Personal Brand Book Reviews: Steve Jobs

Personal Brand Book Reviews
By Paul Copcutt

Wondering if you should read “that” book? A seasoned personal brand strategist offers his in depth reviews.


 Steve Jobs.

© 2011 by Walter Isaacson, 630 pages, Hardback

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs’ Branding Manifesto

  1. Focus
  2. Do not sell
  3. Launch
  4. Memorable Messaging
  5. Go one step further
  6. Impressive service

5R Score: 28/35

On a scale of 1-7

  • Relevance – is it right for personal branding? – 5
  • Resonance – does it make sense to the reader? – 5
  • Relation – is there a connection for everyone? – 5
  • Remarkability – does it stand out, will it get noticed? – 6
  • Real – does the personal brand come through? – 7

Would you pick it up?

At first glance you might think this a strange choice for a personal branding book review. However, Steve Jobs’ personal brand was the key factor in developing and growing the Apple product brand and ultimately the corporate brand has his stamp all over it – at least for now.

Another one for the must read list. The impact that the products and services from Apple have in our lives make this a fascinating read. It will appeal at all levels for all types – careerists, entrepreneurs, junior, senior and certainly for personal brand leadership.


Obviously being a biography, much of this book is all about personal leadership, which ultimately is Steve Jobs’ leadership brand. Before reading this book, your insight into his brand is likely from his public displays at product launches. Upon finishing the book, you will know him intimately – the author held nothing back, which apparently was Jobs wish.

This is as much a book that helps you understand the impact of negative brand attributes as much as positive. Jobs was by nearly all accounts a difficult person to deal with but his vision, passion and focus were the drive behind much of Apple’s and Pixar’s success.


Like me, you may be shocked when reading the accounts about how he dealt with people. It likely is not going to be the style you want to adopt for your brand. But many of the challenges he faced in business and life will resonate.

The brand manifesto list at the top of the article is what I gleaned from the book. While these are really focused at his approach to product development, they can easily be applied to your personal brand.


The lessons from this book can be useful to anyone at any level. For those looking to develop their leadership style, this can be a manual for the right and wrong things to do in business.

Also for those of you with soon to be college and university children, this is a great book to pass on – although Jobs dropping out of school is probably not the message you want to send there are many other good take ways.


I was impressed with the level and depth of this book. I am sure it will be an award winner. It was not written for personal branding or product branding, but in the end it can easily be a reference book for both.


In the plastic world of celebrity branding we can easily believe that we really know a brand by what we see. Steve Jobs would never have called himself a celebrity, in fact his minimalist lifestyle was in many ways anti-celebrity.

By reading this book I really feel that I know him as well as many of my clients, or actually even better! This book offers a rare and in-depth insight into one of the icons of the latter 20th and early 21st century – a genius for sure, but also many other things – some not so nice!

Paul Copcutt, Personal Brand Architect, is a sought after speaker and coach who uses real client stories and practical applications to help successful professionals and executives get clear about their uniqueness.


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