5 Must-Read Books for Strong Brand Building
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


  1. Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller
  2. Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  3. Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits by Debbie Millman
  4. Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier
  5. Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout

When it comes to building a strong, sustainable brand, there's no shortage of advice out there. But, sometimes, you need a little more guidance, a bit more wisdom, something you can really sink your teeth into. That's where these top books for branding come in. They're not just books; they're lifelines to the branding world. So, let's dive into the first one on our list, shall we?

Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller

Imagine you're at a party and you're trying to tell someone about your brand. You want to be engaging, memorable, and most importantly, you want them to understand what you're all about. That's where Donald Miller's "Building a StoryBrand" steps in.

The Framework

Miller introduces a framework that uses the elements of storytelling to help you clarify your brand message. It's simple, it's intuitive, and here's the kicker — it's effective. The framework includes:

  • The Character: This is your customer. Not you, your customer. They're the hero of the story, not your brand.
  • The Problem: Identify what your customer wants and what's stopping them from getting it.
  • The Guide: Here's where your brand comes in. You're the guide that helps the hero navigate their problem.
  • The Plan: You need to provide a clear plan of action for your hero to follow.
  • The Call to Action: Prompt your hero to take action with a direct and clear call to action.
  • Avoiding Failure: Show your hero what's at stake if they don't take action.
  • The Success: Paint a picture of what success looks like for your hero after using your product or service.

The Impact

Miller's approach isn't just about making your brand more appealing; it's about making it understood. He argues that if you confuse, you'll lose. And he's not wrong. By applying the StoryBrand framework, you can avoid the common pitfall of confusing your customers with complex jargon or vague messaging. Instead, you present a clear, compelling story that positions your customer as the hero and your brand as the guide. Now, that's a story worth telling.

Why Read It?

If you're looking for a practical, actionable guide, this is one of the top books for branding. "Building a StoryBrand" doesn't just tell you what to do; it shows you how to do it. It's a roadmap for clear, effective brand messaging that anyone — from marketing novices to seasoned pros — can benefit from. So, if your brand needs a little narrative nudge, you might want to give this book a read. Who knows, it could be the turning point in your brand building journey.

Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Ever wondered why some ideas survive and others die? Why do certain stories, ads, or slogans stick in our minds long after we've heard them? Well, Chip and Dan Heath have, and they've written a whole book about it called "Made to Stick".

The Core Principle

The Heath brothers introduce a principle that’s as catchy as the ideas it helps create: SUCCESs. No, that’s not a typo. It stands for:

  • Simple: Keep your message simple and core. No unnecessary frills.
  • Unexpected: Break patterns. Surprise your audience.
  • Concrete: Make sure your ideas are clear, vivid, and full of details.
  • Credible: Can your idea be believed? Provide proof.
  • Emotional: Make people feel something.
  • Stories: Tell stories. They are easier to remember than facts or figures.

Sticky Branding

The principles of SUCCESs are invaluable when it comes to branding. After all, a strong brand isn't just one that people know; it's one that people remember. And to be memorable, you have to be sticky. That means crafting messages that are simple yet unexpected, concrete yet credible, and packed with emotion and story.

Why Read It?

If you're looking to create a brand that sticks in the minds of your customers, then "Made to Stick" is a must-read. It's not just one of the top books for branding; it's also a toolkit for creating ideas that are memorable, understandable, and powerful. So, if your brand messages are getting lost in the sea of information, perhaps it's time to give this book a read. It might just make your brand stickier than a pot of honey.

Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits by Debbie Millman

Next on our list of top books for branding is "Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits" by Debbie Millman. This book isn't a step-by-step guide to branding, but rather a deep dive into the world of brands and the effects they have on our lives.

Brand Conversations

What sets this book apart is the format. Millman, a renowned designer and branding expert, has conversations with 22 top minds in design and branding. Each conversation is insightful, revealing how these experts think about and approach branding.

  • Malcolm Gladwell: The best-selling author discusses the idea of trust in branding.
  • Tomi Ahonen: The mobile communications expert talks about the role of technology in branding.
  • Wally Olins: Considered the father of branding, Olins shares his wisdom on what makes a brand successful.

Branding as a Societal Mirror

One striking theme in Millman's book is the idea of branding as a mirror for society. Brands aren't just about selling products; they reflect who we are, our values, and our aspirations. They shape and are shaped by the societies in which they exist. Think about it: doesn't your choice of clothing brand say something about you?

Why Read It?

"Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits" is not a typical branding book. It doesn't tell you how to build a brand. Instead, it makes you think about what a brand is, what it can be, and what it means in our lives. It's a thought-provoking read, perfect for anyone who wants to understand the broader impact of brands. So, if you're in search of a deeper understanding of brands and their role in our world, this book is for you.

Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier

Let's move on to another top book for branding - "Brand Gap" by Marty Neumeier. This is a book that cuts through the jargon and gets straight to the point. Neumeier's book is a concise and clear guide to understanding and bridging the gap between business strategy and customer experience.

What's the Gap?

Neumeier defines the 'brand gap' as the distance between what a company believes its brand is and what customers actually perceive it to be. When this gap is wide, your branding efforts may not be reaching or resonating with your audience. The book's task? Teach you how to bridge this gap.

The Five Disciplines

The core of the book revolves around five key disciplines that Neumeier believes are essential in closing the brand gap:

  1. Differentiate: Stand out from the crowd. What makes your brand unique?
  2. Collaborate: Combine the strengths of different people to create a stronger brand.
  3. Innovate: Constantly look for new ways to improve and adapt your brand.
  4. Validate: Always test your ideas before fully implementing them.
  5. Cultivate: Never stop working on your brand. Keep it fresh and relevant.

Why Read It?

"Brand Gap" is a book that's easy to read but full of wisdom. It's a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the mechanics of branding and the steps needed to create a brand that truly connects with its audience. If you're looking to get a grip on the nuts and bolts of branding, give this book a go. You might just find it to be one of your top books for branding!

Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind by Al Ries and Jack Trout

Next on our journey through top books for branding, we uncover "Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind" by Al Ries and Jack Trout. The key concept here revolves around the notion of 'positioning' your brand in the mind of your audience. This is a game-changer, folks. Let's dive into what makes this book a must-read.

The Power of Positioning

The term 'positioning', as used by Ries and Trout, refers to the process of creating a unique impression of your brand in a customer's mind. It's not just about what you do, but how you are perceived by your audience. The book highlights that your brand's position isn't what you do to a product; it's what you do to the mind of your prospect.

How to Position Your Brand

The authors outline a clear strategy for positioning your brand in the mind of your consumers:

  1. Identify your competition: Know who you're up against. What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  2. Find an open slot: This is a space in the market where your brand can uniquely shine.
  3. Establish your uniqueness: Highlight what sets your brand apart. Is it quality? Price? Innovation?
  4. Communicate your position: Articulate your brand's position clearly and consistently.

Why Should You Read It?

"Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind" is more than a book - it's a branding classic. It's a must-read for anyone striving to understand how to differentiate their brand from the competition. As you turn the pages, you'll gain insights into how to position your brand effectively in the minds of your customers. Not only has this book shaped the world of marketing, but it continues to provide relevant and actionable advice. So, if you're hunting for top books for branding, this one definitely deserves a spot on your shelf.

If you're inspired by these must-read books and want to take your brand building skills to the next level, don't miss the workshop 'How to Create Strong Branding for Your Work' by Celina Rodriguez. In this workshop, Celina shares her expertise on creating a strong and memorable brand that resonates with your audience and sets you apart from the competition.