Brand marketing is a buzzword in all industries today – including beef. Former advertising executive Kevin Roberts tackles the emotional aspect of marketing in his book Lovemarks: The future beyond brands. He boldly suggests that love is the essential ingredient brands need to offer to attract consumers and shift their business. In applying this to the beef industry, Colorado State University’s Tom Field says future branded beef products need to embody the “story” and “Western spirit” behind beef production – because that is an emotional connection that consumers want to be part of.

Similarly, A New Brand World: Eight principles for achieving brand leadership in the 21st Century by Scott Bedbury profiles the image branding that has made Nike and Starbucks leaders in their industries. The book also offers case studies of other winning (and failed) branding efforts by the likes of Harley-Davidson, The Gap and Disney.
Another author on brands is Tom Peters, who Field often cites as a favorite. Peters espouses that brands continually need to evolve, because they die when they are no longer intriguing. He too suggests emotion is the necessary element to make brands appealing. His book titles include: Leadership; Re-imagine; The Pursuit of Wow; Jump Start Your Business Brain and many others.

Understanding Who You Are

Books about personality styles are also popular mentions among conference speakers. These offer insight into who we are and what prompts us to make certain decisions and choices. A couple that top the list:

  • - Type Talk: The 16 Personality Types That Determine How We Live, Love, and Work by Otto Kroeger and Janet M. Thuesen
  • - Please Understand Me I and II: Character and Temperament Types by David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates
  • - Nurture by Nature: How to Raise Happy, Healthy, Responsible Children Through the Insights of Personality Type by Paul D. Tieger, Barbara Barron-Tieger and E. Michael Ellovich
  • - What Will I Do With My Money? by Ray Linder, which offers insight on how your termperament affects your financial decisions.

An additional book about personal growth is titled Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, a Standford University psychologist and professor. For the book, Dweck studied the connections between people’s outlook and their willingness to take risks. Her findings were also recently referenced in a Money magazine article evaluating the secrets to financial success.

Dweck says, “The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.” From her research Dweck identifies two types of people: those who have fixed mind-sets and those who have growth mind-sets. Fixed mind-set people believe they were born with a certain amount of intelligence. Growth mind-set people believe intelligence, knowledge and skill need to be cultivated by trial and error.

Two others to add to the stack: Soar with your Strengths by Donald Clifton and Paula Nelson and The Fred Factor: How Passion in your work and life can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary by Mark Sanborn. These are both easy reads, but deliver important messages of how to live a better, more satisfying life.

Reading About Leading

Leadership is also a prolific book topic among the business-minded. Among the titles frequently mentioned are:

Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value by Bill George. A former CEO, George provides a how-to guide for being “authentic” leaders which he says includes having purpose, values, heart, relationships and self-discipline.

Similarly, Resonant Leadership: Renewing Yourself and Connecting with Others Through Mindfulness, Hope and Compassion by Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee of the Harvard Business School is designed to help leaders remain effective and avoid burnout amid unrelentingly stressful situations. These authors advocate the traits of mindfulness, hope and compassion among leaders.

More core leadership traits are examined in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell.

Other leadership books to consider:

  • - The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness by Stephen Covey
  • - Leadership by Rudolph Giuliani
  • - Volunteering: 101 Ways You Can Improve the World and Your Life by Douglas Lawson
  • - eLeadership: Proven Techniques for Creating an Environment of Speed and Flexibility in the Digital Economy by Susan Annunzio

All of the books mentioned are available at www.amazon.com.