Saffron Summer Reading List 2019

From improving reads to pool-side inspiration...

Read to get ahead at work…

'How Brands Grow: What Marketers Don't Know' by Byron Sharp
This book is buzzing with marketing teams around the world, from Buenos Aires to Milan. Although quite technical, it’s a snappy read with great insights on brand building.

'Hit Refresh: A Memoir by Microsoft’s CEO' by Satya Nadella
Microsoft might seem like a giant from the past… Wrong! The business is back, this year becoming the third business ever to pass $1trillion valuation - mostly thanks to the vision of their CEO Satya Nadella. The book describes in his own words how he idealised and executed the comeback. Fascinating and packed with value-added business lessons.

'This Is Service Design Doing' by Marc Stickdorn
Not a poolside page-turner, but a useful, practical guide for those tasked with building interactions between service providers and customers. Great customer experience needs a common language that can be used across disciplines to break down the silos within an organization. Service Design Thinking provides a consistent model and toolset for accomplishing this.

'The New Strategic Brand Management: Advanced Insights & Strategic Thinking' by JN Kapferer
In this book, the author begins with a thorough discourse on the definition and evolution of brands. It goes on to explain how brands impact not only customers, but the management of a business as well, offering fantastic evidence on the financial value of brand assets. From brand extensions to brand DNA and portfolio management, the book covers a vast collection of brand management tasks. Kapferer's success lies in his ability to make the complex simple: everything is justified, explained and proven. This book is a treasure trove for strategists who wants to bolster their knowledge of brand and how to manage it.

'Roget's Thesaurus'
Whilst this might be a surprise addition to our summer reading list, it’s a tool that our team find very useful. Roget was a consummate 19th century academic, presiding over 28 editions in his lifetime , the dictionary groups words into similar ideas, not synonyms Perfect for international consultants developing brands across the world, it's very useful when creating concepts or for naming sessions. So why not seek some inspiration during your downtime?


Some books to inspire you…

'Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong about the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think' by Hans Rosling
Hans Rosling was a Swedish doctor, statistician, physician and advisor to the World Health Organisation and UNICEF. Written just before his death in 2017, he sets out to argue that humankind have made incredible advances that should be appreciated, without forgetting that not everything is rosy everywhere.

'Wilding' by Isabella Tree
The aptly named Tree, set about re-wilding her and her husband’s estate in East Sussex. The book captures the potential that nature has to surprise us, just when you think everything has been lost. Maybe humans are not one a one-way track to causing species to go extinct?

'Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology' by Adam Alter
A nonfiction book that looks at the age of digital addiction and explains why today's technology products are just so addictive. Ironically, it’s a pretty addictive book. But luckily Alter offers ideas what we can do to overcome the influence of the products we’re hooked on.

'Brand Spaces: Branded Architecture and the Future of Retail Design' by Gestalten
This book gets to the heart of what a brand space can be in the hands of true pioneers of the art form. As experience becomes more and more important to consumers, brands have stepped up to the challenge, with some of the best examples captured in this book by publishers of beautiful things, Gestalten.


Novels for the poolside…

'Normal People' by Sally Rooney
This much-lived book is the second novel from the startlingly young Sally Rooney. It's a classic story about being young and in love, done in a frustrating yet original way. Bound to leave a lasting impression.

'The Power' by Naomi Alderman
A novel that imagines a world where women become the physically stronger gender overnight. It looks at what dominance and control does to the human psyche and how with access to power comes the potential to abuse it. 

To read with a stiff drink…

'The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google' by Scott Galloway
This book talks about the four horsemen: Facebook, Amazon, Google & Apple and how they have infiltrated our everyday lives to become almost impossible to avoid. Professor and entrepreneur Galloway connects evolutionary anthropology with these profitable companies and explains how they have tapped into basic human instincts to build some of the most profitable businesses that rule the world today.

'Life and Fate' by Vassily Grossman
Grossman was a Soviet Jewish journalist, covering the battle of Stalingrad and the liberation of Treblinka extermination camp. He poured his war experiences into writing this novel only to have it confiscated by the state. This novel still offers a moral guide that ever-more urgently needs to be remembered in the 21st century.

'The Handmaid’s Tale' by Margaret Atwood
When published in 1985, Margaret Atwood’s book sparked debate around feminism and whether this was a ‘cautionary tale’ drawn from real social undercurrents. When the TV show came out in 2017, the same debate surfaced, with the newly-elected Donald Trump and Mike Pence in office. Whatever your viewpoint, this modern classic is worth a re-read, accompanied by the raising a grateful glass that you don’t live in the fictional dictatorship of Gilead.


And if you don’t feel like reading…

'Abstract: The Art of Design' on Netflix
Sometimes you want to watch, not read. This Netflix documentary featuring architects, illustrators, stage, automotive and interior designers looks at how designers have changed the way we live, from Christoph Niemann to Tinker Hatfield.