Brand Identity vs. Brand Strategy – Key Differences and Similarities

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With new brands being created daily, every business needs good branding to set itself apart.

Brand strategy and brand identity are crucial in forming a great business. Most business owners often use these two concepts interchangeably, but they play different roles in shaping the success of your brand.

Let’s break down the differences between these two strategies and how they blend in to form a solid brand.

TL;DR – Brand Identity vs. Brand Strategy

Although brand strategy and identity are closely related, they shape your brand differently, as shown below.

Brand IdentityBrand Strategy
It’s the collection of visual elements that differentiate your brand from the rest, such as brand name, brand colors, and logo.It’s the master plan that guides every aspect of your brand, such as the brand vision, mission, value proposition, and target audience.
Best ForBest For
Triggering the attention and the perception of customersTriggering the attention and the perception of customers

So, what do you want your business to be known for?

Through my ConversionRX program, I’ll review every aspect of your brand identity and strategy to identify opportunities for creating a memorable brand that relates to your audience.

Book a call now and start your journey to creating compelling messaging that triggers the audience to convert!

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What is Brand Identity?

Similar to your personal identity that makes you unique, your brand identity sets your business apart from the competitors.

In a nutshell, a brand identity is the visual elements your brand showcases to the world, including a logo, color palette, and images.

Elements of a Brand Identity

These are the must-have elements of a great brand identity:

  • Brand Name: A brand name identifies your business and differentiates you from competitors. Choosing a name can be overwhelming.
  • Logo: A logo is a custom, unique symbol or graphic that is easy to remember. Some brands choose a combination logo with a symbol and the company name.

So, choosing a color palette can impact brand recognition and conversions. Aim for harmony in the color palette you select for your brand.

  • Typography: Your brand’s topography is a set of fonts and a typeface for your brand.

Choose fonts that complement your brand and ensure readability. Remain consistent across marketing materials.

  • Graphics and Imagery: The graphics, photography, and illustrations you share on your channels should consistently align with the brand voice.

Visual Identity vs. Brand Identity

Visual and brand identities work in tandem to shape your unique and complete identity.

Visual identity is a collection of visual elements that customers see and recognize. It includes logo, brand colors, imagery, and overall aesthetic.

Brand identity, on the other hand, refers to the overall perception of a brand and is created through several factors, including visual identity.

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What is Brand Strategy?

Brand strategy is an actionable plan that sets the foundation of your business for achieving your long-term goals. It defines your mission, purpose, target clients, unique value proposition, brand messaging, and more.

Elements of a Brand Strategy

Let’s take a look at the key components that go into building a brand strategy.

  • Target Audience: Understanding your target audience’s preferences, needs, and behaviors is the first step of a great brand strategy.

It helps tailor your brand messaging to resonate with your ideal customers.

  • Brand Purpose: Beyond making money, you must define why you’re in business and share it with your team.

Brands committed to achieving more beyond profitability appeal more to the target audience. Therefore, a clear purpose will help you build a connection with your audience.

  • Emotion: Potential customers are more likely to purchase your offerings if they feel they are part of your brand.

So, find ways to connect deeper with your audience and use emotional triggers to foster loyalty.

  • Brand Vision: Brand vision provides a roadmap for your brand’s future. With a clear vision, your teams can stay on track to the brand goals.
  • Brand Voice and Tone: Brand voice is what you say and determines how customers perceive your brand. The tone is how you say, based on the content and the channel.
  • Brand Tagline: The tagline is a few concise and memorable words that tell your brand’s story. For example, Nike’s tagline is ‘Just Do It.’
  • Market Analysis: Researching the market is crucial in creating an effective brand strategy. So, analyzing the competition will help you differentiate your brand from the rest and perfect selling in a crowded market.

Brand Identity vs. Branding – How are they Different?

These two terms can be a bit confusing.

Brand identity comprises tangible elements that create a memorable impression on customers, while branding goes beyond your logo or your business name.

Simply, branding is the process of creating a unique identity for customers to recognize and want to buy from your business.

Branding strategy and identity make the overall branding.

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Relevant Aspects Between Brand Identity and Brand Strategy

Here’s a breakdown of what sets these two apart.

AspectBrand IdentityBrand Strategy
ComplexityStraightforward — it’s the visual brand assetsComplex — it’s the framework of your brand
Resource RequirementsTo create a unique look and feelTo develop long-term goals identifiable by the customers
Audience FocusAims at the perception and recognition of the audienceAims at the needs and pain points of the audience
GoalsFocused on creating a strong, memorable brand that connects with your audienceFocused on executing specific tactics to achieve revenue-related goals
Implementation ChannelsUsed in visual and verbal mediaUsed in branding and marketing strategies

Similarities and Differences

While these two are distinct, the brand strategy is the foundation for a strong brand identity.

Brand Identity and Brand Strategy Differences

Let’s see how they differ.

  • Brand strategy is the foundation of your brand identity, while your brand identity aligns with the brand strategy to create a face for your brand.
  • Brand strategy focuses on executing specific strategies to achieve goals, while brand identity focuses on creating a memorable brand to resonate with your audience.

Brand Identity and Brand Strategy Similarities

Let’s see what they have in common.

  • The two combine to create a visually appealing brand that resonates with customers and is strategically sound.
  • Both boost your brand consistency and improve your brand recognition.

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What is Brand Messaging?

Brand messaging is how your brand communicates — internally and externally. It influences your marketing and how customers connect with your business. Your value messaging should be clear, consistent, and stand out.

Want to create compelling copy that engages your target audience?

As a brand messaging expert with over 20 years of experience, I’ll personalize your messaging to be more impactful and ensure we clearly convey your unique value proposition.

Connect with me and leverage the power of messaging to increase your revenue!

Bottom Line

To cap it off, ensure your business has a strong brand strategy and identity. Invest your time and resources in developing both to ensure your business thrives.

Remember, you can gain clarity about your business and leverage opportunities in your market by working with a brand messaging expert like me — Nora Sudduth.

I’ll work with you every step of the way to offer guidance and actionable insights to help you elevate your brand. Together, we can implement consistent marketing and messaging, leading to a consistent brand identity and, therefore, consistent sales.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Check out some common questions and answers about brand identity and strategy.

How are Brand Identity and Strategy Different?

Simply put, your brand identity is the visual representation of your brand, while your brand strategy is the internal roadmap guiding your brand’s direction.

Both play distinct roles but are pivotal in building a powerful brand.

What Comes First, Brand Identity or Brand Strategy?

Brand strategy should always come first. It’s the foundational work of your business and sets it up for success. Once your brand strategy is in place, use it as a roadmap to create a brand identity.

Is It Possible to Change Brand Strategy Without Altering Brand Identity?

Indeed, rebranding your strategy without altering the brand identity is possible.

An example is Apple, which was primarily famous for its computers. In 2001, they transformed the brand and launched iTunes and the iPods. They aimed to expand to other markets and still maintain their reputation.

This brand strategy has made Apple the tech giant it is today.

However, changing the brand strategy often involves changing the identity, such as altering the logo, colors, name, and messaging.

How Often Should Brand Identity and Strategy Be Reviewed for Relevance?

Most companies plan a brand review and a strategic planning session every two to five years. You should review and update your brand identity and strategy during this time.

Note the brand elements that resonate more with your customers and ensure your strategy is still relevant. Also, make changes that reflect your customers’ needs.

For instance — when you work with me — Nora Sudduth, my first step is to review every aspect of your brand strategy. Once I understand your business and goals, I’ll help you improve your marketing positioning and create purpose-driven messaging consistent with your brand identity.

Book your discovery call today to create a brand that generates leads and increases conversions.

What Are Common Mistakes in Aligning Brand Identity with Brand Strategy?

Some common mistakes in aligning brand identity with brand strategy are creating inconsistent branding across different channels and developing an identity that doesn’t reflect your unique value proposition.

Another mistake is choosing elements that don’t match your brand voice.


In sum, your brand identity and strategy combine to make your brand unique. To develop a brand that resonates with your audience, take the time to incorporate the elements we’ve explored above.

Once you’ve created the brand strategy, you’re ready to develop the brand identity!

Nora Sudduth

Want help with your messaging strategy? 

Get started and let’s set up a discovery call.

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Nora Sudduth
Nora Sudduth
Hi there, I'm Nora and I've coached million dollar clients of industry leaders such as Russell Brunson and Rachel Rodgers. From market positioning and messaging to offers and delivery strategies, I can help you stand out in a crowded market and get results.


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