5 Great Branding Books

If you're looking to dive deep, here are five must-reads that capture critical perspectives in the art and science of branding.

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If I wanted to learn more about branding, what book should I read? That’s a question I get asked a lot. I try as hard as I can to bite my tongue and not say, “well, mine, of course!” Instead, there are 5 books I almost always recommend. I’ll share them with you, too.

1/ Truth, Lies and Advertising by Jon Steel. Though it is known primarily as the bible for advertising account planners, I think Steel’s book offers a lot for brand strategists, too. He focuses your attention on how to find the big idea and translate that idea into something that can be expressed creatively.

2/ We, Me, Them & It by John Simmons. In the US, it can be a challenge to find this book by my friend John Simmons, but track it down. It’s worth your search. John makes a compelling case for brand voice. It’s one of my favorites.

3/ Managing Brand Equity by David Aaker. Aaker has written several books since this seminal tome on what makes a brand a brand, but they all pale in comparison. Sure, the examples are dated, but the principles are timeless.

4/ The Pirate Inside by Adam Morgan. With so many brands aspiring to be challenger brands, there’s a lot you can learn from this book. It proves that a brand is more than a logo; it really requires a different state of mind, and a whole lot of discipline.

5/ Different by Youngme Moon. This is another book that’s not really about branding, but brand managers and strategists can learn a lot from it. Moon’s observations on breakaway brands, hostile brands, and reverse brands are thought-provoking and entertaining.


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