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Planning your summer vacation and looking for a great read? We pored over the reviews, ordered the books, and picked our favorites! Whether you’re on a team of 10 tasked with a new branding project for the fall, mastering your marketing plan, or developing a marketing strategy, you’ll find inspiration, education, and a little business acumen from these winners.

Branding: In Five and a Half Steps, By Michael Johnson

In Branding, Johnson strips everyday brands down to their basic components with case studies that enable us to understand why we select one product or service over another and allow us to comprehend how seemingly subtle influences can affect key life decisions.

With more than 1,000 vibrant illustrations showcasing the world’s most successful corporate identities, as well as generic templates so you can create your own brand or ad with ease, Branding explores every step of the development process required to create the simplest and most immediately compelling brands.

Read the Reviews

“The clarity of the thinking, the writing, and the organization of this book are BRILLIANT! . . . If you are in a position to create or revise an existing brand, you NEED this book!”—Halles9

“[This book is] very in-depth with several examples and illustrations, including different tactics that can be applied to the unique problems you’re trying to solve. It really gives you options.”—Nik

Now Try Something Weirder: How to Keep Having Great Ideas and Survive in the Creative Business, By Michael Johnson

With 233 (to be exact) hints, tips, and pieces of advice, Now Try Something Weirder shows those in the creative industry how to have great ideas every day. If you’re looking to improve the way you work with clients, understand and question design briefs, deliver knockout presentations—and generally gain covetable creative confidence—sometimes the solution is staring you in the face.

Read the Reviews

“This book is a masterclass in economical writing. 100s of tips for being a more rounded creative—having better ideas, getting a job, running a business, winning work, presenting work—you name it, it’s in here. All snappily written in an easy-to-read jargon-free style.”—Anonymous reviewer

“Michael Johnson provides you with the necessary tools and creative courage to enable you to grow as a designer and help better define your practice. Highly recommended for creatives at every level.”—JD

The 1-Page Marketing Plan, By Allan Dib

In this book, serial entrepreneur and rebellious marketer Allan Dib uses an interesting story to define some of the common terms we use around marketing and sales: “Here’s the simplest, most jargon-free definition of marketing you’re ever likely to come across: If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying, ‘Circus Coming to the Showground Saturday,’ that’s advertising. If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, that’s promotion. If the elephant walks through the mayor’s flower bed and the local newspaper writes a story about it, that’s publicity. And if you get the mayor to laugh about it, that’s public relations. If the town’s citizens go to the circus, you show them the many entertainment booths, explain how much fun they’ll have spending money at the booths, answer their questions and, ultimately, they spend a lot at the circus, that’s sales. And if you planned the whole thing, that’s marketing.”

The 1-Page Marketing Plan reveals a marketing implementation breakthrough that makes creating a marketing plan simple and fast. It’s literally a single page, divided up into nine squares. With it, you’ll be able to map out your own sophisticated marketing plan and go from zero to marketing hero.

 

Read the Reviews

“The chapters are in a logical order that builds from one marketing principle to another while working toward completing the plan. There are frequent referrals between concepts that tie everything together. I appreciate the way Dib starts each chapter with a summary and a list of what he will be telling you in that chapter. Then, at the end of each chapter, he has an action item and instructions for filling in one block of the nine-block marketing plan.”—Dave Kinnear

“My MBA marketing courses didn’t teach me as clearly as this book did. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. No more random acts of marketing for me . . .”—R. Hurst

This article originally appeared in BEYOND PRINT as syndicated content and is subject to copyright protections. All rights reserved. Image(s) used under license from Shutterstock.