The best books on branding can improve your skills, expand your creative horizons, and offer infinite inspiration. From the best books on branding yourself, to the tools you need to brand your business, there’s something for every professional.
Maybe you’re planning on updating your company’s brand and you want a quick education before you seek out branding support. Perhaps you’re a professional in the branding space, keen to develop your skills.
Either way, the top books on branding are an incredible resource.
Written by people with a behind-the-scenes knowledge of what it takes to make a business successful, books on branding can enlighten, enrich, and enhance your abilities.
So, where do you start?
Whatever your reason for seeking our branding expertise, we’re here to help. We’ve put together a list of our favorite books on branding, to help you transform your bookshelf.
Let’s get started.
Our top books on branding are:
- Branding in Five and a Half Steps
- Building a Story Brand
- Creating a Brand Identity
- Book of Branding: A Guide to Creating Brand Identity
- The Brand Gap
- Personal Branding for Dummies
- Designing Brand Identity
- Branding Pays
- The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding
- Build Your Brand Mania
- Branding for Dummies
- Sticky Branding: 12.5 Principles
- Start with Why
- Identity Designed
- How to Style Your Brand
Read on for more…
1. Branding: In Five and a Half Steps
Branding can be a complex topic. Google the term “brand” online and you’ll get a wide range of different definitions of what a brand can be. It’s no wonder even professionals get confused.
Written by Michael Johnson, and published by Thames & Hudson, Branding in Five and a Half Steps simplifies the path to understanding brands.
Beautifully constructed, this book by Michael Johnson is brimming with insights into some of the best branding techniques around the world. You’ll learn what it takes to craft a compelling logo for clients and discover the basics of building amazing advertising campaigns.
Johnson infuses his book with useful stories from his own experiences in the branding world, where he worked with a range of leading companies like Virgin, Christian Aid and More Than.
Johnson’s passion is perhaps the most compelling part of this book. Every chapter clearly comes from someone who knows and loves the branding world.
2. Building a Story Brand
Brand stories are the emotional and meaningful tools companies use to build a relationship with their audience. Learning how to design a message clients relate to is one of the most important things you can do as a branding expert.
Fortunately, Donald Miller is on-hand to answer all the questions you might have. As the CEO of the StoryBrand company, Miller believes all brands need the right story to connect with their audience.
As one of the top books on branding, this is a best-seller around the world, attracting readers with its ability to change the way you think and talk about your company. Miller will teach you how to find the crucial elements which make a business unique and share them with the world.
The Building a Story Brand book also covers things like pinpointing main “story points” in your marketing and branding strategies.
Through a series of seven steps, Miller will demonstrate how your storytelling ability will transform the way people think and feel about your company on a psychological level.
3. Creating a Brand Identity
Written by the amazing Catharine Slade-Brooking, the book “Creating a Brand Identity: A Guide for Designers” represents an excellent introduction to the world of branding for students of design and company image creation.
Through the chapters of this book, you’ll discover what it means to create a brand identity for a business, and how important it is to stand out from the crowd.
Slade-Brooking covers a range of topics, all the way from consumer psychology, to executing brand strategies, and delivering finished campaigns.
Catharine takes her knowledge as a professor of BA Graphic Communications and transforms it into easy, but comprehensive introductions to all of the most important aspects of branding.
For those who might be overwhelmed by constant blocks of text, Catharine has also embedded plenty of visual representations, examples, and studies into the book for a more diverse learning experience.
4. Book of Branding: A Guide to Creating Brand Identity
Another fantastic introduction to the world of branding and brand development, Radim Malinic’s “Book of Branding” is an essential guide designed specifically for startups and founders.
Unlike other books on branding which typically focus on the knowledge and insights of graphic designers and creative professionals, Malinic’s book is more accessible.
The Book of Branding is completely free of any jargon or complicated terms intended specifically for visual designers and brand creators. This means any business leader or innovator can still dive in and learn some of the basics about branding without any prior knowledge.
The straightforward tone of the book will help you to understand all the essentials of the brand identity process.
Insights, first-hand experience, and examples are scattered throughout the work, along with real-life case studies to demonstrate what branding can accomplish with the right planning, collaboration, and passion.
5. The Brand Gap
Written by the fantastic Marty Neumeier, the Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design first appeared on the market in 2005.
The book remains relevant to this day, presenting a uniquely unified theory of how brand-building should work in a modern environment.
While most books on branding take either a specifically creative or strategy approach, Neumeier’s approach allows you to explore both avenues.
Throughout the course of your reading experience, you’ll discover what it means to design a brand, and what kind of important questions you need to ask before diving into a design or development strategy.
Marty covers things like using design to enhance customer experience and managing brands from the inside out.
There are tons of great ideas and inspiration in a book which is straightforward and easy to read – even for people who don’t have a lot of extra time in their day for reading.
6. Personal Branding for Dummies
An excellent choice for anyone in search of the best books for branding yourself, Personal Branding for Dummies gives you a simple insight into creating a meaningful image for an individual.
Intended for people looking to sell themselves to future employers, entrepreneurs, and leaders, this book by Susan Chritton covers all the aspects of maintaining a personal trademark.
Throughout the easy-to-read chapters, you’ll learn about expanding your brand through social media and communities and discover how you can protect your brand from damage.
Susan covers things like how to change your image when you’re looking for a new job, and what you need to do to distinguish yourself from the competition.
For beginners, Chritton has also provided plenty of information how to get to know the real you. Once you know how to identify yourself and your personal brand, you’ll be able to create an amazing market positioning statement.
7. Designing Brand Identity: 5th Edition
Designing a Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Team, is a wonderfully comprehensive guide to brand identity, and how it effects the growth of a business.
Created by Alina Wheeler, this book helps everyone to get a better understanding of branding and rebranding, whether you’re a business leader, project manager, or branding student.
This quintessential book on branding is a valuable resource for learning about the fundamentals of brand design. There are plenty of excellent examples and case studies to guide you, illustrations, to demonstrate brand touchpoints and quotes from branding experts.
The pragmatic and easy-to-follow writing from Wheeler makes this one of the top books on branding your business anywhere.
Unlike most of the best books on branding, Designing Brand Identity is also a wonderful choice of you’re diving into the essentials of branding as a beginner business owner.
8. Branding Pays
A slightly different approach to books on branding, this book by Karen King gives you a five-step system for developing and transforming your personal brand.
In a world of social media and increasing digital presence, the best books on branding yourself can help you to establish your position as a thought leader in your industry.
This simple, but effective guide to personal branding from Karen King demonstrates how you can find your unique selling points as an individual, make the most of your skills, and put your best foot forward with every branding opportunity.
You’ll learn how to effectively present yourself to others when competing for the best career and discover what it means to be a true leader.
Branding Pays is a personal branding book already proven among business schools and Fortune 500 companies, and it’s brimming with fantastic insights. You’ll get techniques and concepts from the marketing firm responsible for launching the Apple brand.
9. The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding
This amazing book has become a marketing classic, complete with new illustrations, commentary, and so much more. The 22 immutable laws of branding is among the leading must-read books on branding, and it now comes with extra guidance on things like internet branding too.
One of the more easy-to-follow and accessible books on branding on the market today, this book by Laura Ries and Al Ries aims to give everyone the tools they need to develop a powerful identity in the competitive world.
There are anecdotes to discover from the authors, as well as studies about some of the most famous brands in the world, including Heineken and Rolex.
If you need an insight into the steps involved in building your appearance on the web or offline, the 22 immutable laws of branding have got you covered. Step by step instructions guide you through some of the best branding tactics in the world.
10. Build Your Brand Mania
Want to learn how you can get people really excited about your brand? The Build Your Brand Mania book from Matt Bertram could be the perfect tool for you.
Designed to support professionals in the age of digital transformation, build your brand mania discusses some of the top tips for better internet marketing and branding.
Bertram takes readers on a fantastic journey through the stages of becoming a “trusted advisor” in any industry or niche. With this information, you’ll discover what it takes to develop relationships with your audience on a deeper level.
You’ll also discover some of the psychological techniques that go into developing your status in a specific industry.
Matt Bertram shows how he has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs and clients to better understand the science behind concepts like credibility, and what it means to build “affinity” with your target audience.
If you need a blueprint to a better reputation, Bertram has you covered.
11. Branding for Dummies
Perhaps the ultimate introduction to developing your brand strategy, branding for dummies shows you how brands are managed, created, licensed, differentiated, and developed to have a specific impact on their target audience.
If you don’t have a lot of prior knowledge about branding and what it means, Bill Chiaravalle will give you one of the easiest introductions available, complete with all the nuts and bolts you need to develop a successful brand.
Branding for Dummies, now in its second edition, speaks to companies in plan English, with step-by-step instructions on how to handle promotions and advertising, position your brand for growth, and keep your business as visible as possible.
The step-by-steps instructions are easy to follow, and cover things like creating logos and social media profiles.
Whether you’re a business owner looking into the basics of creating your first marketing and branding plan, or you’re a market leader looking to rebrand, this could be a great guide for you. You’ll even learn how you can fix a broken brand and transform customers into brand advocates.
12. Sticky Branding: 12.5 Principles
Another of the top books on branding worth adding to your reading list, Sticky Branding is a fantastic piece written by Jeremy Miller. Throughout each chapter, Miller introduces meaningful branding concepts and ideas designed to make a lasting impact on any company’s identity.
You’ll learn how to follow in the footsteps of Nike, Apple, Starbucks, and many others.
The Sticky Brands book looks at market research and case studies to give you proven examples of how you can make your company or client more successful.
Based on a decade of research, the book aims to be the ultimate branding playbook, with tons of ideas, exercises, and stories to make your company stand out from the crowd.
Drawn from hundreds of interviews with business owners and CEOs, this book will allow you to gain a better understanding of what makes a company memorable, from a unique perspective. You’re sure to take some meaningful guidance away here.
13. Start with Why
Easily one of the best books on branding ever created, “Start with Why” is an often-recommended title for branding professionals. Created by Simon Sinek, Start with Why explores why some companies and people are more profitable and memorable than others.
By looking at some of the most memorable names in history, Sinek explores what personal and business branding is all about.
An insight into meaningful leadership, powerful innovation, and entrepreneurship, Start with Why gives you the foundations you need to develop a stronger brand image.
The book is wonderfully inspirational and offers in-depth case studies into what makes some companies more effective than others, with ideas like “The Golden Circle”.
You’ll learn what it takes to build an organization customers and future employees are drawn to, and collect the tools required to understand your brand mission and vision. Start with Why is one of the most impressive books on branding anyone can read.
14. Identity Designed
If you’re looking for the best books on branding connected to visual identity, logo design and more, then Identity Designed could be the perfect piece for you.
Written by David Airey, Identity Designed is a guide for students of design and branding who want to learn more about what it takes to build a memorable identity for any growing company.
Airey uses all of his experience as a best-selling writer and renowned designer to introduce readers to a range of branding concepts, and discuss some major visual projects, and why they work.
There’s a substantial collection of case studies and insights to browse through, and you’ll be able to use the information inside to discover how you can better future-proof your design.
This book is highly recommended for anyone looking into books on design – even if you’re not a visual designer yourself. You can still learn more about the visual elements of branding as an entrepreneur in search of growth.
15. How to Style Your Brand
Wonderfully easy to read and free from design-based jargon, How to Style Your Brand is one of the top books on branding for any professional.
Author Fiona Humberstone takes readers through the process of discovering and developing a brand identity, with the power to engage, attract, and compel people to do more business with them.
You’ll learn what it means to discover your brand vision and mission and examine ways of designing a brand image.
Humberstone shares various secrets on the basics of design, including tips on how you can use color to create an emotional connection with your customers, and why patterns and illustration add character to concepts.
You’ll learn what typography does for your brand image, and how you can create a distinct voice through the words you use in marketing.
By the time you’re done reading, Fiona should have given you all the tools you need to think about the bigger picture of your brand and what you want it to become. This is an excellent book for both branding experts and business leaders alike.
The best books on branding
This list represents just a handful of some of the best books on branding available today. As you develop your skills in the branding world, you’ll create your own lists of the top books on branding you can’t go without.
Make sure you keep an eye on the best seller list to keep adding to your collection.
Don’t forget, you can also expand your branding education right here, by checking out some of the eBooks and blogs available from Fabrik!
Fabrik: A branding agency for our times.