The 7 Best Books On Branding 

Posted on December 2, 2023 | Updated on June 11, 2024

Are you looking to learn more about branding? Maybe your company is planning to do a rebrand. Or, perhaps you’re ready to specialize in it and offer branding services to clients. Either way, these seven best books on branding provide a great way to build your skills. 

1. Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller

Building a StoryBrand is one of the best books on branding, showcasing why stories are crucial to businesses. Donald Miller breaks down the process of effective brand messaging by drawing parallels between successful stories and compelling brands. 

He introduces the StoryBrand Framework, which teaches you the importance of clarity over cleverness. It allows businesses to position customers as the hero and the brand as their guide. 

Additionally, it provides compelling examples, such as the dissection of Apple’s branding. The book discusses how its consumer’s journey wins rather than flaunting product features. 

Miller’s insights are actionable and refreshing. It is an essential read for anyone looking to craft a memorable brand narrative. Plus, it shows you techniques that simplify your messaging, ensuring you connect more deeply with your audience.

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2. The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier

Marty Neumeier’s The Brand Gap is a definitive guide that dives into the nuances of modern branding. The book talks about the concept of a brand — that it’s not just a logo or tagline. Instead, it’s a customer’s gut feeling about a product, service or company. 

Neumeier stresses that this emotional connection is the true essence of branding. He introduces the idea of the “brand gap,” the distance between business strategy and customer perception. Then, he offers a theory on how to fill it.

One of the most compelling takeaways from the book is that companies don’t build brands — customers do. Using relatable examples like Nike, Neumeier showcases how successful brands take the functional attributes of their products and use them to tap into emotions. 

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3. Hello, My Name Is Awesome by Alexandra Walkins

Hello, My Name is Awesome is a vibrant book about the art and science of naming brands. The author, Alexandra Watkins, has much experience in brand naming. Therefore, she provides a playful yet insightful guide on how to create brand names that stick.  

In this book, Watkins discusses the importance of a name’s sound, cultural implications, trademark potential and domain availability. The book also discusses the five criteria for a successful name — they should be easy to spell, evocative, memorable, scalable and available for trademark. 

One highlight of the book is the dissection of real-world naming blunders, offering what not to do when naming your brand. By comparing names like “iPad” and “Wii” to less successful ones, she provides concrete examples of the principles in action. 

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4. Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Start With Why is more than about branding — it covers leadership and organizational purpose topics. Simon SInek’s core message is that successful companies and leaders don’t only focus on the “what” or the “how,” but primarily on the “why.” What is the company’s purpose, cause or belief that drives them? He also highlights how people don’t buy what you do — they purchase why you do it. 

The book introduces the “Golden Circle” model, placing “Why” at the center with “How” and “What” surrounding it. With Sinek using Apple as an example, he exemplifies how its strong focus on the “why” has led to its brand loyalty and success. He also states that when businesses communicate and lead with their “Why,” they can inspire loyalty and foster connection.

Start With Why is a compelling call to action for brands to dive deeper and uncover their core motivations. That way, you can use them as a foundation for your branding and leadership strategies.

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5. Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout

Positioning is one of the best books on branding due to its revolutionary concept of brand positioning. The book introduces the idea that you must take on a distinct position in the consumer’s mind in an increasingly noisy marketplace. 

Al Ries and Jack Trout argue that how a brand is perceived concerning its competitors is more crucial than its actual attributes. The authors dive deeper into explaining how businesses can create their unique position using creative and strategic marketing techniques. 

One of the notable examples it mentions is the case of Avis, the car rental company. Rather than competing for the top spot, Avis embraced its number two position with the tagline, “We try harder.” This shows that the company could differentiate itself effectively from the leader, Hertz. 

Positioning offers timeless insights, making it a must-read for anyone in marketing, advertising or branding. If you want to know more about perception and its influence on consumer choice, Positioning is for you.

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6. The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding by Al Ries and Laura Ries

Another book by Al Ries and his daughter Laura Ries — The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding presents decades of branding wisdom into 22 concise laws. This book expands on positioning and dives deeper into the strategies for creating powerful brands.

The laws range from the importance of singularity to understanding niche. In the book, Law of the Name discusses that a name’s longevity and adaptability can be vital for long-term success. The authors cite examples like Coca-Cola’s failure with “New Coke” and Xerox’s challenge of being synonymous with photocopying. 

The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding will provide in-depth and strategic insights, giving you the information needed to create and maintain a strong brand among the competition.

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7. Dim Sum Strategy by Peter Wilken

Dim Sum Strategy presents a fresh perspective on brand strategy. The book draws inspiration from the culinary world of the dim sum dining experience as a metaphor for building a brand that offers compelling touchpoints to its audience.

Dim Sum Strategy brings “bite-sized branding” to life. Just as dim sum offers a palette of diverse flavors in small servings, brands should create a series of memorable moments and experiences. Wilken asserts that a singular brand message is insufficient. Instead, offering various consistent and engaging brand interactions does the trick. 

The book highlights the importance of adaptability, innovation and the need to continually serve “fresh dishes” to keep audiences engaged and loyal. As a business looking to create a multi-faceted brand experience, Dim Sum Strategy offers a flavorful approach to strategy.

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Read the Best Books on Branding

When considering what to read next about branding, these are the best books to start today. These books are guaranteed to teach you something you have yet to learn. Each book on branding also offers fresh perspectives, helping you see how branding is done in a new light.

 

 

As an Amazon Associate, Designerly may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

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About The Author

Cooper Adwin is the Assistant Editor of Designerly Magazine. With several years of experience as a social media manager for a design company, Cooper particularly enjoys focusing on social and design news and topics that help brands create a seamless social media presence. Outside of Designerly, you can find Cooper playing D&D with friends or curled up with his cat and a good book.

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