Winters, holidays and year-end reflective mood – perfect combination to laze around with a hot cuppa and a good book, isn’t it?
The holiday season is almost here and it’s that time of the year when you can refresh your reading list, all the good books that you wanted to read but couldn’t due to hectic life and multiple other commitments, are waiting for you to be devoured.
While I am scouting for some good books that I can try reading in the last two weeks of the year, I thought it’s also a good time for me to share some of the books that I enjoyed reading this year. I plan to do this post in 3 parts – the first one, i.e., this post is around marketing books, the second post would be on some of the good fiction that I read (oh yes, I still read fiction and absolutely love them :-)) and the third would be around life design and other interesting titles in general.
So, in marketing, I read around six titles this year. Actually I had picked two more but they were too repetitive in content to finish till the end. Those books were more like blog posts somehow dragged into a 250-page book format. Out of the six that I read, here are the three that I liked.
Interestingly, while all three are written with different perspectives and around different areas in marketing but the crux of the content remains the same:
• Focus on your product first, a good product is your best marketing asset.
• Listen to your users, there is no substitute to direct user insights.
• What’s your story? Storytelling is the new marketing.
We know these all but how many of us actually implement or get to implement these in our day to day life? Think about it.
On that note, let me share the names of the three books around marketing and branding that you may give a try:
Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen, Reviews
– Donald Miller
Ever since I have entered into consulting, one pattern that I have observed with many of my clients is a huge mismatch between the effort spent on channels vs messaging. A lot of time and money gets spent in discussing tactics like email vs Facebook but very few put in systematic effort in crafting the message that will connect with their TG. If you can resonate with this, then this book is for you.
The importance of storytelling is something that we don’t need to discuss more, I am sure by now every marketer, designer, and product manager understands and swears by the power of good storytelling. But in case you are looking to better yourself at your brand storytelling game, then you may find this book to be useful. Full of easy-to-implement ideas, and practical frameworks, this book has many takeaways for bigger brands as well as startups. Yes, at times you will get that feeling that this book is trying to sell you their premium online course but I don’t see that to be something negative and at no point, it mandates you to go for it.
Sticky Branding: 12.5 Ways to Stand Out, Attract Customers, and Grow an Incredible Brand
– Jeremy Miller
I got attracted to this title as the review at many places said it’s meant for brands with smaller budgets. Packed with insightful examples from different industries, this one is a great read for those who are starting with marketing and brand building for their businesses and would like to understand how to build an engaging brand. All the principles and philosophies explained in different chapters of the book, end with exercises that make it a great playbook with actionable strategies.
Do Purpose: Why brands with a purpose do better and matter more
– David Hieatt
A very easy read for a very difficult subject i.e., the purpose of your brand and how to build it. This book was an accidental find during one of my visits to the British Library. Initially, it looked something short and sweet but for the size of the book, it’s quite informative and to the point. While the title might make you think that it’s a branding book but most of the information shared is actually quite relevant to having a purpose and goal in life and entrepreneurship in general. If you can manage to find this one, do give this a try. This title is a part of the Do Books series and I liked it so much that I am already planning to read other titles from this series.
Which branding/marketing/product marketing books caught your attention this year? Let me know if you have any recommendations that I can try.