The Best Books On Brand Strategy

The Books I Picked & Why

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind

By Al Ries, Jack Trout

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind

Why this book?

Positioning started as a brochure in early 1970, then grew into a book that changed the face of marketing. Ries and Trout pioneered a concept they called positioning, which in my view is the foundation of any brand. If you can grasp the simple truths in this book, you’ll understand what 90% of marketing people don’t—that the brand is in the minds of customers, not companies.


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The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth

By Clayton M. Christensen, Michael E. Raynor

The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth

Why this book?

After Positioning, this is the most influential book in brand innovation. The authors show how scrappy startups can disrupt incumbents with products and services that seem “not good enough” at first, but end up reordering an entire industry. They also show how incumbents can defend against such aggressive moves. A seminal work.


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The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization

By Peter M. Senge

The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization

Why this book?

Senge brought systems thinking—what he calls “the fifth discipline”—to the world of business management. There are very few single-brand companies, so leaders need to learn the skills for managing multiple brands as a system instead of as a simple collection of brands. While this book is not about branding per se, you’ll learn a lot about thinking in systems instead of reacting to challenges independently of one another.


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Who Do You Want Your Customers to Become?

By Michael Schrage

Who Do You Want Your Customers to Become?

Why this book?

It’s a startling question, especially for companies that focus on their own success instead of the success of their customers. But if you’re out to build a lasting brand, it’s the right question to ask. Schrage shows why the goal of innovation should not be to invent a great product but to create a great customer.


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Decoding the New Consumer Mind: How and Why We Shop and Buy

By Kit Yarrow

Decoding the New Consumer Mind: How and Why We Shop and Buy

Why this book?

Marketing psychologist Kit Yarrow explains how technology has rewired our brains, making us more individualistic, isolated, emotional, and distrustful. This is not a pessimistic book—it’s a practical guide to addressing customers’ desires and insecurities in a time of deep cultural shifts. Not only has she done her homework, but she also presents the results with lightness and clarity.


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