How to Reinvent Your Brand with Dorie Clark

January 1, 2015

dorie clark on brand

“Your brand is what people say about you when you leave the room.” Bottom line: your brand is your reputation. Too many today think that reputations just happen. In reality, strong brand architects can play a big role. Dorie Clark is one of those brand architects. The author of Reinventing You took some time to talk with us about brand reinvention.

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About Dorie Clark

Dorie Clark is a marketing strategy consultant, professional speaker, and frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Entrepreneur, and the World Economic Forum blog. Recognized as a “branding expert” by the Associated Press, Fortune, and Inc. magazine, she is the author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future, which has been translated into Russian, Chinese, Arabic, French, Polish, and Thai. Her next book, Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It, will be released this April.

Clark consults and speaks for a diverse range of clients, including Google, the World Bank, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Yale University, the Mount Sinai Medical Center, and the National Park Service.

Clark, a former presidential campaign spokeswoman, is an adjunct professor of business administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a Visiting Professor for IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. She has been named to the Huffington Post’s “100 Must Follow on Twitter” list for 2013 and 2014, and to the #Nifty50 list of top women on Twitter.

Episode Highlights

How does one end up as a branding expert? Clark’s journey is one she describes as circuitous as she started out as a political journalist and then became a political spokesperson. From here she ran a non-profit and then began consulting. The umbrella issue that tied all of this together was branding. Whether it’s a political campaign or issue, a non-profit, a business, or a personality, there is a brand behind everything.

What does the branding process look like today? Dorie employs three steps to brand reinvention. First, you have to look at where you’re at and where you want to be. Next, you need to determine the steps you need to take to get you there. Finally, you have to live your brand consistently and authentically.

What’s one thing that most brands are missing? “Probably the biggest challenge brand builders face today is the human assumption that people are going to figure it out.” You have to create and control your own narrative. If you fail to do so, someone else will do it for you and chances are it will be negative. Don’t let this happen to you!

How can you be a better content marketer? As we’re now in a pull economy rather than a push economy, content marketing is more important than ever for brands. “The thing that prepared me most for creating content as a marketer was my training as a journalist.” Specifically, Dorie is thankful that she was instilled early on with a respect for deadlines. “You can’t be overly precious with what your doing.” Exactly. Sometimes you just have to push publish.

What brand has made Dorie smile lately? One of her 2015 goals is to continue her own online marketing education. As part of this, she’s been studying up on blogs like OK Dork and App Sumo. Both have a wonderful, friendly tone that makes her feel like she is being talked to like a friend.

Fun Fact … In 2015 she has a speaking and teaching trip that takes her to Kazakhstan!

We also had a lot of fun talking about higher ed (we’re both college educators), personal branding (Tim Ferris is own of her favorite examples as he essentially created his own category), and her work as part of the groundbreaking Howard Dean campaign.

To learn more about Dorie Clark and her work, check out or follow her on Twitter.

A Few Final Reminders

A big thanks to a mentor of this podcast with a new resource that you should know more about. Jay Baer of Convince and Convert has done it again. In addition to being a digital marketing thought leader, speaker, and best-selling author he’s now created a new online resource indexing all of the great marketing podcasts out there — it’s called Marketing Podcasts and you can find it at If you like marketing and podcasts you need to check this out.

Last but not least …

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

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is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.