The best books on branding for 2019

A brand is not what you say but how others feel about you.

In today’s world, branding has never been more important. We live in abundance where our choices and options often feel unlimited.

A world where we can pick and choose between a plethora of companies and products, and where often the only difference that separates them is their brand.

The importance of branding cannot be understated.

If done right, a brand can create a deep and emotional response among their customers and fans that can resonate with them for years.

Branding is not about what you say about yourself nor is it your logo. It’s about how you make other people think and feel about you.

Branding is the emotional response people have when they come into contact with you, your products or your message.

Feelings, particularly in purchasing decisions, are often more powerful than facts. This is why large companies like Coca-Cola will protect their brand at all costs. The brand is the essence of the company and intrinsic to its success.

The books on branding listed below can help you develop your own brand, its messaging and your position in the market.

Whether you’re developing your company’s brand strategy or looking to develop your own personal brand, these books on branding will equip you with what you need to know.

If you have any other recommendations let me know in the comments.


Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind Al Reis and Jack Trout shows you that to truly stand out in a saturated market you have to have the right brand positioning.

People are already overloaded with messaging and advertising stimuli. The book highlights that the only reality that matters is how your customers and potential customers view your brand. It is their view that counts, not yours.

Based on timeless human psychology, Positioning shows you how people think, how they evaluate, how they compare, how they prioritize and how they select a particular brand.

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind
  • Positioning The Battle for Your Mind
  • Al Ries (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Building a Brand Story

Humans learn by stories. Our brains struggle to retain information by using facts alone but we are wired to remember stories.

Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller is one of the best branding books that shows you how to develop a brand story that not only people remember but want to share too. To do this, Miller says, is you have to make your customer the hero of the story, not you.

The book shows you how to talk about who you are, what you do and the unique value you bring to your customers.

Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen
  • Hardcover Book
  • Miller, Donald (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding

The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding is a marketing favorite which outlines the most important rules when building a brand.

The book takes a big picture approach to the whole of branding and wider marketing industry but the principles in it are both simple and effective.

Although not quite the classic as The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk! it’s a must-read book for anyone interested in developing a brand

The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding
  • HarperBusiness
  • Ries, Al (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)


Why do some ideas and brands become popular when others don’t? What makes a piece of content ‘go viral’ when others don’t?

In Contagious: Why Things Catch On Wharton School professor, Jonah Berger tells you what the secret sauce is to make a brand, product or idea go viral.

Berger outlines the STEPPS (Social currence, Trigger, Emotion, Public, Practical value, Stories) to help your brand resonate with its core audience.

While Contagious isn’t specifically a book about branding, it provides the formula you need to make your brand catch on.

Contagious: Why Things Catch On
  • Contagious Why Things Catch on
  • Berger, Jonah (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

The Brand Gap

In The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design author, Marty Neumeier shows you how to build a brand from the ground up.

Neumeier says there are five disciplines to branding: differentiate, collaborate, innovate, validate, and cultivate. All five are a mixture of what he calls logic and magic, and together can help you build a memorable brand.

The books says that the majority of people make brand decisions based on gut feels and Neumeier explains in great detail how we make decisions.

“Today we base our choices more on symbolic attributes. What does the product look like? Where is it being sold? What kind of people buy it? Which “tribe” will I be joining if I buy it? What does the cost say about its desirability? What are other people saying about it? And finally, who makes it?”

The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design
  • Neumeier, Marty (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 208 Pages - 08/04/2005 (Publication Date) - New Riders (Publisher)

Brand Identity Breakthrough

Brand Identity Breakthrough: How to Craft Your Company's Unique Story to Make Your Products Irresistible is one of the best books on branding that covers the full spectrum of creating a brand people will remember.

It covers creating a brand identity, establishing its core values, unique value proposition, storytelling and how to sell to the customer.

The book teaches you how to create a brand identify for both yourself and your company. Whether you’re an established business or just starting out, it shows you how to develop a clear message and story.

Brand Identity Breakthrough: How to Craft Your Company's Unique Story to Make Your Products Irresistible
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Diehl, Gregory (Author) - Diehl, Gregory (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)

It’s Not How Good You Are, it’s How Good You Want to Be

Part self-development book, part branding book, advertising guru Paul Arden covers in this short book branding, marketing success and much more.

It’s more of a motivational read as opposed to a solid branding book, but nevertheless, It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want to Be: The world's best selling book perfectly illustrates how to convey practical and meaningful advice with brevity and simplicity. This is what good branding does!

What are the best books on branding you’ve read?

Written by Ste Davies

Stephen Davies is a digital strategist, consultant and speaker. You can reach him here.

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