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  • Writer's pictureJessica Plant

Brand, Brand Strategy & Brand Identity – What’s The Difference?

Branding, brand strategy, brand design, logo design, identity design… the terms go on and on. The truth is the word “branding” is overused and often misunderstood.

This can make it difficult for business owners to articulate what they actually need, so we’re here to dispel some myths, untangle definitions, and clarify the wonderful world of branding for you!

The Brand Brew  - Brand, Brand Strategy & Brand Identity - What's The Difference

What Is a Brand?

A brand is far more than just how your business looks; it’s how your business is perceived.

Everything your audience sees, hears, and feels is your brand. A brand itself is all-encompassing; it builds relationships, creates customer loyalty, and makes you stand out in the crowd.

It's no surprise that the world-renowned marketing guru, Seth Godin, describes a brand as;

"A (brand is a) set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer's decision to choose one service or product over another.”

A brand is the entirety of the experience that people have with every touchpoint of your business, from your website and phone greeting to your social media presence. It’s how you position your business to the world. Simply put, your brand is your business’ personality!

The main questions you want to ask yourself are:

  1. How do people feel when they interact with my business?

  2. What do people think about my business?

  3. What do people say about my business?

Your brand sets the tone for the customer experience and directly influences the answers to all of those questions. If your brand isn’t consistent and cohesive across all platforms, it’s likely attracting the wrong customers (or no customers at all!).

A brand helps you establish authority and a high-quality standard for your business.

But how?

Simple, your business doesn’t need a logo to launch; it needs a brand strategy.

What Is a Brand Strategy?

Brand strategy is a foundational plan that helps you reach your long-term business goals by focusing on the what, when, where, how, and to whom you communicate your brand message. It’s what enables you to attract your dream client while (or perhaps because) you run your business in a way that reflects your values. Your brand strategy sets the tone for the experience your clients will have with your business.

When your brand lacks strategy, it lacks clarity and substance. It’s not going to resonate with anyone, let alone your dream client.

Creating a brand strategy provides clarity around your mission, vision, audience, and personality.

By determining who you are, what you do, and who you serve, you can create a brand that truly reflects your business and resonates with your target audience.

With strategy, your brand is more than just a pretty (type)face.

Have you ever found yourself struggling to explain what exactly your business does? Or walked away after a conversation with another business owner without a clue of what their business sells? These are prime examples of what happens when you lack a clear brand strategy.

An effective strategy stems from evaluating the 4Vs of branding: values, vision, visuals and voice. Learn all about it in our blog here.

When you work with The Brand Brew™, the first step in our process is a Brand Clarity Session.

A brand clarity session informs your brand strategy by answering key questions about your business before we even think about what shade of blue to use in your logo design:

  • Why do you exist (i.e. what is your purpose)?

  • What is your mission in business?

  • What is your big-picture vision?

  • What are your non-negotiable values?

  • Who are your ideal clients (i.e. target audience)?

  • Who are your buyer personas? How would you describe them?

  • Who are your competitors and how do you find them?

  • What is your unique value proposition (i.e. what differentiates your business from competitors)?

  • What is your brand’s personality?

  • How does your brand communicate (i.e. brand messaging, language, tone of voice)?

Once we’ve done the heavy lifting and laid the groundwork, crafting your brand identity is a natural next step.

What Is a Brand Identity?

Brand identity is the face of your brand – the visual side. Your brand identity is how all of the visual elements of your brand reflect and align with your brand strategy, your values, and your mission.

“Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.” — Paul Rand

A brand identity creatively aligns your brand strategy into visuals using:

  • Logo variations

  • Typography: choices and hierarchy

  • Colour selection (informed by colour psychology)

  • Imagery (i.e. photography)

  • Illustrations (i.e. patterns, textures)

  • Social and web signatures

All of these visual elements are compiled together on your brand board, giving you a full picture of your brand identity for the very first time (yes, it’s as exciting as it sounds!).

Bringing It All Together

A brand is how people perceive and experience your business.

A brand strategy is an actionable plan that gives structure to the brand design process, helping you reach the right audience and achieve those long-term business goals. It provides clarity around your brand mission, vision, audience, and personality.

A brand identity is a compelling visual representation of your brand that draws from a strong strategy (i.e., not just a logo), reflecting your values and vision and resonating with your target audience.

Branding is when you combine your brand strategy and brand identity, enabling you to market your business with clarity and consistency.

Are you just starting out with a business that you want to bring to life? Do you already have a brand identity, but feel that it lacks strategy? Harness the power of both strategy and design with The Brand Brew’s Brand Development experience. You’ll be amazed by what you can achieve with cohesive, intentional branding working to elevate your winning business.


Ready to start brewing?

Let's discuss how to brew your brand and steep your digital success.

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