. Lib., Jamaica, NY

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Breakthrough Branding: How Smart Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs Transform a Small Idea into a Big Brand 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book literally has changed my life! Every chapter has great information that can be used to build a foundation for your brand and consistently maintain it. I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For me, an overwhelmed start-up entrepreneur, this book answers "Where do I start?" and "HoFor me, an overwhelmed start-up entrepreneur, this book answers "Where do I start?" and "How do I it?. I found this book easy to read, practical, and inspiring. It is helping me to more clearly focus my business and marketing plans. Catherine Kaputa's engaging narrative breaks down the branding creation process and helps you to very clearly define your business so that it stands out--especially in the ever expanding internet marketplace. First, I borrowed it from the library, then bought my own copy. I'll be using Breakthrough Branding as a reference for a long time. In my opinion, Breakthrough Branding is essential for anyone starting a business.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As an educator-turned entrepreneur, I have buried my head in books and self-study courses on personal branding. Although, I have read remarkable books by international brand strategists, not one book focused on showing me how to take a small idea and develop it into a thriving, dynamic, even global brand. Catherine Kaputa took the time to do so. What you will love about this book is that she does not talk over your head, using a lot of business and marketing jargon; rather she makes every concept or terminology she teaches relevant through engaging stories and descriptive examples. Your success is not left to chance as Catherine guides you from conception to manifestation of the branding process. Undoubtedly, you will experience a breakthrough and your perspective on the vast opportunities available to you in this 21st century will be evident!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PoliV More than 1 year ago
Breakthrough Branding covers all possible ground that an entrepreneur should know about branding to be successful in the modern world. The book allowed me to choose the level of engagement with its journey around the branding world. As a web designer, I learnt quite a bit from the chapter on visual branding; not only through the entertaining stories about how different brand looks came to be, but also through the brainstormers and exercises. Breakthrough Branding will keep you learning and enjoying as you read it, don't miss out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Catherine Kaputa’s “Breakthrough Branding” is a brilliant tour of the universe of branding, from positioning a product or a company to positioning oneself through one’s relationship to one’s environment and those who inhabit it. Through hundreds of real-life examples and the knowledge acquired from three decades on Madison Avenue and Wall Street, Ms. Kaputa has produced a compelling essential work for individuals who wish to understand the difference successful branding can make to beneficially affect how their businesses and their selves are perceived. The author looks at branding broadly and holistically, so it’s not just about names and logos and fonts and colors; rather, one learns what one must do to build strong relationships with customers, from idea generation, positioning, naming, and packaging to visual identity and marketing tactics. This is not a dry textbook on marketing, but a fun read filled with provocative ideas and examples. As a CEO who wants to impact the marketplace, I enthusiastically recommend this book to all working for their companies’ advancement, as well as for their own. Entrepreneurs who run businesses and corporate entrepreneurs inside companies: Take heed and read it! Jeffrey LaRiche, Chairman and CEO, Castle Worldwide, Inc.
Lauren_GA More than 1 year ago
If you are looking to create a business or want to be more successful in an existing business, “Breakthrough Branding” will be a helpful and fun read. Lots of success-oriented insights and how to implement them. A glance at the chapter titles will give you a good idea of what’s in store for readers: • What’s the Brand Idea? • Power Positioning • Creating Your Brand’s Look and Feel • Pimp My Brand! • Brand Big: Boldly Marketing the Brand In another chapter, the author talks about internal branding, building a company brand internally to match the external consumer brand with interesting examples on how to do it. If you’re looking for one book to guide you on branding, this is it.
JakeHuddleston More than 1 year ago
I am a young entrepreneur trying to set up my own freelancing business, and this book has been a great insight into what it takes to build a brand. I have been concerned about how to market my business, how to stand out from the crowd, and how to make my image and services unique. This book explains just that and more. As I read, I find myself excited to apply the techniques inside to my own business. The book is written in a very simple, engaging manner, making the reading very enjoyable. I would highly recommend this book to anyone else looking to make their business the best that it can be.
JenniferT123 More than 1 year ago
Catherine Kaputa delivers the goods. Her concepts of self-branding are thought provoking, and her ideas on how to implement them are even better. The author goes into ways to differentiate yourself and stand out in person and virtually on the Internet through your website, blog or on social media like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The keys are to be different, relevant and consistent at every touchpoint.
Steve Weinberg More than 1 year ago
useful too. It will get you ready to launch your company or spiff up your brand, whatever the case may be. I’m in sales and I’ve always said that you’re an entrepreneur if you’re in sales. And nothing can be sold unless there is a good sales persona behind it. The author sees it a little differently. She says, nothing is sold until it’s branded. All in all, well worth the time and money.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best of the Best There are a lof of branding books, but most are too much like textbooks and way too theoretical. This book is the opposite: fun, informative, inspiring. If you’re an entrepreneur, and if you’re not, you should think like one – this book is for you. It’s a must-read that I’m telling my friends to pick up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You need this book if you're an entrepreneur! I am a solo entrepreneur, so I am constantly on the lookout for ways to increase the effectiveness of everything I do. This book provided so many insights on how I can leverage myself and build my business' brand. It certainly exceeded my expectations. "Breakthrough Branding" is a must-have book if you're an entrepreneur. It provides practical ideas for thriving in today's competitive business market. Catherine Kaputa presents real examples and company stories to support each of her principles and tactics. So the book is not just theory, but a fun read that gives you many ideas you can implement -- right now.
Liz1111 More than 1 year ago
As the author, Catherine Kaputa, says, “We’re all entrepreneurs now whether we work in a company or have our own business. We all are responsible for our company’s growth. We all need to be brand builders.” I just read Breakthrough Branding, and as a corporate entrepreneur, this book gave me new insights into how to transform a small idea into a big brand. Here are some of the key ideas in the book: - Nothing is sold until it’s branded. - Branding is building an image and creating emotional connections with customers. - Find a “small idea,” a simple, focused brand promise that defines what’s special about your brand. - It used to be, the bigger your business plan, the bigger its potential. Now, it’s the smaller your business plan, the bigger its potential. - Better entrepreneurs don’t win. Entrepreneurs with better perceptions win. - The name you give your business or idea is your first and most important strategic and creative decision. - Touching the truth cord is the root of all great branding lines. Tell the truth, but make it interesting. - You’ve got to come up with something that visually defines the brand. I could go on and on, but pick up the book for inspiration and guidance on innovation, creativity and branding.
RK1 More than 1 year ago
If there is one book to guide you as an entrepreneur, it’s Breakthrough Branding. I should know since I’ve ready just about everything that is out there. So, I picked up this book not expecting too much and was very happy that I did. I didn’t have high expectations because so many branding books are too theoretical, but this book is practical yet inspiring. I was captivated by the many short brand histories throughout the book, including how mega brands like Twitter, Forever 21, Honest Tea and many others got their starts. The book has brand stories covering every type of product and service so there is something for everyone. The book covers everything you need to know about branding, starting with finding your business idea, naming it, figuring out how your product and website should look, and finding your brand voice. To help you implement the branding ideas, each chapter contains exercises, which I found very helpful for my business. I have some new products that are in development so I found the chapter on naming your products very valuable. The book also has a chapter on internal branding, building an internal brand with your employees that complements the external brand and helps you be more successful. The author shares inside stories from companies like Zynga, Kayak, Google, McDonalds and others on things you can do to create a dynamic internal culture. I think you’ll find the book a helpful addition to your library as an entrepreneur.
ChrysCC More than 1 year ago
Breakthrough Branding Rocks I picked up Breakthrough Branding on a whim since I’m in the process of launching my own non-profit. The book is a manifesto for entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs beginning with finding your business idea and making sure it’s what Kaputa calls a “small idea,” a business concept that’s simple, focused and different. That way you can own a niche in the marketplace and survive the “Valley of Death,” the difficult start-up phase that kills off so many entrepreneurs. Kaputa started her career in branding with the two positioning gurus Al Ries and Jack Troup, and she emphasizes positioning your brand against competitors. Here ate the 13 positioning strategies she suggests: 1. Own an attribute 2. Target a specific market 3. Be the first 4. Be the leader 5. Be the maverick 6. Have a magic ingredient 7. Have a special process 8. Connect with a celebrity 9. Be a cheapener 10. Align with a cause 11. Highlight a special heritage 12. Create scarcity 13. Go green and sustainable Kaputa also goes into how to develop a strong verbal identity – name, mission, tagline, and how to crease a distinctive visual identity – “own a visual something, a look, a color, a shape, a logo, a design esthetic. “ There are chapters on how to market your brand through traditional and new media. I found the chapter on “The Art of the Pitch” very insightful on how to pitch investors and other constituencies. In short the book is a must read if you’re a new entrepreneur or an established one. Or you work in a company where innovation, creativity and brand building are important – and that’s just about everywhere these days. You Are a Brand In today’s job market, we’ve all got to be in charge of our brand I highly recommend You Are a Brand to everyone, literally everyone. As the author points out, we’ve all got to think like branders in today’s market place. That’s just the way it is now. As the author says, “If you don’t brand yourself, other people will.” The author has a background in branding and advertising, so rather than the normal fluff about personal branding, Kaputa introduces principles and strategies from the commercial world of branding, and shows how you can use the same techniques for Brand You. As the author says, “cardinal rule of branding is to be different.” Oh yeah, I thought, how do you do that. But the author includes exercises and mini case studies to show you how to find your USP, unique selling proposition, the value that you bring to a business situation. Through interesting stories and principles, she shows you how to “package” yourself with a Visual Identity (look, clothes, trademark items) and Verbal Identity (messages, communication style). It was a fun and compelling read. I felt that I learned a lot, and it’s written in a breezy style that got me involved in the stories she told. I loved the different client stories that show how to apply the principles of branding in a real world setting. You Are a Brand is a great book that I highly recommend. The Female Brand The Story of Success for Women If you’re a woman, you need to read this book. It’s a robust and compelling examination of women in business, how it can be different for women, and how to succeed. The core of the book is about understanding the source of your competitive edge and utilizing all your strengths. The author focuses on female aptitudes that women can leverage in business such as emotional intelligence, empathy, people and relationship skills, verbal ability and leadership style. It’s written in a compelling, highly readable style. As a woman in business, I could see how I could apply Kaputa’s ideas and wisdom to my own career success, and it’s made a big difference.
Chloe85 More than 1 year ago
I read Catherine Kaputa’ first book “You are a Brand” and it was very insightful and inspiring to me. So I bought this book right after it published since I’ve heard that this book talks about branding targeting on entrepreneurs and Startup Company owners. I own a small business and I needed to brand my company as well as myself in order to make my business grow. I read the book thoroughly and it was again, mind-blowing. The book makes me contemplated how to take charge of the brand of my company. She talked about in the book that how to strike the right balance between innovation and staying true to the brand. She also provided six insightful branding tips for business leaders, which gives me great ideas of how to pitch my own company brand.