Brand Strategy vs Brand Design

What comes first: brand, brand identity or brand strategy?

When I introduce myself and what I do I say. “I’m a brand strategist and designer.” This title became longer to say than brand designer, but for me it was extremely important to add. Here’s why:


When we talk about a brand we are talking about a perception someone has with our company, their experience of it based on how they have interacted. This can be as small as seeing the company sign as they drive by or a promoted social media post in their feed. We create impressions based on what we see. So it’s no wonder we often confuse a logo with being a brand. And of course it shows how important a logo is. However the logo is only part of creating a brand and it should work for the brand to create the desired perception.

Brand Identity

Your brand identity, which is the visual look of your brand, includes your logo, colors, fonts, styling, photography and imagery that you use. It’s everything that visually represents your brand and the perception and experience you want to to give. But to make sure that these visuals are providing the desired perception we want to do more than make sure “it looks good.”

Brand Strategy

So the answer to the question of what comes first is: brand strategy. What brand strategy is is identifying the core of why you are doing what you do within your business. And along with that answering questions like:

  • What is your company’s mission and purpose?
  • What is the vision your company seeks to create?
  • What values will be evident in what you do and aim to achieve?
  • Who do you serve and why?
  • Why would the person you serve want to work with you and what makes you stand out from others doing the same or similar things?

When we answer these questions and have a full understanding of the strategy behind our brand, we can then use that strategy to design our brand identity and the ideal perception of our brand. When we start with strategy and align everything we do with it we create a clear and consistent brand perception.

With each of my clients it is important to me that we set this strategy before we begin any design so that everything is aligned, feels cohesive and consistent. The last thing I want is for a client to feel they need to redesign a logo or website a year later because they realized although it looks good, it does not represent their brand.

I’m always willing to work with my clients on building their strategy so they are set up for success of a clear and consistent brand that speaks boldly of what they do and reaches their ideal client. If you’d like support in developing your strategy, connect with me.

If you feel like you need to re-align with your brand strategy, I’ve created a free workbook for you. 

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About the Creative

My days are filled with thinking outside of the box, dreaming big and seeing inspiration in the unexpected. I find ways to bring new life to the ordinary and solve challenges. At my core I simply love to create and explore. When I’m not sitting behind a sketch book or computer to create my next design, I am still creating with art, photography, and writing and finding inspiration through the creation of new memories and experiences. 


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Sarah Sketch Noting in a Journal

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