Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off one whole year of Unlimited learning. Subscribe for just £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

Our top 20 books to read on brands

Our top 20 books to read on brand
pages of a book

Here are a pick of our top 20 books that we think can really help you to further explore the subject of brands. We want to stress that these books are not essential for the course, but just some recommended reading around the subject for those who want to learn more.

For week 1

Adam Arvidsson, Brands: Meaning and Value in Media Culture, 2006
A challenging critique of how brands work on us

Phil Barden, Decoded, 2013
What neuroscience tells us about why people buy things.

Tilde Heding, Charlotte F Knudtzen and Mogens Bjerre, Brand Management, 2009
An accessible guide to the various ways academics have defined ‘brand’

Naomi Klein, No Logo, 2000
The famous anti-brand (actually anti-corporate) manifesto

Martin Lindstrom, Brandwashed, 2011
Insider analysis of tricks companies use to manipulate our minds and persuade us to buy

Debbie Millman, Brand Thinking, 2011
Fascinating interviews with some of the top practitioners in branding

Byron Sharp, How Brands Grow, 2010
Fact-based, nonconformist analysis, questioning ideas like brand loyalty.

For week 2

David A Aaker and Erich Joachimsthaler, Brand Leadership, 2009
Probably the definitive academic overview of brand management

Jonathan Knowles and David Rutherford, Vulcans, Earthlings and Marketing ROI, 2008
A friendly guide through the minefield of measurement and valuation

For week 3

Wally Olins, The Brand Handbook, 2008
Comprehensive coverage from the guru of corporate branding

James Webb Young’s A Technique for Producing Ideas, 2003
One of the most practical (and shortest) books on creativity

For week 4

Alina Wheeler, Designing Brand Identity, 2013
The best overview of brand design

For week 5

Erik Roscam Abbing, Brand-Driven Innovation, 2010
Pioneering, rigorous and also very well illustrated

Alex Bogusky and John Winsor, Baked In, 2009
Practical book on how brands these days are about the product, not the advertising

Mary Jo Hatch and Majken Schultz, Taking Brand Initiative, 2008
How organisations need to align their vision, image and culture

Andy Milligan and Shaun Smith, Uncommon Practice, 2002
An inspiring survey of how many top brands get their people to do the right thing

Daniel Pink, Drive, 2009
Recent scientific research on what motivates people to do things

For week 6

Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers, What’s Mine is Yours, 2010
Pioneering book on consumers who don’t want to own things

Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls and David Weinberger, The Cluetrain Manifesto, 2000
Prophetic manifesto on the effect of the internet on the credibility of corporate messages

Marty Neumeier, The Brand Flip, 2015
A brand designer’s view of the new power of the consumer.

Looking more widely

Here are five books we love that touch on branding – and art, humanity and even chocolate.

This article is from the free online

The Secret Power of Brands

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now