Recommended Reading to Boost Your Small Business Brand

Building a strong brand is a challenge for businesses of any size, but when you are a small company with a limited budget, the concept of branding often seems like a luxury that you just don’t have time for. The thing is, if you want your business to be successful, you can’t afford not to work on your brand. For a small business, having a strong brand can mean the difference between thriving and closing shop.

Here’s the good news – creating a strong brand doesn’t have to be a drain on your budget. With the right tools and right information, you can create a brand that people will not only remember, but will absolutely love. At it’s core, good branding starts with a good logo, but it’s so much more than that. If you really want to learn how to grow your small business by building a brand, why not take a look at what some of the best minds in the business have to say.

Here’s Summitsoft’s recommended reading list for branding and logo design:

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Logo Design Love: A Guide to Creating Iconic Brand Identities

A great book that covers how to develop a great brand from start to finish. Packed with case studies, logo examples, and practical logo design tips, Logo Design Love is a great place to start if you want to get serious about creating a great logo and a great brand.


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Essential Elements for Brand Identity: 100 Principles for Designing Logos and Building Brands

If you’re looking to really educate yourself on the subjects of branding and logo design, then Essential Elements is a great place to start. Designed to lay a foundation of what the basics of good branding and logo design entail, it also dives into deeper topics tied to branding that will make you well versed and completely comfortable with branding basics.

 


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Building Better Brands: A Comprehensive Guide to Brand Strategy and Identity Development

Written by one by Scott Lerman, a branding consultant who has worked with legendary brands like Harley Davidson, 3M and American Express, this book ties in a host of real-world branding examples to help lay the foundation for brand building. While the companies featured, may be Fortune 500, the lessons are still applicable to businesses of any size.


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Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits

If you’re looking for branding insights from some of the best minds in the business, then you may want to check this book out. The author draws upon interviews from a wide variety of minds like Malcom Gladwell, Seth Godin and Wally Olins to give the reader insights into understanding consumer behavior in relation to branding.


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The Logo Brainstorm Book

While aimed primarily at professional logo designers, The Logo Brainstorm Book is also a great place to start if you’re just a regular joe, trying to design a logo for your business. Offering an extensive collection of logo elements and logo basics, this book also includes a series of exercises to help get the creative juices flowing. A helpful tool if you’ve ever gotten stuck while trying to design a logo.


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Building a Big Small Business Brand: How to Turn Your Brand into Your Most Valuable Asset

One of the few books that is actually focused on branding for small businesses rather than how large brands were built, this book is highly recommended for any small business owner. Written by Dan Antonelli, a Creative Director who has worked to build brands for over 750 small businesses, this book offers a clear vision for how to grow your business with effective branding and stellar logo design.


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Branding Basics for Small Business: How to Create an Irresistable Brand on Any Budget

If you’re trying to build a brand on a shoestring budget (and let’s face it, many small businesses are), Maria Ross’s branding guide offers a wealth of insights. Offering a clear 10-step plan for how to create a strong brand, this book is also packed with real-life examples and strategies that any small business can incorporate – no matter the budget size.


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Do-It Yourself Brand Design: Make Logos, Ads and Everything in Between

If you want to develop a world-class logo and brand without spending a fortune, it’s pretty much a guarantee that you’re going to have to roll up your sleeves and take on some of the work yourself. Gabrielle Weinman’s excellent DIY branding manual helps you determine where you should be focusing your efforts and your marketing dollars along with offering creative tips for color, style and developing a great overall brand design aesthetic.


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Logo Savvy: Top Brand Design Firms Share their Naming and Identity Strategies

If you’re still in the planning process and haven’t officially launched your business, you might want to give Logo Savvy a quick read before you take your business live. Offering fantastic insights and recommendations from some of the best branding minds in the world, you’ll learn all about how to choose a business name and create a logo that will help your business stand out.


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Marks of Excellence: The History and Taxonomy of Trademarks

For those who are visual learners might benefit from picking up this extensive overview of the history of logos. Less a ‘how to’ guide and more of a general overview and history, you can still learn a lot just by studying the history and design of some of the most successful brands in the world.


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The Secret Life of Logos: Behind the Design of 80 Great Logos

This book offers perhaps the best insights into what it takes to create a truly great logo. Dozens of top logo designers walk through the logo design process from start to finish and the drawings highlighting how logos evolved from conception to final design are invaluable. If you like history and want to gain a better understanding of the logo design process, you’ll definitely enjoy The Secret Life of Logos.


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Really Good Logos Explained: Top Design Professionals Critique 500 Logos and Explain What Makes Them Work

A great way to learn anything is to study what works and Really Good Logos Explained offers some stellar insights into what makes a good logo. If you’re in the process of designing a logo for your business, you could benefit from getting some in depth analysis on why successful logos work. Take those insights and apply them to your own logo design and you’ll be miles ahead of the competition.


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Designing Logos: The Process of Creating Symbols That Endure

One of the best all-encompassing logo design guides, Designing Logos covers everything from answering the question of “what makes a logo good?” to what the final logo design needs to include. With over 750 illustrations, this book is an excellent step by step guide for designing logos and is a great place to start as you work on designing a quality logo for your business.


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The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding

A classic work on the topic of branding, The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding takes real world examples from some of the best-known brands in the world and pairs them with a step-by-step guide for how to build a brand. A definitive text on the topic, many small businesses will benefit greatly from reading the section on web branding.


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Breakthrough Branding: How Smart Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs Transform a Small Idea into a Big Brand

If you want to learn what really makes a brand thrive, you need to check out this book. From product positioning to developing your company personality to narrowing in on a target audience, Breakthrough Branding illustrates why branding is so much more than having a great logo. Written in a way that is accessible for nearly everyone, it’s one of the best all-around branding books on the market.


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What Great Brands Do: The Seven Brand-Building Principles that Separate the Best from the Rest

When building your brand, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Take the best of what some of the most successful brands in the world have done and apply them to your small business. What Great Brands Do outlines what great brands like Nike, Zappos, and Apple all do and how you can apply the same principles to help your business succeed.


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Brand Against The Machine: How to Build Your Brand, Cut Through the Marketing Noise, and Stand Out from the Competition

One of the biggest challenges in branding your company is establishing your voice in an authentic way. Brand Against the Machine shows you not only how to establish an authentic voice, but also how to define your target audience and cut through the noise to reach them in an impactful way. A non-traditional look at building a brand from the ground up that would be a great read for any small business owner.


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Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind

A somewhat well-kept secret is that the key to great branding is all about great positioning. Positioning yourself to capitalize on your competitors’ weaknesses is a strategy that can pay off big time and Positioning walks you through the methodology for how to establish the right presence. A great read for small business owners operating in saturated markets.

This list reflects just a handful of the great branding and logo design books available on the market today. There are hundreds of other fantastic books, not to mention blogs, written with the express purpose of helping you steer your brand in the right direction. If you have a book recommendation not listed here, make sure to let us know about it in the comments.