Muskan Garg

Website and SEO Strategist

Books on Branding that Match your Learning Stage

Books on Branding That Match Your Learning Stage

It takes a mere 7 seconds – less time than it took you to read this sentence – for someone to form a powerful first impression of your brand.

It is what makes a business memorable. Branding is about the feeling people get when they think about a product or service.

We live in a world where everyone is fighting for attention. Your brand tells people what you’re all about before they even buy anything from you. It’s what makes them trust you and keep coming back.

This is where books on branding come in handy. They give you the whole picture of building a profitable brand out of your business, attracting a channel of sales and leads over time. 

Also Read – How Organic SEO Consultants help more people see your business, grow it, and sell more over time.

They take you through stories of how others built their brands and share secrets on how to make yours shine.

So, read ahead because I’ve put together several books on branding relevant to your learning level. But, before that, what is even branding?

What is “Branding”?

Successful entrepreneurs know how important branding is. It is how they communicate with customers and ingrain their names in the minds of potential buyers.

Now, if I have to simplify the meaning for you, then branding is about shaping how people perceive and feel about a particular brand.

It involves carefully composing elements like the name, logo, design, messaging, and overall brand personality to differentiate the offering from competitors. It’s just how businesses make themselves recognizable and unforgettable to customers.

Books on Branding that Match Your Learning Stage

When you think of Starbucks or Sephora – their name or logo is enough for you to trust them.

That is what good branding looks like. But, the truth is, it took them years to reach where they are now. So to say, branding is not as easy as it often sounds to many.

So, here’s a detailed series of best books on branding that match your learning level.

Beginner Level

1. “Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself” by Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy

Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself

This book, the combined success of Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy, is like your personal guide to “being noticed.” It’s a book that shows you all the ways to use social media to boost your career or business.

It is filled with tips that are super easy to try out. It covers everything from making a great impression on LinkedIn to being remembered on Snapchat.

What’s even better is that it shows businesses that you are the go-to person if they want answers to their problems. Thought leadership, you know.

Plus, it gives you the lowdown on how to mix meeting people online and in person to create even more opportunities.

By the time you’re done with this book, you’ll have the know-how to create an online identity that could lead to new jobs, exciting projects, or even turn you into a thought leader in your industry.

2.”You Are a Brand! How Smart People Brand Themselves for Business Success” by Catherine Kaputa

best books on personal branding

“Smart people are often too smart to take advice from others”, is what Catherine mentioned on one of the pages of this amazing, impossible-to-put-down book.

Agreed by many, this is one of the best books on personal branding and holds secrets influencers and top business leaders use to create a standout personal brand.

This book isn’t about changing who you are. It’s about taking the real you and showcasing that to the world in an unforgettable way. You’ll learn to play with words, use your visual style to make an impact, and see yourself as “unique.”

Plus, she has unpacked several action plans that define how to get you noticed for the right reasons. In this book, Catherine is ready to be your coach, helping you build a personal brand that’s as authentic as it is powerful. 

3. Branding in Five and Half Steps” by Michael Johnson

books on branding

Johnson, a big name in design, dives into what really makes a brand stick in people’s minds. Originally published in 2016, he talks about famous logos and branding campaigns, explaining how they started, how they turned out soon after their launch, and the difference they made.

As many know, Johnson is a creative person, but he likes to keep things precise.

He skips the confusing terms and the tall tales you might find in other books on branding.

He always circles back to the power of a good story and understanding people when it comes to creating a brand that lasts.

One of the great books on branding, the steps Johnson wrote down are not just easy to use, but they’ve also been proven to work. Johnson shows this through real examples, stories of successful clients, and clear explanations.

Plus, the book is packed with more than a thousand colorful pictures of company identities, along with templates that can help you start thinking about your own brand.

Intermediate Level

1. “Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy” by Phil Barden

Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy

Not a lot of people explore the root cause of a successful brand.

That said, Phil Barden, back in 2013, decided to change the narrative and gave birth to his hit book that talks about the psychology of successful branding.

He doesn’t just rely on marketing numbers; instead, he looks at how our brains and behaviors are influenced by brands and their ads. 

This book is really about understanding why people make the purchases they do, seen through the lens of psychology and behavior.

It’s full of real-world examples to show just how this works.

Barden, in this book, explains a lot of things in detail. Moreover, you can:

  • Learn about the Jobs to Be Done (JTBD) method
  • Dive into the Ferrero study that shows how JTBD is backed by neuroscience
  • Check out new and current examples where JTBD has been applied
  • Find out ways to connect with customers digitally

2. The Halo Effect” by Phil Rosenzweig

great books on branding

Rosenzweig’s “The Halo Effect” is a must-read for anyone looking to preserve a space in branding.

Updated in 2014 to keep up with changing entrepreneurship, it challenges the idea that successful companies are “flawless”. 

Rosenzweig, for several years, studied many high-ranking executives across different business sectors and found that lots of them prefer fast, ready-made fixes that others have used before, instead of taking a moment to challenge the norms and think independently.

Further, he points out that just because a business is making money, doesn’t mean everything’s perfect.

It can be quite the opposite if you look at it from a different angle.

The book is a wake-up call for marketers and business leaders to keep pushing for better, even when things are going really well and undisturbed.

It also warns that things outside of our control can change quickly, and it’s important to stay sharp and never get too comfortable.

3. “Known: The Handbook for Building and Unleashing Your Personal Brand in the Digital Age” by Mark Schaefer

best books on personal branding

Everybody wants to foresee their future and understand exactly where they will stand a few years from today.

The whole process of recognizing where you will stand in the future can become so much easier if you choose to take baby steps from now on.

Whether it’s landing a better job or finding more customers, it all starts with getting known.

It’s not just about fame or the spotlight. It’s about creating a digital reputation that opens doors for you.

In this book, “Known,” Mark Schaefer lays out a roadmap for making a name for yourself.

It’s full of real-life success stories and hands-on tips to help you build a strong personal brand.

This book, as many have said numerous times, is a personal coach for people who want to leverage their brand, showing how to grow your personal brand in a way that’s true to you and gets results. 

Advanced Level

1. “Building a StoryBrand: Clarify your Message so Customers will Listen” by Donald Miller

great books on branding

Donald Miller, a screenwriter and podcast host, is the head of a big online learning platform called “Business Made Simple”.

His book made its name as a Wall Street Journal bestseller in 2017 because it had a fresh take on what makes people really click with brands.

He’s all about the story – because if people don’t get what you’re all about, they won’t bother with what you’re selling.

His book, “Building a StoryBrand,” is a guide to making your brand stand out by telling a great story.

He lays out several key story pieces that can help show off what’s special and unforgettable about your brand.

Unlike others who just focus on looks, Miller is all about the story it creates over time.

Thanks to his skills as a screenwriter, this book is easy to understand, digestible, and impossible to put down.

2. “Designing Brand Identity: An Essential Guide for the Whole Branding Team” by Alina Wheeler & Rob Meyerson

books on branding: designing brand identity

If you want your brand to achieve success in no time, maybe this book is your best shot in the world.

Now in its impressive sixth edition, with over 150,000 copies out there, “Designing Brand Identity” is your ultimate checklist for launching a successful brand.

Alina Wheeler and Rob Meyerson bring almost over four decades of branding know-how to the table, with a background in advising all kinds of organizations.

One of the best books about building a brand, this book is a visual feast, packed with everything from managing a brand to digging deep with research and nailing down your brand’s look and feel.

It showcases top-notch branding from familiar, famous names like McDonald’s, Bank of America, and Coca-Cola.

But, here’s the thing, don’t expect a textbook-style read here. The authors of this book had a different idea in mind.

Their approach is way more engaging and lively, filled with visuals that make it a fun read or even something you’d happily have on your bookshelf or coffee table.

Whether you have just started on branding and design or need a burst of inspiration, this book has got you covered.

3. “The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design” by Marty Neumeier

The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier

Marty Neumeier’s book catches your eye with its sharp black and white design.

It stands out for its focus on the very gap between strategy and execution. He pushes the need for solid research and making sure customers have a great experience whenever they visit you.

Even though it’s been around for a while, the second edition has the stamp of approval from AIGA, a big deal in the design world.

Moreover, it has been rated 4.5 on Amazon. As many have given their verdicts to date, Neumeier’s writing grabs them – it’s lively and hits the mark.

He digs deep into what a brand stands for and how it ties into what we all want deep down, such as comfort or success. This book is known for haboring lessons that last, teaching branding as a way to communicate.

People who have read it say it’s the best on branding and praise how well it’s written.

And here’s something to chew on: Branding isn’t just a logo, a picture, or a website. It’s about the gut feeling people get about what you’re offering.

It is not just companies or advertisements that create brands; it is people that give birth to it. That gut feeling? It’s all about emotion and instinct. It’s not about what you say your brand is — it’s what people feel and say it is.

How to Pick the Right Book for Where You’re At?

Picking the right books on brand for where you are in your learning journey is like choosing the right tool for a job.

If you’re starting out, look for books that cover the basics in a way that’s clear and easy to follow. 

As you get more comfortable, you can move on to books that explore more about the strategies, tactics, tips, and hacks behind branding. But, if you have been in the game for a while, read books that house case studies, advanced techniques, and future trends to keep your skills sharp.

No matter where you’re at, there’s a book that fits your stage. Choose one that not only matches your current experience but also challenges you to grow. Remember, the right book at the right time can spark that ‘aha’ moment and take your skills to the next level. After all, branding is for everyone who’s building their own thing.

Choose a Book that Fits Your Stage – Stay Ahead of your Competition

Whenever you are picking a book, get one that matches the stage you are in.

In simple words, if you have no clue about personal branding, start with a low-level book that introduces the topic.

Gradually, pick a book that explores the psychology and influence of personal branding.

Finally, pick a book that tells you exactly how you can launch your name out there.

Just so you know, personal branding isn’t just for big-shot CEOs, C-level executives, or social media influencers.

It’s for anyone who wants to build something they can call their own. In fact, branding is essential to growth, according to 77% of marketing leaders.

If you’ve already started putting together something that matters to you, now’s the time to give it an identity, a brand that stands out. Nowadays, everyone seems to be shaping their own brand, and you don’t want to be the one left behind. So, get in on the action and start building your brand today.

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Muskan Garg - SEO Strategist

Muskan Garg

Muskan's been an SEO Strategist for over 5 years, helping websites get noticed and climb the ranks on search engines. She's really into how people behave online and loves using her critical thinking skills to come up with personalized SEO plans for her clients. Check out her weekly blog where she talks about all things websites, SEO, and more!

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