The Psychology of Branding with Kaye Putnam

kaye putnam

“The confused mind doesn’t buy.” As a psychology major — I know enough to be dangerous — I couldn’t wait to talk with Kaye Putnam. A psychology-driven brand strategist, she works with entrepreneurs from startup to high-growth. Creating a standout brand is harder than ever today. Brand builders need to understand how to appeal to customers’ hearts and minds. We discussed brand archetypes and critical questions on this week’s episode of the On Brand podcast presented by Twenty20.

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About Kaye Putnam

Kaye Putnam is a psychology-driven brand strategist for entrepreneurs. Through work with hundreds of clients from global brands to solo business owners, she developed The Clarity Code. She believes in pursuing audacious dreams and that there is genius that lives inside every entrepreneur. When you have a clear brand, your clients love, respect, and are willing to pay premium prices for your work. It gives you the clarity and confidence to scale your impact and income.

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. They love eating their way across their home of Naples, Italy.

Episode Highlights

The biggest misconception about branding. “There’s a big misconception with entrepreneurs about branding. They think it equals design. But it’s so much more than that …”

“Your brand is what believe about you — it’s your heart and soul.” With this strong definition, it’s surprising that so many create boring brands that don’t stand out. As Kaye cautions, “The confused mind doesn’t buy.” The answer?

Embrace the 12 brand archetypes. Archetypes have been key story elements since Plato. If you look at some of the strongest brands today, they have found a way to build on established archetypes. Apple is “the magician.” Harley Davidson is “the rebel.” When brands do this, they get the added meaning from the archetypes consistent use over time. We know what a rebel does. If we know Harley Davidson is a rebel, we intrinsically know more about the brand.

Three key questions to ask. “I always like to ask three questions when working with a new client. (1) What is your brand utopia? What are you working toward? (2) What do you believe? And, finally, (3) What is the flip side? Who are your brand enemies?”

But it’s not enough to just ask these questions. “You have to document them so others know how to be the brand.” This is especially valuable as your brand grows over time.

What brand has made Kaye smile recently? “This morning when I was going to the bathroom …” is always a fun way to start a story! And what did Kaye find in her friend’s bathroom? Poo~Pourri. An innovative, standout brand if ever there was one. Listen to Poo~Pourri Founder Suzy Batiz’s episode of the On Brand podcast.

To learn more, go to and take her brand archetype quiz!

As We Wrap …

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

Thanks again to our sponsor Twenty20. Your source for on brand photography for your brand. You can get five photos with Twenty20’s one-week free trial at

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!