Even though the internet is an incredible resource for branding information, it can feel deeply refreshing to turn off our screens and cozy up with a book instead.
Branding touches so many aspects of your business, from marketing to visual design to internal operations. Even books that don’t advertise themselves as branding books can cause insights that create a ripple effect and influence your brand – it’s all connected!
We sorted through all of our favorite business and branding books so you don’t have to. Here are our 10 favorite branding books for startups and entrepreneurs:
- The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
This is the seminal book for startup founders who want to run efficient companies, make swift decisions, and adapt quickly. Eric Ries outlines a streamlined approach for continuous testing and adjustment to ensure that startups have satisfied customers and an innovative company culture.
If you’re the kind of entrepreneur who isn’t afraid to learn about visual design principles, even if you already have a marketing and design team, Designing Brand Identity is for you. Alina Wheeler created this visually-engaging guide which includes case studies about corporate branding, rebranding, and more.
- Start With Why – Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek urges startups to go beyond the typical “what we do” and “how we do it” elevator speeches and instead articulate why they are in business. The book includes numerous real-life examples of companies who established a powerful “why” to achieve remarkable results.
- The Hero and the Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes —Margaret Mark and Carol S. Pearson
The Hero and the Outlaw offers a fascinating blend of psychology and branding by teaching readers how to use universal archetypes (discovered by Carl Jung) to grow their businesses. Learn how to foster a deeper sense of trust and connection, tell irresistible stories, and quickly determine what messaging will resonate with your customers.
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Robert B. Cialdini
Robert Cialdini dives deep into the psychology of what makes people change their behavior and say “yes.” The book includes a mix of concrete examples and scientific research that will help startups re-evaluate their sales and marketing strategies.
Turn your passions into profits with this step-by-step guide that covers the strategies, business pivots, and mindset shifts that entrepreneurs must make to grow their businesses more quickly. Pia Silva shares how her company stopped chasing clients and offering perpetual “free strategy sessions” in favor of attracting high-tier clients and getting paid to pitch.
- The Hard Thing about Hard Things – Ben Horowitz
Starting a company seems fun, exciting, and filled with that “go after your dreams!” energy… until you’re in the middle of it, wondering why no one told you about the excruciatingly difficult decisions involved. In one of the best business books of all time, Ben Horowitz shares a refreshing look at the true struggles of being a CEO.
- How to Style Your Brand: Everything You Need to Know to Create a Distinctive Brand Identity – Fiona Humberstone
Have you ever wondered how brands and influencers create impeccable, consistent, and well-styled visual identities—especially on platforms like Pinterest and Instagram? Let Fiona Humberstone teach you behind-the-scenes tips on how to create a visual brand identity that expresses your company’s personality and character.
Storytelling is the key to your brand’s success, and Donald Miller walks entrepreneurs through a precise methodology of how to tell compelling stories. If you’re looking to clarify your brand message, find your target audience, and inspire them to open up their wallets – this is a must-read.
- BrandFix: Brand Strategy for Busy Entrepreneurs – Kady Sandel
Kady Sandel, CEO and Brand Strategist of Aventive Studio, published her new book BrandFix: Brand Strategy for Busy Entrepreneurs!
BrandFix is a culmination of Kady Sandel’s work with brand strategy and graphic design clients over the years. In her signature no-fluff style, Kady details the importance of a brand strategy, how to create one, how to create visual and content marketing that aligns with your brand goals, and so much more.