The top 20 books on consumer branding and consumer marketing for tech entrepreneurs and VCs

As you may know, we're doing a big push on direct-to-consumer, digitally-native, vertically-integrated brands at the moment. This is on the back of one very promising consumer packaged goods/FMCG investment that I can't talk about yet (but hopefully will soon). For a variety of reasons we love DTC brands as a venture investment hypothesis, especially at seed stage. I should write a post about that. 


I have a PhD (well, really, a German Dr. rer. pol.) in marketing for writing about the "Antecedents of Marketing Performance in Recession" (and other periods of uncertainty). But it has been a long time since I've brushed up on my branding literature. And so I asked the folks on Twitter and Facebook what books they'd recommend.

Here are, in the order they were recommended, 20 books on branding and marketing. I hope they are useful to you.


Interesting: 2x Al Ries & Jack Trout in the first five minutes. Notable absence of old branding folks like David Ogilvy, Alina Wheeler, Wally Olins (though David Aaker made it). Lots of Marty Neumeier! Hugh Macleod from left field with Mark Earls (will read that for sure). Glad Seth Godin made it (remember the purple cow thing?) Some interesting peripheral ones (I loved Let My People Go Surfing and liked Shoe Dog), but I did not list Naomi Klein's No Logo because like me y'all read it in 99, right? Different times.

I read approximately one non-fiction and one fiction book a week, so I hope to get through a number of these over the next quarter. I'll write brief reviews for the ones I find most intriguing/useful.

And, if you're seeing this post just now and your favorite branding/marketing book isn't on here - please contribute. I'll update the list as new recommendations emerge.

Much love,
Max

P.S. Yes, these all contain my Amazon affiliate link. I spend thousands of dollars a year on books. Consider this my way of funding research. It will result in better Christmas and birthday presents for everyone I know. 

P.P.S. Pretty links below!