Brand Strategy vs. Brand Design: What’s The Difference?



Do you understand the difference between brand strategy vs. brand design? Oftentimes, when we think of branding we think of gorgeous visuals such as a logo, pattern or colors. When we focus solely on the visuals, we forget about the strategy behind it — the mission, vision and personality. Yes, your brand should have a personality! Both are so important to distinguish, so you know why you do what you do and to create a visual representation of your brand values.

What Is Brand Strategy?

A brand strategy is a holistic plan crafted to help you reach your long-term business goals. Your strategy gets down to the nitty-gritty and addresses the who, what, why, and how of your brand. It also clarifies your core values – such as your mission and vision, along with how you’ll convey these to your audience. The result is clear, concise and compelling. And without it, your brand is just sitting there looking really pretty but going nowhere. This is one of the best ways to build a brand that your audience can trust.

What Is Brand Design?

Once you’ve laid out the groundwork of your brand strategy, your brand identity starts to fall into place. This is where brand design comes in. It is the visual translation of your well thought-out roadmap. In other words, brand design is the pretty stuff like logos, color palettes, typography, and other design elements that makes a brand recognizable. We often start this process with a brand moodboard. Your brand design is something that exists everywhere from your website to printed collateral to a cohesive Instagram feed.

Why do you need both brand strategy and brand design?

Brand strategy and brand design are both important to creating a complete brand identity that differentiates your company from its competition. It pulls together your company values and identity to really humanize your brand. You’re giving it a personality for people to connect with. People want to feel connected to the company they choose to work with, buy from and partner with.

Identifying a brand strategy and brand design is one of the most important parts of building your business, Sadly, it is often overlooked. It should be one of the first things you identify when starting something new because it sets you apart from your competition, gives you long-term goals and motivates you to grow in alignment with your values.

If you’re already an established company but don’t have a brand strategy or brand design in place, don’t worry! These can be developed regardless of how far along your company is. We’ve worked with businesses that have just started as well as those that have been a 10+ years into their business and need realignment. Go ahead and reach out to set up a discovery call to see how we can work together to build your brand from strategy to design.

If you are more of the DIY branding type, grab a pen and paper and listen to this episode! We dig deep into the questions you need to ask your yourself in order to develop both your brand strategy and where to start with your brand design.

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Brand strategy vs. brand design podcast

Programs & Products Mentioned

  • All of our brands are built in the Adobe Creative Suite with Adobe Illustrator.
  • Creative Market is a top favorite of ours for finding fonts and custom patterns that work for our clients.
  • Canva is a resource we use to build brand moodboards as well as brand collateral that needs to be editable for our clients.

Our Current Drink Orders 

because why not?!

Abbey:  Lemon Lavender Gin Spritz 

Courtney: Blueberry Lavender Mimosa

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Abbey Oslin and Courtney Petersen are Minnesota-based marketing experts, educators, and co-founders of boutique marketing agency Duo Collective, which specializes in SEO, social media strategy, and branding for small business owners and creative entrepreneurs. To learn more about Duo Collective, or to inquire about working with our team, head over to 

To inquire about being a guest on Duo On Air, please fill out this application form
And to submit a topic or a question for next week’s episode, send us a DM on Instagram! See you on Monday!

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