Whether you’re just starting in the world of branding or looking for new approaches to the subject, online articles and LinkedIn carousels will get you only so far. You need deeper knowledge, not just quick-hit chunks of wisdom. Time to crack open some books.
For more in-depth perspectives on branding, here are some books we highly recommend.
Purple Cow by Seth Godin
Since the whole purpose of Brand Outlaw is to push brands to stand out, we’ve got to lead with this Seth Godin classic exploring the concept of standing out in a crowded market. The book provides strategies for companies and individuals to differentiate themselves from their competition as well as insightful case studies. It also emphasizes the importance of taking risks in order to succeed, as well as providing advice on how to stay ahead of trends while still maintaining a strong sense of self. Through his unique perspective on branding and business development, Godin challenges readers to create something truly remarkable.
What Great Brands Do by Denise Lee Yohn
Drawing on her decades of experience, Yohn breaks down the common practices of successful brands and provides concrete steps businesses can take to stand out and thrive. Yohn, who has worked with numerous iconic brands such as Sony, Burger King, and Target, offers seemingly counterintuitive advice, stating that great brands don’t “chase customers” or “sell products.” But read the book. Her approach makes perfect sense as she breaks down how to build an integrated brand experience that creates trust, loyalty, and market momentum.
The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier
The Brand Gap is a quick read, but it packs a ton of branding fundamentals into its minimalist package. Outlining five disciplines crucial to brand-building, Neumeier drives home the necessity of bridging the rift between strategy and creativity. This book offers practical advice on building a “charismatic brand,” one for which consumers believe there is no substitute.
Primal Branding by Patrick Hanlon
Ever wonder why some brands develop cult-like followings? Well, after reading Primal Branding, you’ll see just how much a great brand is like a religion with a strong following. Hanlon offers an in-depth look at the seven primal forces of branding – creation story, creed, icons, rituals, language, tribe, and leaders – and explores how these components are essential for creating powerful brands. His framing of these branding elements in general religious terms makes the concepts easy to understand and easy to start applying to your own brand so that it can connect with consumers on an emotional level.
Blue Ocean Shift by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
Tired of feeling like you’re fighting for scraps in a sea of sharks? Check out Blue Ocean Shift, Kim and Mauborgne’s follow-up to their global bestseller Blue Ocean Strategy. Here, they provide strategies for businesses to break away from the competition and create their own “blue ocean” of uncontested market space. The authors provide practical tools to help companies assess their current position, identify untapped markets, and develop strategies for competing in these new areas. They also discuss how to shift mindsets within an organization in order to build an effective corporate culture that drives success. Blue Ocean Shift is a must-read for any company looking to make waves in their industry.