Everyone thinks they know what brand strategy is, but it’s still a bit of a mystery to a lot of people.
We’ve all heard from brand designers (and I’m guilty of this) that “your brand isn’t your logo”. While this is true, it’s a bit of a no brainer.
What is brand?
What branding really is is how your brand expresses itself to attract and nurture it’s target audience to help them become and remain customers.
How do you do that? By shaping the perceptions people have of the your brand.
The goal of “branding” is to express what your brand represents that makes it different from competitors. Everything from personality to purpose is being expressed visually or verbally.
So whenever you launch a new product, service, post on IG, send an email, etc. – you’re “branding”.
What is marketing?
Marketing is a collection of strategies, tactics, and activities brands use to influence their audience to buy.
Marketing efforts are generally more short term and are focused on landing the sale or a booking.
The examples of marketing are pretty easy to spot: SEO, content promotion, and promotional emails.
Which comes first?
While you can think marketing comes first, but your marketing only works if it has a clear understanding of how the brand needs to express itself.
A clear brand strategy is instrumental for your marketing to help your sales and bookings grow.
Brand Strategy Vs. Marketing Strategy
The two are similar but have different results and are developed differently.
Brand strategy is the plan of brand expression and the marketing strategy is the plan of promoting the brand in hopes of a transaction.
Brand strategy wants a relationship with the target audience. The strategy lays out messages and expressions the brand should use to shape the perception of the brand in the mind of the target audience. This is in hopes of influencing a long term relationship.
A relationship that is more than the sale.
The components of your brand strategy (audience research, positioning, messaging, voice, visuals, and personality) are the tools you need to execute the marketing strategy.
Your marketing will have no direction, purpose, and replicable results if those tools from your brand strategy are not clear.
So what the fuck does this all mean?
If you’re having trouble getting inquiries or sales and people aren’t finding your business – you have a marketing AND a branding problem.
And your first step isn’t to market harder, buy some $$$$ course, or hire a social media marketer.
It’s to first make sure that your branding and the way that your brand expresses itself is clear and allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
Once you’re solid on that, then learning and developing a marketing strategy/plan can help drive more sales and bookings.