Brand identity Vs brand strategy: what’s the difference?

We’ve all heard of the term ‘branding’, but what exactly does this mean? 

For starters, branding is not your logo, colour palette, website or business name. Although these are important and necessary elements to building your brand and business, they aren’t exactly your brand.  

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In this blog, we’ll discuss the differences between a brand, brand identity and brand strategy and answer questions such as “how can branding benefit my business”.   

Let’s start with the basics. 

What is a brand?

A brand is the thread that runs through every inch of your business – have you heard of the saying “perception is reality”? 

The perception someone has with your brand is influenced by the design, client experience and quality of your product – your brand is the all-encompassing experience people have with every touchpoint of your business. 

Think of your brand as a person. What they wear, how they make you feel, their mannerisms and what they believe in are all representations of a person. Your brand is the same. It’s the experience a person has navigating your website, how you respond to customers or engage with stakeholders, the state of your office and bathroom – all of this creates an experience and leaves an impression. 

Thinking of your business, ask yourself: 

  • How do potential clients feel when they interact with my business? 
  • What do people say about my business? 
  • What do people think about my business? 

Your answers should be consistent across all touchpoints for the most cohesive brand experience. If it’s not, you’re likely attracting the wrong clients (or no clients!). 

When it comes to your brand, high standards are key for establishing authority and trust – but how? 

What is brand strategy? 

If we imagine that brand identity is what your audience consumes, brand strategy is the vehicle within which the goods are delivered. It’s a long-term commitment between your brand and your audience. This shouldn’t be confused with a marketing strategy, which is a short-term commitment and is influenced depending on time of the year and trends, for example. 

Without a strategy, your brand is just sitting there, looking nice and pretty. 

Brand strategy establishes what you do, how you do it and why you do it. All of this helps a designer create a brand that resonates with the right audience. A great brand strategy should be able to answer key questions about your business before you even think about what colour to use in your logo – like why your business exists? What is your mission? Who are your competition? etc.  

Working with a designer or agency on your strategy before your identity is essential to ensure the creative and strategy can work together, harmoniously. 

Once you’ve established your brands strategic roadmap, it’s time to craft the identity.  

What is brand identity?

A brand identity should be created intentionally and well informed by your brand strategy: cleverly aligning your brand strategy into visuals. This is the part where colours, fonts and shapes all play an important role, and each decision must be backed by your strategy. 

Brands perception can be experiential or visual, but when it comes down to it, identity and strategy work hand-in-hand, so both need to be exceptional.  

Good branding is often simple and clearly communicated; think of Target with its red circles, or Nike with its swoosh tick. In most cases, memorable, distinct brands abide by less is more. 

How does branding benefit your business? 

We have discussed the difference between a brand, brand identity and brand strategy, but how do these align to benefit your business? Five reasons include:

  1. Increased brand awareness. This helps your audience differentiate your product or service from its competitors. 
  2. A coherent brand gives you credibility by looking professional and organised.  
  3. Good branding builds loyal brand ambassadors who share similar values to your brand. This will develop an emotional connection between them and your brand. 
  4. A great brand experience often leads to referrals and returning customers. 
  5. A solid brand strategy and identity makes it easier for a brand to grow as it sets the tone for everything that you do. Your products and services should always align with your brands mission and goals. 

Brands are likely the most powerful business tool ever invented. If you’re a business owner wanting to progress your business and create a point of difference, a solid brand identity and strategy is a fundamental place to start. If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of branding, a creative agency like Sabio, is the perfect place to start.  

Get in touch with our Creative Director, Bec Kowald, via [email protected] or on our contact page to see how our team of creatives can help. 

Written by: Haylea Paul

We’re not here to be loud, we’re here to be heard.


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