The best books on creating an admired brand

Who am I?

I am a Creative Director turned Brand Strategist who loves creating clarity for brand transformations. I do so for small companies and Fortune 500s alike, but the thrill is the same. At the end of the day that hands-on (actually more of a ‘brain on’) work coupled with my books on branding and my podcast Hitting The Mark (where I talk with some of today’s most mesmerizing founders about the intersection of brand clarity and startup success) is doing my part in creating more admired brands in this world. I hope the books on this list will inspire and enable you to do the same for your own company.


I wrote...

Bigger Than This: How to turn any venture into an admired brand

By Fabian Geyrhalter,

Book cover of Bigger Than This: How to turn any venture into an admired brand

What is my book about?

A quick read about the deceptively difficult task of turning your venture into an admired brand.

Inspired by a new wave of commodity brands that are winning hearts, using one (or more) of the eight traits and their commandments in this book will guide you to your specific path to turning your venture, may that be a commodity product or a hot startup, into a better, more beloved brand.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

Building a Storybrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen

By Donald Miller,

Book cover of Building a Storybrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen

Why this book?

The key ingredient to creating a company is having a great offering and an audience that desires it. The key ingredient to crafting an admired brand is understanding that story is key and Donald Miller’s book acts as your guide (to becoming a guide to your customers). You have to create the word before you can spread the gospel and this book will help you with both. 


Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't

By Jim Collins,

Book cover of Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't

Why this book?

Perhaps the business book of all business books so chances are you have already read it. So why do I even list it here? Two reasons: This is your sign to finally go for it in case you have in fact not read it yet. And you will learn how to ‘build your own flywheel’ and that propels your chances of turning into an admired brand substantially.  


The Brand Gap

By Marty Neumeier,

Book cover of The Brand Gap

Why this book?

From brand strategy to design, from validation to cultivation, Marty’s delightful read will make you not only understand what branding is, but you will turn into a design advocate along the way. And, more importantly, it will make you understand what’s at the heart of any great brand: Customer experience. Marty further has a captivating style of storytelling. I promise you won’t be putting this book down once you started. Large typography and fun design make it a quick ‘airplane read,’ which is a format that definitely inspired me as an author.


Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team

By Alina Wheeler,

Book cover of Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team

Why this book?

Admired brands usually look great. And they do so on purpose, and consistently. If I may tempt you to dig a bit deeper into the wonderful visual journey that is brand identity you may just get hooked. Alina’s book was a big inspiration for my first book and it will show you the power of great branding and design. If anything, you will turn into an educated client the next time you hire a designer. Those savings alone will be worth the money you spend on this book pick.


Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

By Tony Hsieh,

Book cover of Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose

Why this book?

It was a tough decision, and I definitely still want you to read Seth Godin’s books, but I settled on the late Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness since great company culture is the foundation to an admired brand. I strongly believe in that and spreading how Tony created the phenomenon that is the Zappos culture, you will realize that paying your top employees hard cash to quit is actually one of the many ways to set your company on the path of becoming an admired brand.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in leadership, customer success, and advertising?

5,887 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about leadership, customer success, and advertising.

Leadership Explore 58 books about leadership
Customer Success Explore 9 books about customer success
Advertising Explore 35 books about advertising

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Experience Economy, Pour Your Heart Into It, and The Five Dysfunctions of a Team if you like this list.