I’ve just returned from the ‘Building a better brand’ breakfast session at Wired Sussex where myself and the lovely guys from Advantage answered a host of questions and shared our branding experience and process with the attendees. This has prompted me to share some of my top reads for branding designers or people starting out on the road to discover and develop their own brand. I’m the first to admit that much of our branding process here at Puree has been inspired by some of these books. So, here goes…
1. The Brand Handbook, Wally Olins (buy it here)
Written by the godfather of branding Wally Olins, this practical book maps out solid brand development process as well as the importance of getting a whole team (indeed a whole company) on board with a new brand. Drawing on his experience working on many of the worlds largest brands it forms a practical guide for the considerations of creating a corporate identity and all that goes with it.
2. Start with Why, Simon Sinek (buy it here)
I only came across this book a couple of years ago but it totally changed how I think about Puree’s own communications and then how we help others articulate what their own companies are really all about. It maps out the science of why everyone should begin with talking about their ‘why’ (essentially their purpose) before talking about how or what they do. It’s backed up with both scientific data and historical case studies from the infamous Apple, to the Wright brothers or Martin Luther King – this one is a must read for anyone in business! Simon also has a great website here: https://www.startwithwhy.com/
3.Do Purpose. Why brands with a purpose do better and matter more, David Hieatt (buy it here)
This is a really easy read but has some great nuggets for the entrepreneur striving to create a purpose driven brand – and lets face it who wants to run a company that has no purpose? It’s like a crash course on entrepreneurship done the right way. Full of home truths and good advice.
4. Archetypes in Branding, A toolkit for creatives and strategists, M Hartwell and J, Chen (buy it here)
This is an excellent resource for anyone running brand discovery workshops as we are (see here) It contains some very handy brand archetype cards and suggestions for exercises you can facilitate to help any organisation discover their brand personality. The theory of archetypes – originally popularised by Carl Jung and now repurposed here to apply to brand is a really robust way of discovering and then remaining true to a personality type that is both authentic and consistent. It’s also a really fun exercise! Bonus book: For a deeper dive into the theory of archetypes I recommend ‘The Hero and The Outlaw’ by Mark Pearson.
5. Designing Brand Identity, An essential guide for the whole branding team, Alina Wheeler (buy it here)
This is a really detailed look into branding process and theory embellished with some great examples of good brands and the thinking behind them. I like to flick through this for inspiration and I strive for us to be as clear as this about our own branding process.
So thats my top five branding books – What do you think? Have I missed any essential branding reads? Let me know in the comments.