I sometimes get asked what the different between Brand Strategy & Business Strategy is.
Over the years a big misconception that I’ve often heard is that ‘Business Strategy’ directs the rational side of business – what types of products or services to develop and deliver, which initiatives to invest time and resources – and ‘Brand Strategy’ directs the emotional side of business – visual identity, marketing, advertising, messaging and positioning.
To me that’s a bit like the concept of ‘work/life balance’, which is misleading because it implies that work and life are opposites when they are not. Work is really just an important part of life, not something separate to it.
‘Business Strategy’ and ‘Brand Strategy’ aren’t mutually exclusive or opposite either.
A set of very simple business objectives with a meaningful purpose is at the foundation of every successful brand strategy. Why? Because the role of strategy is ultimately to bring those strategic business objectives to life.
Many businesses make the mistake of jumping into their branding without getting clear on their business objectives first. This is like building a house without a set of plans – fun and exciting at first, but it’s expensive way to work, and who knows what it will look like or whether it will be of value to anyone else in the end.
On the flip side just as many businesses begin with a great idea for a product or service, but ultimately fail to meet their potential without a strategy to position and connect that idea with their audience in a meaningful way.
Don’t focus on your business strategy and brand strategy separately. Focus on developing a brand strategy that will bring your great business idea or company to life in the mind of your customers and potential customers; so that your brand is something they care about and need, because it makes their life better.