Branding Books #01

I’ve read a lot of books on branding and advertising. I’ll take some time to share with you some of my favorites. Fist in this list is The Brand Gap, by Marty Neumeier.

Marty Neumeier is the Director of Transformation at Liquid Agency. He has a knack for taking a complex topic and putting it into a book that you can finish in a lunch hour but use as a reference for years.

I’ve picked up three of what he dubs “Whiteboard Overviews”: The Brand Gap, Zag, and The 46 Rules of Genius. I can’t speak to the last of those just yet (it’s buried beneath a pile of business books on my nightstand), but after reading the first two, I can say that I am a fan.

Marty’s writing is clear and meticulously organized. A topic as complex as branding lends itself to being long winded. Marty avoids that. Instead, his explanations are delivered with economy and eloquence. His examples are relevant and didactic. And his illustrations are simple and memorable.

The Brand Gap is hands down the most succinct explanation of what branding is and why it matters.

It took all of an hour and a half to read. The next day I read it again and pulled quotes which will occupy full slides of all of our branding proposals. I’ve returned to the appendix of ‘take home lessons’ multiple times since.


The book is short enough that I worry about adding too many quotes. Instead, I will simply state my verdict.

Whether you are a business owner, designer, or simply a student of branding, I can’t recommend The Brand Gap highly enough.

Marty is undeniably correct in his assertion that we live in an information-rich and time-poor era. If you want to understand how to leverage consistent branding to stand out, read The Brand Gap. When you are done, pick up Zag and study it like a field guide to creating and growing a differentiated brand in 17 practical steps.

For more on why branding matters, check out our short article, The Importance of Branding. Now go forth and focus your brand!

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