04 Sep 2016

Brand Strategy vs Marketing Strategy

These two concepts are directly related, but often confused. The idea of “brand” is often used to describe marketing. Brand “management” responsibilities are often given to the marketing team, and the campaigns that they create are frequently considered “brand” activities because they are the vehicle that delivers parts of the brand message to potential customers.


Brand Strategy


Brand is not marketing. Your brand is the holistic reputation of your company, product, or service. It consists of many parts – one of which is marketing. Other equally important parts of your brand are product, sales, and customer service.

Your brand strategy should clearly define your company’s purpose, vision, DNA, position, value, and customer so that your team can make clear, unified and focused decisions to help grow your business. It should focus on the big picture, but include an actionable mission that aligns with your short, mid, and long term business goals.

A well-defined, focused brand strategy will position your company for long term growth by…

  • Clearly defining its position in the market and the value it provides to new and existing customers
  • Creating a consistent message increasing brand awareness and customer trust
  • Helping align departments for better cross-function communication (Executive/Sales/Marketing/Product)
  • Establishing concrete guidelines for better decision making, budget planning, and time management
  • Identifying opportunities and prioritizing initiatives, optimizing time and financial investments


Marketing Strategy


Your marketing strategy is a function of your brand strategy and overarching business plan. It outlines the tactics you will use to communicate your key messages to your ideal customers. This can include your content strategy, digital marketing, campaign development, social strategy, advertising, PR, retail marketing, etc.

Your marketing strategy is the vehicle that delivers your tailored customer-facing brand message.

Your marketing strategy and tactics can change based on customer data, success of campaigns, technology, trends, budget, etc.

Your brand strategy is the cornerstone of your overall business plan. It is your roadmap guiding you to your destination. It only changes if your destination does.






Joe is a senior brand and marketing strategist with 15+ years of experience building brands in the sport and outdoor lifestyle consumer goods markets. Joe has been instrumental in the growth of industry-leading organizations by identifying key opportunities and developing comprehensive brand growth strategies.

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