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Unpacking the Difference: Brand Strategy vs Marketing Strategy

Updated: Aug 22, 2023

Brand Strategy vs Marketing Strategy is a concept that many business owners struggle to understand and implement in their businesses.

Although the two terms may seem similar, they are actually quite different and understanding the difference between them is essential for any successful business.

Brand strategy focuses on creating an emotional connection between the customer and the company, while marketing strategy focuses on promoting a product or service in order to increase sales.

In this article, we will discuss what brand and marketing strategies are, how they differ from each other, and how to create effective strategies for both.


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Cover image of blog post Unpacking the difference: Brand strategy vs marketing strategy with title in the centre and a speech bubble in the background
Unpacking the key differences between brand strategy and marketing strategy for a successful business outcome.

1. Definition of Brand Strategy

Brand strategy is a long-term plan that seeks to build identification and favourability with customers and potential customers. It requires an inter-departmental approach that takes into consideration the entire experience customers and prospects have with a company, product or service.

The goal of this strategy is to create a particular image of the company in the minds of customers. This plan will help marketers shape that image with values and messages that are consistent with the company's goals.

A brand strategy incorporates several different brand components such as a brand's voice or tone, narrative, mission statement, logos, core values and beliefs, and overall purpose.

Brand strategy is key to success, as it helps to differentiate a business from its competitors and create an emotional connection with its audience.


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2. Definition of Marketing Strategy

Marketing strategy is an important part of any business’s success. It’s a plan for reaching prospects and turning them into customers of your product or service. It involves understanding the needs of consumers and creating a distinct and unique brand to meet those needs. It also includes setting marketing goals and objectives, as well as allocating resources across a wide range of platforms and channels to increase sales. Additionally, it requires a detailed, structured plan to reach a specific audience of consumers.

Marketing strategy provides a blueprint for achieving the marketing objectives of your organisation and helps you create long-term plans to reach those goals.

With an effective marketing strategy, you can create sustainable competitive advantages and increase sales now and in the future.

3. What Comes First: Marketing or Branding?

Person holding open a branding book with text on the pages visible

When it comes to your business, it's important to remember that branding comes first.

Your brand is who you are, it's the long-term promise you make to your customers.

It's the core of your marketing strategy and the foundation of any successful business.

Before you start marketing your product or service, it's essential to have a clear brand message that reflects your values and is consistent across all channels.

Once you have a solid brand identity in place, you can use marketing strategies to effectively communicate with your customers and build an authentic connection with them.

With a strong brand in place, your marketing initiatives will be more effective and successful in driving sales.

In simple terms, I think of brand strategy and marketing strategy like this:

  1. Brand Strategy is your overall business in the eyes of customers

  2. Marketing Strategy is the tactics used to get your business in front of customers

4. Similarities between Brand and Marketing Strategies

When it comes to your business, both branding and marketing strategies are key to success.

Both involve long-term commitments to your audience and should be consistent across all channels and campaigns.

Both strategies use processes and tools to promote your business, such as SEO, social media, PPC, local search and traditional promotional activities.

Moreover, both strategies focus on the customer's experience – from learning about your company to making a purchase and staying with your company as a customer.

However, while marketing focuses on boosting sales, branding focuses on actively shaping your brand identity.

It is important to have a strategy for both in order to ensure that you reach your business goals.

5. Differences between Brand and Marketing Strategies

When it comes to promoting your product or service, there are some key differences between a brand strategy and a marketing strategy.

A brand strategy is based on long-term commitment and defines who you are as an organisation, outlining your values, USP, etc.

A marketing strategy, on the other hand, is focused on short-term goals and is used to actively promote your product or service.

It is important to have strategies for both branding and marketing in order to effectively communicate your message and reach your desired audience.

Branding should always be the first step, as it will determine how you communicate and the messages you use in your marketing plan.

With a strong brand strategy in place, you can then create an effective marketing strategy that will help drive sales and reach your desired results.

6. Role Differences Between a Brand Strategist vs Marketing Strategiest

Crushed Coca-Cola can with a red feather protruding, symbolizing the aftermath of a marketing strategy gone wrong

A brand strategist and a marketing strategist are distinctly different roles with equally important strategy work.

A brand strategist is focused on creating and maintaining the overall image of a product or service, while a marketing strategist designs strategies for engaging customers and reaching out to new markets.

Both roles require understanding customer needs and wants, as well as staying up to date with trends and market movements.

Ultimately, both roles are essential to the growth of any organisation, as each role provides vital insights into how a business can improve its products or services for maximum success.

Furthermore, a high-level marketer can oversee and manage the department associated with both roles effectively. However, they must have these four traits:

  1. A keen eye for design

  2. Emotionally intelligent (especially towards empathy)

  3. Understand and interpret data

  4. Ability to connect dots with strategic thinking

Conclusion: Brand Strategy vs Marketing Strategy

In conclusion, the differences between brand strategy vs marketing strategy are clear.

Brand strategy involves the development of a long-term vision and objectives that will form the basis of an effective brand, while marketing strategy focuses on short-term tactics and activities that will help to meet the brand's goals.

Both strategies should be used in tandem to ensure success.

With a strong brand strategy and a well-crafted marketing strategy in place, a business can create a unique identity, build trust with customers, and increase overall sales.


Are you ready to join the ranks of successful clients who have transformed their business with my expert guidance? If you're looking to take your brand or marketing strategy to the next level, then head over to my marketing advice page and discover how I can help you achieve your goals.

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