One of the best pieces of career advice I got early on as a Strategist was to “read as much as possible”. Read about branding, but also about human behaviour, psychology, philosophy, business. In an age of constant social media distractions and a 24h news cycle, making time to read good books is all the more important.
So what’s on our bookshelf at Tee & Frost? Below are some of our favourite reads from the world of branding, business and design:
Wally Olins: The Brand Book
Referenced by us in many client workshops (and a few blog articles too), this one’s a branding classic. Some of the examples are a bit out of date now, but the principles still hold.
Phil Knight: Shoe Dog
What story about branding would be more interesting than that of the founder of the world’s biggest sports brand? Shoe Dog is Phil Knight’s memoir about starting Nike. A fantastic and gripping read.
Margaret Mark and Carol S. Pearson: The Hero and the Outlaw
This book draws on Jungian psychology and story themes to illustrate how brands can tap into age-old archetypes. By embodying one of twelve archetypes, brands can strengthen their frame of reference. We’ve often found this a useful exercise at the beginning of branding projects: are you more of a “Ruler” or “Magician” brand, for example?
Richard Rumelt: Good Strategy, Bad Strategy
This book debunks the buzzword that “Strategy” has become and defines what Strategy is, and isn’t. One of the interesting lessons is about Focus: good strategy is as much about deciding what to do and what not to do. Where do you dedicate your resources?
Byron Sharp: How Brands Grow
A fascinating read that scrutinises some of the most commonly-held beliefs in marketing. If you’re tired of being lectured about the importance of customer loyalty, differentiation and customer targeting, then this one’s for you. Lots of empirical examples make this a rare publication in the marketing world.
KesselsKramer: Advertising for People Who Don’t Like Advertising
Make no mistake, this is a clever book about advertising by advertising people. It offers a glimpse into the refreshing philosophy of ad agency KesselsKramer.
Adrian Shaughnessy: Scratching the Surface
Providing perspectives and insights from Graphic Designer Shaughnessy, this book is a great one to “dip in and out” of. Short essays make for an entertaining and enlightening read.