Lately I’ve been reading a lot of books on marketing and communications—mostly to impress my bosses, but also to get some inspiration and refine my understanding of the incredibly varied elements involved in this business.
The standout so far is Marty Neumeier’s The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design.  
People throw the words “brand” or “branding” around pretty casually these days, but I suspect a good few don’t understand what “brand” really means—I know I didn’t until I was preparing to work here. 
Neumeier immediately gets to the heart of it—what a brand isn’t. It’s not a logo, an identity, or the product itself.  A brand is: “a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization.”  Why? Because it’s not companies and markets that define brands, it’s individuals. In Neumeier tagline language: 
It’s not what you say it is. It’s what they say it is. 
If you’re at all interested in clarifying your perception of branding and how it’s done effectively, read The Brand Gap.  It’s a slim book with lots of blank space and neat diagrams—an easy read that demystifies the seemingly indefinable mystery of branding. 

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