7 books to bring your brain back to brand

If you’re anything like me you’re planning on spending the next couple of weeks full of, let’s say, “Christmas Cheer”. But come January you’re going to have to step back into the office with something vaguely intelligent to say.

Here are 7 books that I recommend to get you back fighting fit for your first new year kick off strategy meeting in January.

1.  Thinking strategically:

Brand New” (2014) – Wally Olins 

Frankly, I could put any Wally Olins book on this list. Or I could fill the whole list with his books. But I’m going to go with his last. For me Wally Olins is the brand guy. His books make clear that branding is more than just a check list of marketing activities. It’s about culture and how people behave. When I read this book again earlier this year I got excited about my job all over again.

Honorable Mention: “BRAND is a four letter word” (2012) – Austin McGhie

2. Being a better writer:

Everybody Writes” (2014) – Ann Handley

I’ll admit that I haven’t finished this book yet. It’s because I don’t want it to end. Every time I read it I get so inspired to start writing that I put it down and pick up my pen instead. Full disclosure, I was reading it when I started writing this blog.

Honorable Mention: “Read Me: 10 Lessons for Writing Great Copy” (2014) – Roger Horberry and Gyles Lingwood

3. Naming things

“Don’t call it that” (2014) – Eli Altman

Don’t call it that is a short, easy to read and practical book on what to name a product, service or company. It deals with the creative side of naming (which is good, because I don’t think a book about running trademark searches would be very interesting). And there’s an activity at the end of every chapter. Really fun even if you have nothing immediate to name.

Honorable mention: “Name of the Beast” (2007) – Neil Taylor

4. Looking at logos 

“Marks of Excellence: The History and Taxonomy of Trademarks” (2013) – Per Mollerup

This beautiful coffee table book tracks the idea of a visual brand: which becomes a logo from its origins in heraldry to the present day. This book has hundreds of rare and instantly recognizable trademarks, logos, signs, advertisements, and the images that inspired them. I read it in one sitting.

 Honorable Mention: “TM: The Untold Stories Behind 29 Classic Logos” (2014) – Mark Sinclair

5. Working smarter

“Predatory Thinking” (2014) – Dave Trott 

This book talks about how you need to think to put yourself ahead of your competition. For you to win a pitch or get a new job someone else can’t. Readers of my blog may remember one of Dave Trott’s stories from the “Trust me. I’m a plumber” entry. Warning, this book is ruthless but sometimes so is life.

6. Public speaking

“As We Speak” (2012) – Peter Meyers & Shann Nix

I was fortunate enough to attend Stand and Deliver’s Leadership Presence training course in London last year. Peter Meyers, Rob Baedeker and the team do a fantastic job coaching you to be an efficient, engaging and most of all entertaining public speaker. This book is an extension of that workshop.

7. Networking

“How to win friends and influence people” (1937) – Dale Carnegie

Seminal. If you haven’t read this book already then you should stop everything you’re doing and buy it now. There’s a reason it still gets recommended nearly 80 years after its first publication.

What am I missing off my list? Recommend me some books in the comments below to get my brain back to brand this Christmas.