After years of digital dominance, we’ve finally come full circle, as most marketing professionals recognize a resurgence in brand marketing. Instead of investing all our budgeted eggs in the performance basket, a careful balance between brand and performance marketing is necessary for a successful marketing strategy. As you take a fresh look at your brand marketing, our team has curated a list of the best books on branding that inspire us and that guide our work every day.
Best Book on Branding that Connects
Emotional Branding: The New Paradigm for Connecting Brands to People
by Marc Gobe
The philosophy of this brand book can be summed up with Gobe’s quote, “The biggest misconception in branding strategies is the belief that branding is about market share, when it is really all about mind and emotions share.” To be successful, brands must listen, focus on how people feel and why they do what they do, then shape their brands with a goal of meeting consumers on those terms, embracing, supporting, and sometimes celebrating the uniqueness and individuality of all consumers. Read more in our conversation about how brands win with authenticity.
Best Book on Branding Basics
The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design
by Marty Neumeier
This holistic book covers some of the most important aspects of branding, complete with a full brand glossary. Whether you’re just beginning your journey in brand strategy or you’re a seasoned vet, this book lays out both basic and complex branding principles in a comprehensive, yet easily digestible way. See these branding basics in action as we outline three easy ways to implement brand strategy.
Best Book on Brand Principles that Never Get Old
Customer-Centered Growth: Five Proven Strategies for Building Competitive Advantage
by Richard Whiteley and Diane Hessan
This classic brand book, published in the 90s based on research with dozens of brands, is in publication because of the solid principles within. Whiteley and Hessan explain that when brands listen to customers and incorporate their thoughts, feelings and expressed needs into the brand strategy, they create a symbiotic relationship that breeds success. The best brands do this so seamlessly, it is almost a reflex. Conversely, brands which fail to truly listen to their customers are doomed to failure.
Best Book on Brand’s Role in Media
The Media Advantage: How to Reframe Marketing For a World Gone Dark
By Jim Elms
Many times, we think of performance and brand marketing as an either or. But what if they can work together? This book is part thought exercise, part manual, as it ponders what author Jim Elms calls, “A World Gone Dark.” How would you market your brand if all paid media disappeared? Turns out your brand plays a hefty role. Learn more about the impact of brand media strategy during economic uncertainty.
Best Book on Brand Naming
Brand Naming: The Complete Guide to Creating a Name for Your Company, Product, or Service
By Rob Meyerson
Brand naming is part science, part art, all strategy. Take it from Rob Meyerson, who has made a career of demystifying the processes and principles of brand strategy. In this book, Rob reveals some of the techniques that have driven his success as a brand and naming strategist, and some of the considerations that go into creating a successful name.
Best Book on Building Creative Brand Culture
Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
By Ed Catmull
The best brands are born when creativity and innovation are allowed to flourish. This book, which recounts the founding of Pixar and the creative process behind some of their most well-known films, discusses the ways in which the company created a culture where employees felt comfortable to explore, imagine, and – yes – sometimes fail. Through a series of anecdotes, author Ed Catmull uncovers the basic principles that allow any organization to foster creativity as a core cultural pillar. See how we engineer creativity here at Gigasavvy.
Best Book on Purpose-Driven Branding
The Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts
By Ryan Holiday
This book on branding is not officially a branding book. Ryan Holiday explains that great branding (and marketing) will only take any product or company so far — and only in the short term. The only way for brands to truly stand the test of time is for brands to have a purpose, and then, in pursuit of that purpose, to make great products that are meaningful to their customers. Purpose, in this sense, does not have to be world changing – it could be as simple as to make people laugh, or to bring comfort. When these reasons for existence are first and foremost, the rest will fall into place in such a way that it can resonate with consumers for decades to come. See our synopsis on how to control your brand’s narrative by meeting consumers’ needs.
Best Book on Branding Experiences
This book on branding explains why and how, in today’s world, brands who build emotional connections are more profitable and resilient. Lindstrom goes on to explain that a brand’s’ emotional connection with consumers extends far beyond what we show our audience and what we say, but also extends to the experiences that engage all of the consumers experiences – what they see and hear, but also what they smell, touch and taste when they interact with our brand, as demonstrated by the feelings and childhood memories sparked by the smell of Play Doh. Check out some of our favorite brand sensory experiences.