6 Books about branding you should read

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action — Simon Sinek

A decade ago, in 2009, the world discovered Simon Sinek through a TED talk that later on became one of the most popular talks ever: “Start with Why“. The idea developed in this talk went viral and spread so much that it gave birth to a book where Sinek stresses the importance of any organization to tackle a crucial question “Why are we doing what we do?”

In a world where branding is becoming increasingly important for all businesses, Simon Sinek explains how finding their “why” allowed brands such as Apple or Amazon to be ahead of the rest and build empires.

In this book, Sinek defines “The Golden Circle” theory, a tool that helps organizations to define their mission and build relevant and long-lasting brands.

This book will help you find the “why” of your organization and build a powerful corporate identity.

Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits — Debbie Millman

Host and founder of one of the world’s longest-running podcasts “Design Matters“, Debbie Milman is an American writer, designer, artist and brand consultant. She was named “one of the most creative people in business” by Fast Company and “one of the most influential designers working today” by Graphic Design USA.

In each chapter of her book, Debbie Milman has a conversation with a field expert around branding (Wally Olins, Malcom Gladwell, Seth Godin, …), answering the question: “why do we telegraph our affiliations or our beliefs with symbols, signs, and codes?

This book will help you better understand branding both from a business and a consumer point of view..

“The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design” — Marty Neumeier

Author, designer and copywriter, Marty Neumeier helped companies like Apple, Netscape, and Google build their brands in the 1980s. Today, he is CEO of Liquid Agency, a Silicon Valley design firm well known for its perfect balance between strategy and creativity.

In this book, Neumeier uses the same mix of strategic and creative approach he built his company on to “close the gap” between the two and help readers build a charismatic brand.

In just about 200 pages, this book will help you understand:

  • The new definition of brand
  • The five essential disciplines of brand building
  • Three powerful questions to ask about your brand
  • Why collaboration is crucial to brand-building
  • How design determines customer experience
  • How to quickly test brand concepts
  • The importance of managing brands from the inside

And because Marty Neumeier is a nice guy, he also added a 220-word brand glossary to help you navigate branding vocabulary. Generous.

“Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen” — Donald Miller

American author, public speaker and CEO of a marketing company called Storybrand, Donald Miller’s books combined spent more than a year on the New York Times Bestsellers list.

For CEOs who struggle to talk about their business, Don Miller explains how good storytelling can dramatically improve the perception of the customers on what you do.

After presenting the 7 universal story points all humans respond to, this book will help you understand the real reasons customers purchase your product/service and show you how to simplify your brand message to effectively reach them.

And because storytelling is not just another concept invented by marketers to sound smart, this book will forever change the way you speak about you and what you do, whatever your work is.

“Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team” — Alina Wheeler

You need to refresh your brand fundamentals? Alina Wheeler got you about anything you need to know in a single place.

Prominent design director and branding consultant, the first edition of this book quickly installed Alina Wheeler as a reference when it comes to brand identity. Five editions later, “Designing Brand Identity” is still an absolute reference: essential guide for the entire branding team, the book states that brands represent the most valuable asset that a company has.

Through 50 case studies and over 400 quotes from branding experts, CEO’s and designers, Alina Wheeler shows us the path to delight customers, attract prospects and build brand equity.

How cool brands stay hot — Joeri Van den Bergh & Mattias Behrer

We couldn’t end this reading list without talking about millennials, right?

3 times as many as their elderly (generation X), millennials (or generation Y) have a greater impact on today’s world than any other generation. Sometimes described as a generation who is afraid of making decisions, the authors decided to go and meet them to get to know their consumption psychology and how do they react to branding.

After interviewing 5,000 of them, the authors come up with a clear understanding of what millennials like and what they don’t. For businesses who wish to target this consumer group, “How Cool Brands Stay Hot” stands as a guide to make your organization relevant for generation Y in advertising, marketing, and branding. The book contains case studies about brands like Playstation, H&M or RedBull to have a complete idea of the best practices to address the needs of today’s most influential generation.

About the author: Bertrand Massanes | Managing Partner at Little Buddha
• Ex Managing Director at MPG art (Media Planning - HAVAS Media)

• Ex Marketing manager at Danone & Reckitt Benckiser Spain

• Ex Export Manager at Danone Paris & London
February 4th, 2020 | Branding
Little Buddha Brand Design Agency

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