Top 10 Branding Books of All Time
Check out my list of top branding books about different sub-areas such as brand purpose, positioning, or identity design.
Because books are a great source of knowledge and inspiration, whether you’re a designer, a CEO or a marketer, you should definitely take time to read through these top 10 books.
What sets good branding experts apart from the great ones? — an insatiable desire to learn.
If you want to stand out from the crowd, if you have a desire to build an effective and memorable brand, you’re in the right place.
10 Best Branding Books
- Start With Why
- Hello, My Name Is Awesome
- Building A StoryBrand
- Power Branding
- The Brand Gap
- Brand Thinking
- What Great Brands Do
- Designing Brand Identity
- Identity Designed
- Logo Design Love
Whether you are just starting out in the world of branding, or you consider yourself a pro, the whole process of designing and implementing a brand can be very overwhelming.
This is because branding is a very broad term that spans across many different areas.
However, this list includes everything you need to know to create strong brands, from strategy, through design to marketing and more.
Enjoy, and let me know if I’ve left out any of your favorites!
PS. Also check out my Ultimate List of Brand Strategy Resources.
Please note: as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, at no extra cost to you.
1. Start With Why
“Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”by Simon Sinek is a book that answers the fundamental question:
Why are some people and brands more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others?
Why do some brands command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike?
Even among the most successful business people like Steve Jobs, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over?
People like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, or Jeff Bezos have little in common, but they all started with WHY.
They realized that people won’t truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it (your mission).
The book shows that the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way — and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does.
Simon calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which brands can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired.
And it all starts with WHY.
🎧 Listen to “Start With Why” audiobook on Apple Books:
2. Hello, My Name Is Awesome
“Hello, My Name Is Awesome: How to Create Brand Names That Stick”by Alexandra Watkins is the ultimate guide to naming your brand.
In this entertaining and engaging book, Alexandra explains:
How anyone–even noncreative type–can create memorable and effective brand names.
Every year, six million companies and more than 100,000 products are launched, but most of them fail at the very beginning.
They all need an awesome name, but many (such as Xobni, Svbtle, and Doostang) look like the results of a drunken Scrabble game.
In this book, you will find number of resources personally vetted by the author to ensure that they provide crucial, accurate, and useful information for naming purposes.
You will also find examples of how companies from LinkedIn to McDonald’s are using creative names around the office to add personality to everything from cafeterias to conference rooms.
She also tells compelling stories and examples of both winners and losers in the naming game.
So if you’re struggling with naming your company, brand or product–you will find this book very useful.
PS. I’ve also interviewed Alexandra Watkins on my podcast. Check out her new naming course and use code “EBAQ” for $300 off.
🎧 Listen to “Hello, My Name Is Awesome” audiobook on Apple Books.
3. Building a Story Brand
“Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen” by Donald Miller is a communication book.
How to dramatically improve the way you connect with your customers by using the power of storytelling.
Donald Miller’s StoryBrand process is a proven solution to the struggle business leaders face when talking about their businesses.
It’s essential all about brand storytelling.
This revolutionary method for connecting with customers provides listeners with the ultimate competitive advantage, revealing the secret formula of telling a great story.
By telling a great story you will help your customers understand the compelling benefits of using your products, ideas, or services.
Building a StoryBrand teaches you the seven universal story points all humans respond to.
You will understand the real reason why customers make purchases, how to simplify a brand message so people understand it.
As a result you will be able to create the most effective messaging for websites, brochures, and social media.
Whether you are a marketing director, the owner of a small business, or a politician running for office, the book will forever transform the way you talk about who you are, what you do, and the unique value you bring to your customers.
🎧 Listen to “Building a Story Brand” audiobook on Apple Books.
4. Power Branding
“Power Branding: Leveraging the Success of the World’s Best Brands” by Steve McKee is another great book about branding with great examples and case studies.
Every one of the largest, most successful corporations were, at some point, mere startups.
What enables some brands to grow bigger and better, while others stumble along year after year, running but never winning the race.
The difference is that the biggest and best brands aren’t slaves to conventional marketing wisdom.
McKee shows by example how the same, sometimes counter-intuitive, strategies used by the biggest brands can also best serve small and mid-sized companies.
Among the topics explored:
- How can a company grow big by thinking small?
- Why do the best companies sometimes avoid being better?
- Why do brands that create the most memorable advertising stay away from focus groups?
- What is the secret to an effective slogan?
- When can admitting a negative become a positive?
A diverse selection of companies provides powerful lessons, ranging from traditional icons like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and General Motors, to new media models like Google and Facebook.
This book appeals not only to time–starved executives, but also to middle managers and owners of small businesses.
Those who have a wide variety of marketing problems to address and who need to change the way they think about how to generate healthy, consistent growth will definitely benefit from reading that book.
🎧 Check out the “Power Branding” book on Apple Books.
5. The Brand Gap
“The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design” by Marty Neumeier is the first book to present a unified theory of brand-building.
Whereas most books on branding are weighted toward either a strategic or creative approach, this book shows:
How both strategic and creative ways of thinking can unite to produce a “charismatic brand” — a brand that customers feel is essential to their lives.
Neumeier presents set of five disciplines to help companies bridge the gap between brand strategy and customer experience.
In an entertaining two-hour read you’ll learn:
- The new definition of brand
- The five essential disciplines of brand-building
- How branding is changing the dynamics of competition
- The three most powerful questions to ask about any brand
- Why collaboration is the key to brand-building
- How design determines a customer’s experience
- How to test brand concepts quickly and cheaply
- The importance of managing brands from the inside
- 220-word brand glossary
Those with a grasp of branding will be inspired by the new perspectives they find here, and those who would like to understand it better will suddenly “get it.”
This deceptively simple book offers everyone in the company access to “the most powerful business tool since the spreadsheet”.
🎧 Check out the “The Brand Gap” book on Apple Books.