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.

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The books I picked & why

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

Why did I love 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. 

By Donald Miller,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Building a Storybrand as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

More than half-a-million business leaders have discovered the power of the StoryBrand Framework, created by New York Times bestselling author and marketing expert Donald Miller. And they are making millions.

If you use the wrong words to talk about your product, nobody will buy it. Marketers and business owners struggle to effectively connect with their customers, costing them and their companies millions in lost revenue.

In a world filled with constant, on-demand distractions, it has become near-impossible for business owners to effectively cut through the noise to reach their customers, something Donald Miller knows first-hand. In this book, he shares…

Good to Great

By Jim Collins,

Book cover of Good to Great

Why did I love 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.  

By Jim Collins,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Good to Great as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Can a good company become a great one? If so, how?

After a five-year research project, Jim Collins concludes that good to great can and does happen. In this book, he uncovers the underlying variables that enable any type of organisation to make the leap from good to great while other organisations remain only good. Rigorously supported by evidence, his findings are surprising - at times even shocking - to the modern mind.

Good to Great achieves a rare distinction: a management book full of vital ideas that reads as well as a fast-paced novel. It is widely regarded…

The Brand Gap

By Marty Neumeier,

Book cover of The Brand Gap

Why did I love 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.

By Marty Neumeier,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Brand Gap as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE BRAND GAP is the first book to present a unified theory of brand-building. Whereas most books on branding are weighted toward either a strategic or creative approach, this book shows how both ways of thinking can unite to produce a "charismatic brand"-a brand that customers feel is essential to their lives. In an entertaining two-hour read you'll learn:

* the new definition of brand
* the five essential disciplines of brand-building
* how branding is changing the dynamics of competition
* the three most powerful questions to ask about any brand
* why collaboration is the key to brand-building…

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

Why did I love 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.

By Alina Wheeler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Designing Brand Identity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling guide to branding, updated with emerging trends and technologies Designing Brand Identity provides in-depth guidance for the entire branding team, with a universal five-stage process for brand development and implementation. From research and analysis through launch and governance, this book provides expert insight on all aspects of the process, and describes the best practices that build better brands. This updated fifth edition includes new and expanded coverage of social media cross channel synergy, crowdsourcing, SEO, experience branding, mobile devices, wayfinding, and placemaking, with 30 all-new case studies of top brands from various industries around the world. Fuel recognition,…

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

Why did I love 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.

By Tony Hsieh,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Delivering Happiness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

- Pay brand-new employees $2,000 to quit
- Make customer service the responsibility of the entire company-not just a department
- Focus on company culture as the #1 priority
- Apply research from the science of happiness to running a business
- Help employees grow-both personally and professionally
- Seek to change the world
- Oh, and make money too . . .

Sound crazy? It's all standard operating procedure at Zappos, the online retailer that's doing over $1 billion in gross merchandise sales annually. After debuting as the highest-ranking newcomer in Fortune magazine's annual "Best Companies to Work For"…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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