I recently wrote a article about my favorite Marketing and Brand Management blogs, which generated great feedback. I also love books, and for this reason I decided to share with you the list of my all-time favorites that have helped me tremendously in my career. You will find these and other great titles on my new Books page dedicated to great Marketing reading.
These are some of the best Marketing books for at least two reasons: they offer practical advice that marketers can apply in their everyday jobs and the information presented between the covers is still relevant today.
Philip Kotler: Marketing Management– a “must-read” for every marketer, this book is the only reference you need when it comes to Marketing fundamentals such as customer targeting and segmentation, marketing research, and the 4 Ps of marketing mix. This is the single book I used to successfully obtain my Professional Certified Marketer™ designation.
Kevin Keller: Strategic Brand Management-the co-author of the Marketing Management book above, Keller wrote another classic that deals with all aspects of Brand management, from brand planning to measuring its equity. What makes this a great reading is the abundance of example that makes this book a great practical guide for our everyday jobs of managing brands.
Jack Trout & Al Ries: Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind-I make it no secret that Trout and Ries are my favorite marketing authors. Their simple, down-to-earth approach to building a brand that starts with the concept of “positioning” has always fascinated me. Needless to say I apply their advice in all my projects that involve launching a new brand or re-positioning an existing one. Written 30 years ago, this wonderful book is as easy-to-read and enjoyable as you can get, and introduces us to the concept of “positioning”, which has since then become a fundamental branding concept.
Jack Trout: Differentiate or Die: Survival in Our Era of Killer Competition-what makes a brand successful in the market place? The ability to differentiate itself from competition through a unique and single idea and supporting elements. This book explores different options that a brand has to stand out from the crowd, supported by numerous real-life examples. The chapter that deals with the “line extension” concept is worth paying special attention to, as many brand managers fall into the trap of over-stretching the brand into new categories in order to deliver growth.
Jack Trout: Marketing Warefare-this marketing strategy book looks at how brands should develop their go-to-market strategies based on their current share of the market: leader, follower, and the small company looking to avoid being crushed by the bigger competitors. A must read for any business leader, the main assumption is that Marketing is a war especially in today’s super competitive environment where a multitude of brands fight for a slice of the market.
Al Ries and Laura Ries: The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding-this books strives to provide answers to some of the fundamental questions brand managers have: how should I name the brand? Is quality important? Should I extend the brand into a new category? My favorite one is the Law of Extensions: “The easiest way to destroy a brand is to put its name on everything”. The 2002 edition of this great book also includes the “11 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding”. Great addition to any Marketing collection.
David A. Aaker : Building Strong Brands-brands are the most important assets the company owns. Managing them requires knowledge, skills, resources and patience. David Aaker’s books provides great insights on how strong brands are built. He also introduces the concepts of brand-as-person, brand-as-symbol and brand-as-organization,which is a great way of analyzing a brand’s image and positioning. A classic book for sure!
David Ogilvy : Ogilvy on Advertising-although not a Marketing strategy book this was one of my greatest readings. The books contains timeless advice regarding how to best communicate the benefits of your brand to the target audience. The main idea it conveys is very a very valid one:”Advertising is salesmanship”. The only way to judge the effectiveness of an advertising campaign is to look at its effect on sales. Unfortunately this principle is often forgotten in today’s communication environment dominated by over-creativity.
Walter Isaacson : Steve Jobs-this is the only book on the list that I haven’t read yet. However I consider Steve Jobs the greatest marketer of our time, so a book about him is always an interesting read. The reviews have been very positive, so this title made it to my “Favorite books” list.
These books are a good starting point for anyone working or interested in Marketing and Brand Management. I invite you to visit my “Books” page for more great titles. As always I look forward to discover your favorite books in the Comments section below.