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Brand Identity vs. Brand Strategy: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on December 31, 2023
Brand identity is the visible elements of a brand, while brand strategy is the plan for how a brand will achieve its goals.

Key Differences

Brand identity encompasses the visual aspects of a brand, like logos, colors, and design, creating a distinct image in the consumer's mind. Brand strategy, however, is the overarching plan that guides how a brand presents itself to achieve specific objectives.
Brand identity focuses on the tangible elements that convey a brand's personality, while brand strategy involves the decisions and actions to build customer loyalty and brand perception. It's about how the brand navigates the market.
Brand identity is a subset of brand strategy, as it's a tool used to execute the strategy. The strategy includes target audience identification, positioning, and communication plans, guiding how the identity is used.
The creation of a brand identity is a creative process, focusing on aesthetics and appeal. In contrast, developing a brand strategy is a more analytical process, involving market research and business planning.
Brand identity is immediately recognizable and aims to establish a connection with the audience. Brand strategy, on the other hand, is less visible to consumers but crucial for long-term brand success and growth.

Comparison Chart


Visual elements like logos, colors, design
Long-term plan for brand growth and positioning


Creates a distinct brand image and appeal
Guides brand decisions and market positioning


Creative, focusing on aesthetics
Analytical, involving market research and planning


Immediately recognizable to consumers
Behind-the-scenes, driving brand actions


Establish connection with the audience
Achieve specific business and marketing goals

Brand Identity and Brand Strategy Definitions

Brand Identity

The visual look of a brand.
The brand identity of Apple is sleek and minimalist.

Brand Strategy

Standing out from competitors.
Burberry's brand strategy differentiates with luxury and heritage.

Brand Identity

Creating a feeling or experience.
Coca-Cola's brand identity evokes happiness and nostalgia.

Brand Strategy

Identifying and catering to specific customers.
Nike's brand strategy targets athletes and active individuals.

Brand Identity

Making a brand easily recognizable.
Starbucks' green logo is key to its brand identity.

Brand Strategy

Setting and achieving specific objectives.
Google's brand strategy aims for information accessibility and innovation.

Brand Identity

Maintaining a cohesive look across all platforms.
McDonald's brand identity is consistent worldwide.

Brand Strategy

The roadmap for brand development.
Tesla's brand strategy focuses on innovation and sustainability.

Brand Identity

Expressing a brand's character.
Nike's brand identity is energetic and motivational.

Brand Strategy

Establishing a brand's place in the market.
Amazon's brand strategy positions it as a customer-centric company.


Can brand strategy change over time?

Yes, it can evolve with market changes and business growth.

Is brand identity important for small businesses?

Absolutely, it helps in establishing a recognizable presence.

Can a brand have multiple identities?

It’s best to maintain consistency, but adaptations can occur in different markets.

How often should brand strategy be reviewed?

Regularly, to ensure it stays relevant and effective.

Should brand strategy align with business objectives?

Yes, it should directly support overall business goals.

Does brand identity influence customer perception?

Yes, it significantly affects how customers view and feel about a brand.

Is brand identity just a logo?

No, it includes all visual elements like colors, design, and typography.

Is brand strategy visible to customers?

Not directly, but its effects are seen in brand actions and communications.

Does brand strategy involve competitor analysis?

Yes, understanding competitors is crucial for effective positioning.

Does brand identity include packaging?

Yes, packaging is a key component of visual identity.

Can brand identity impact sales?

Certainly, a strong identity can attract and retain customers.

Is rebranding changing brand identity?

Yes, it involves updating or changing the visual elements of the brand.

How is brand strategy developed?

Through market research, analysis, and aligning with business objectives.

Can brand identity exist without a strategy?

It can, but it's more effective when guided by a clear strategy.

Can a good brand strategy compensate for a weak product?

While it can help, a strong product is essential for long-term success.

Are target audiences part of brand strategy?

Yes, identifying and understanding the target audience is key.

How quickly can brand identity change public perception?

It can be quite quick, depending on the impact of the changes.

Is social media part of brand strategy?

Yes, it's an important channel for executing brand strategy.

Should brand identity be consistent across all channels?

Consistency is crucial for brand recognition and trust.

Can brand strategy influence product development?

Yes, it can guide the development to meet brand and market expectations.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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