Marketing
Brand Marketing

The 8 Best Branding Books Of All Time

January 19, 2023
4
min read
By
Bhargava Venkata
Growth Marketer
,
GrowthSchool
Reviewed by
Sai Ganesh
Brand head
,
Dunzo
Contents

What makes a business recognizable? The answer lies is in its branding.

In an increasingly competitive market, branding shapes your company and builds its public identity.

But effective branding goes beyond the basic elements of names, logos, and colour schemes.

Spanning across different areas, branding has become a pretty broad and vague marketing concept. There is no definite way of creating a brand that represents your business accurately.

Thus, designing and implementing a brand can seem overwhelming even to pro marketers.

It is a creative process, and some proper inspiration goes a long way.

So, if you are facing the same problem, getting your hands on a good branding book might just be what you need. Books offer new knowledge and interesting ideas — and learning about the multidimensional branding world will benefit your business in the long run.

Hundreds of branding resources are available in the market. To help you choose, we have compiled a list of the top eight brand marketing books of all time.

The 8 best branding books for marketers

Here are the eight best branding books which can help you up your brand marketing game:

1. Building a Story Brand

Amazon India rating: 4.7/5 (7318 ratings)

Many business leaders struggle to put to communicate the purpose of their business. If you are one of them, Donald Miller’s Building a Story Brand is the book you need.

A Wall Street Journal Bestseller, Building a Story Brand, teaches the readers the secret formula of telling stories. It shows you ways to transform how you talk about your company, the products it offers, and the unique value it brings to its customers.

The CEO of Story Brand, Miller, also hosts conferences and a podcast of the same name. In this book, he put his knowledge of communication into words and explained how to convey your brand to customers with perfect clarity.

Building a Story Brand approaches branding through the prism of stories. It teaches you the seven ‘story points’ to appeal to a global audience and covers the psychology of why people buy things.

You will understand how to simplify a brand message through websites and brochures and make it comprehensible to a wider audience. The book also delves into enhancing your digital presence through strong communication.

Even if you don’t follow the seven prescribed approaches to storytelling, there is plenty to learn in this book, including how to make the customer the hero of the story.

2. Branding: In Five and a Half Steps

Amazon India rating: 4.6/5 (208 ratings)

Written by leading graphic designer and brand expert Michael Johnson, very few books cover an in-depth analysis of branding as precisely as Branding: In Five and a Half Steps.

But what exactly sets this book apart? For starters, the author is a legend in his field and rebranded companies like Virgin Atlantic, Think London, BFI, Christian Aid, and MORE TH>N.

He also includes special anecdotes from his long career in the field. For example, he details his seminal campaigns like Shelter UK and the Science Museum and the intricacies behind them.

With over 1,000 vibrant illustrations, this classic brand marketing book showcases the world’s most successful corporate identities. Johnson breaks down the basic components of iconic adverts, campaigns, logos, and rebrands with phenomenal precision.

The book showcases different case studies and explains little influences make a big difference in your branding efforts. Johnson has been generous with simple examples throughout the book, which makes it easier for the reader to understand the concepts.

In every chapter, he passionately emphasizes how the art of storytelling and empathy are the foundation of creating memorable brands. While the writer doesn’t shy away from using jargon, the narrative is compelling enough to keep you hooked.

3. Book of branding

Amazon India Rating: 4.6/5 (360 ratings)

Next up on our list can serve you as a complete guide to operating a branding studio. Radim Malinic’s Book of Branding is a breath of fresh air among text-heavy brand marketing books.

While running a studio in London, Brand Nu, the writer built himself a successful second career as a writer. With his dynamic and creative spirit as a brand designer, Malinic has created a unique niche in the Industry. In this book, his experience reflects in every sentence.

Malinic expertly deconstructs the nitty-gritty details behind building a successful branding studio. With an easily digestible narration, the book packs invaluable branding wisdom in short sections and maintains a business-savvy tone in each chapter.

With jargon-free language and exceptional case studies, the book helps you navigate through complicated processes like refining contracts and strategizing client presentations.

Book of Branding is a beautifully designed and easily comprehensible resource that presents valuable insights into the creative industry and inspires the brand designer within you.

4. Brand Gap

Amazon India Rating: 4.5/5 (952 ratings)

This Marty Neumeier creation is the first book to present a unified theory of brand-building. So, if you are someone trying to build a brand from scratch, The Brand Gap is one of the best books you can get.

Neumeier is an experienced author, designer, and brand advisor. His writing portfolio includes ZAG, part of his whiteboard series, and named one of the ‘top hundred business books of all time.’ The author is well known for his other notable works like The Designful Company, a bestselling guide to nonstop innovation.

Most branding books focus on either the strategic or the creative elements of the field. The Big Gap stands out for its unique approach to how a combined effort into strategy and creativity can build a brand that customers resonate with.

With a crisp and clear narration, The Big Gap covers the new definition of branding and the five key disciplines of brand building. Neumeier’s first book also covers the importance of collaboration and design in building a customer-centric brand.

The author avoided jargon in his narration by breaking down the basics of branding. You will learn how branding can change the dynamics of your competition. The book will also show you how to test brand concepts quickly, without investing much.

Simply put, The Big Gap is a 220-word brand glossary that would get you started on your brand-building journey with a firm foundation. A book of great branding ideas in a deceptively simple form, Brand Gap, will help you connect the dots between your branding method and customer experience.

5. Designing brand identity

Amazon India Rating: 4.7/5 (406 ratings)

Designing Brand Identity by Alina Wheeler is an informative book for brand designers to step up their game. Whether you are a rebranding manager or planning to introduce brand design in your employee training module, this branding book is a must-have.

With years of experience in brand building, Wheeler started her writing journey with this very book. This quintessential resource has been published in seven languages and is used by clients to educate their workforce.

From brand architecture to asset management, Wheeler has delved deep and explained the principles, theories, and practicalities of branding. Designing Brand Identity showcases over 100 branding subjects, checklists, tools, and diagrams.

The book includes 50 case studies from brands like Coca-Cola and Mozilla, covering elements like objective, strategy, process, solution, and outcomes. To give readers a vivid idea, Wheeler has included over 700 illustrations of brand touchpoints. The author has also added thought-provoking quotes from branding experts, CEOs, and design gurus throughout the chapters.

In its entirety, Designing brand identity is a comprehensive and pragmatic brand marketing book, representing branding as a seamless blend of psychology and creativity.

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

Amazon India Rating: 4.5/5 (336 ratings)

One of the best branding books, this marketing classic by Al Ries and Jack Trout remains as relevant as it was twenty years ago. The book is an excellent narration of a penetrating analysis of some of the most striking successes and staggering failures in the history of branding.

In 1972, Ries and Trout pioneered the “Positioning Era” when they co-authored a three-part series of articles in Advertising Age magazine, promoting their concept of positioning. The author duo is some of the most experienced and respected figures in the marketing industry.

This phenomenal brand marketing book changed the way forever changed the way advertising is done. In Positioning, Ries and Trout took a timeless approach that will help you avoid the marketing fads to this day.

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind is the first book to deal with the problems of communicating to a sceptical, over-communicated public. The authors took a revolutionary approach to create a ‘position’ among customers that reflects a business’s strengths and weaknesses and that of its competitors.

In a witty and fast-paced style, Ries and Trout go into detail on how to position an industry leader so that people remember them for the long haul. The book also explains how to avoid letting a second product piggyback on an established one.

7. Brand thinking and other noble pursuits

Amazon India Rating: 4.3/5 (163 ratings)

Many brand designers, novice or expert, often dwell on the true capability of branding and how to harness its potential. If you are one of them, Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits by Debbie Millman is just the branding book for you.

An author, educator, brand strategist, and host of the podcast Design Matters, Debbie Millman is named “one of the most influential designers working today” by Graphic Design USA. She has worked with over 200 of the world’s largest brands and interviewed over 250 design luminaries and cultural commentators, including Massimo Vignelli, Milton Glaser, Malcolm Gladwell, and Dan Pink.

In Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits, each chapter is an extensive dialogue between Millman herself, a design visionary, and a different leader in the field. The author has poured the knowledge of the branding experts through an enlightening and engaging narrative. The book explores the state of modern branding and explains the behaviour behind a company’s brand and why people buy.

In every interview, the author asks thought-provoking questions to the world’s leading barn thinkers. Their answers reflect the intricacies of branding and the psychology behind it. You get to read different perspectives and get an abundance of inspiration to create your branding strategy.

8. Brand New: The Shape of Brands to Come

Amazon India Rating: 4.4/5 (32 ratings)

The last addition to our list is the perfect branding book for someone seeking to explore the ins and outs of branding in the current world. Instead of explaining the basic terms, Brand New by Wally Olins focuses more on the recent developments and changes in patterns in the branding industry.

The author explained the concepts of modern branding by analyzing the companies that have lost their hold on branding. Olin appreciates their effort of establishing a brand despite the numerous challenges of the current branding field — and then he shows his readers exactly what went wrong.

Brand New goes into the details of the future of branding, how globalization and technology have influenced the field and the changes in customer feedback.

If you are finding it difficult to keep your branding edgy and at pace with the current marketing patterns, this nifty branding book by Wally Olins will come in handy.

Conclusion

Branding goes beyond making a memorable impression on your customers. It also conveys the message of your company, allowing customers and clients to know what to expect from your business.

No matter what industry you are active in, markets are crowded. So, to make a name for yourself, your branding has to be top-notch.

But to create a brand that fits your business seamlessly, first, you need proper knowledge.

Examine your expertise in branding and your workforce’s prowess on the subject. Then choose from the above top eight books and take inspiration from the leaders of the industry.

With the right resources, passion to learn, and a positive outlook, you will find your way to successful branding.

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