Summer holidays are starting! With it comes our recommendations of books to enjoy on the beach, by the lake or, why not, in the mountains. Just for you, we picked three of our favorite books of all time – from a classic bestseller (Sapiens by yuval Noah Harari), to a Swiss one (The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli) to a “how-to” book on the branding process (Branding in 5 and a half steps by Michael Johnson) . We look forward to hearing your thoughts on these. Now, off to the beach…
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
In his bestseller, Yuval Noah Harari analyses and explains how human culture has evolved from 70’000 years ago to today. This book offers incredible insights into humankind’s history and behavior. The book will give you a new way to think about storytelling and its role in our evolution. Harari shows that the one thing that distinguishes homo sapiens from other species and explains our superior position in today’s world, is our capacity in telling stories. We are the only species to know how to create and also connect around ideas that do not physically exist – for example, religion, politics, legal system, organization. In other words, our civilization is based on stories we tell each other. The art of storytelling to build brands and communicate them is thus here to stay.
The Art of Thinking Clearly By Rolf Dobelli
The Art of Thinking Clearly is a book dedicated to making better decisions by alerting us to the common hiccups in our thinking process. Written by Swiss author and businessman Rolf Dobelli, the book first took off in Germany in 2013, sticking in Der Spiegel’s Bestseller list for 80 weeks, before going huge just about everywhere else too.
The format is simple: 99 short chapters of common thinking errors – ranging from cognitive biases to elements like social distortions and envy. If you’ve read widely on psychology you’ll have seen many of these biases before, but Dobelli brings them together in an anecdotal and engaging way. Let’s take the Sunk Cost Fallacy: It’s a beautiful sunny evening. You and your wife want to watch the sun set in the park. But you’ve booked and paid for cinema tickets. So you go to the cinema. … You have a branding initiative that’s clearly going nowhere. But you’ve invested so much money already. So you plough on. But that investment, those cinema tickets, are non-recoverable. Instead you should take now and look forward.
With his entrepreneurial background, Dobelli focuses on business as much as personal decision-making; thus this book is of great value to people who want to gain a framework to be more objective about perception and decision biases we encounter in our lives…
Branding in 5 and a half steps by Michael Johnson
Michael Johnson is the founder of Johnson banks, a British brand consultancy, and describes his book as followed: “A book that is genuinely useful” and that “aims to clarify, not to confuse”. The book guides us through Johnson’s five key steps in the branding process (Investigation, Strategy and Narrative, Design, Implementation, and Engagement). Johnson also emphasizes the importance to bridge the gap between strategy and design (thus the “half step” in the book title). Packed with examples, case studies and pragmatic, this book is a must for anyone interested in mastering the branding process. From insight to go-to-market.