Brand Analysis vs. Brand Strategy: What's the Difference?
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published March 11, 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
A company's brand can determine the perception customers have about its mission, values and products or services. Marketing professionals can use two related concepts, brand analysis and brand strategy, to define a company's brand and increase brand awareness to help a company achieve its strategic goals. If you're a marketing professional, you may want to learn more about brand analysis and brand strategy to help you be successful in your role. In this article, we define both terms and compare brand analysis versus brand strategy to help you understand how to use these two marketing concepts effectively.
What is brand analysis?
Brand analysis is the process of determining a company's brand, which is the public image of a company. Many components can contribute to a company's brand, such as its logo, website, marketing content and social media platforms. A brand analysis can help businesses understand how those elements influence customers' perception of their mission, services and market positioning. Typically, a brand analysis answers various questions, such as how customers describe a company's brand. This analysis can help marketers understand the current state of a company's brand so they can customize their brand messaging effectively.
What is brand strategy?
A brand strategy is a comprehensive plan for creating a successful brand. This strategy provides marketing professionals with direction for developing a company's brand to establish emotional connections with current and potential customers. A brand strategy may involve many elements, such as website images and marketing content. Typically, it also involves intangible elements that help to increase brand awareness, such as the way employees interact with customers. While developing a brand strategy, marketers answer many questions, such as who a company's target audience includes and how to communicate brand objectives to those customers.
Related: A Guide To Creating a Brand Strategy
Brand analysis vs. brand strategy
Brand analysis and brand strategy often work together to help marketers define and enhance a company's brand. While the two concepts share some similarities, they also have key differences that distinguish them from each other. Here's a comparison of brand analysis versus brand strategy to help you understand these two marketing concepts:
Marketing professionals typically use brand analysis and brand strategy for different purposes. Brand analysis can help them determine the current state of a company's brand. It helps them understand how customers perceive the company based on brand performance. In contrast, marketers use brand strategy to help them develop a plan to achieve a company's desired brand. Brand strategy can help them create messaging to strengthen or improve a company's brand awareness among customers. While brand analysis helps marketers understand a company's current brand, brand strategy can help them develop a plan to improve the brand.
Both brand analysis and brand strategy have many benefits for marketing professionals and their companies. Brand analysis can help marketers understand how customers perceive a company. Specifically, this type of analysis can help marketing professionals:
Review feedback: This analysis typically provides marketers with customer feedback about a company's brand. They can review this feedback to learn more about a company's target audience, such as their purchasing habits and brand preferences.
Set measurable goals: Marketing professionals can use a brand analysis to determine how customers currently feel about the company. This data can help them set measurable, achievable goals to optimize or improve the company's brand performance.
Improve marketing outcomes: A brand analysis can provide marketers with insight into where they can improve their brand messaging to reach a company's target audience. This information can help them create effective campaigns to improve marketing outcomes.
Much like a brand analysis, a brand strategy can help marketing professionals with many parts of their jobs. While brand analysis can help them set goals, brand strategy can help them identify and implement methods to achieve those objectives. A brand strategy can help marketers:
Create cohesive messaging: A brand strategy can help marketers define the company's desired brand. They can use this information to create cohesive messaging in their marketing content to align with that image.
Distinguish company from competitors: While developing a brand strategy, marketers consider how a company's brand performs against others in the marketplace. They can use a brand strategy to develop ways to distinguish a company from its competitors.
Increase brand awareness: When executed successfully, a brand strategy can help marketers target campaigns to a specific audience. This strategy helps them convey messaging to prospective customers, which can increase a company's brand awareness.
Brand analysis and brand strategy each involve different components to help marketers use them effectively. A brand analysis typically involves these components:
Customer personas: A brand analysis determines customer personas, which are representations of a company's customers. These personas can show marketers how customers currently perceive a company's brand.
Competitor analysis: This type of analysis typically includes information about a company's competitors, such as their products or services and revenue. A brand analysis compares this information with a company's own data to determine its positioning in the marketplace.
Goals: A brand analysis examines a company's brand identity, including its strengths and weaknesses, to determine whether it aligns with the company's strategic goals. It also identifies opportunities for a company to improve its brand to achieve its objectives.
In contrast, the components of a brand strategy help marketers plan the steps they can take to meet a company's branding goals. A brand strategy commonly establishes these components:
Purpose of organization: When developing a brand strategy, marketers consider the purpose of the organization. They determine what value the company provides to customers and how its products differentiate from others in the marketplace.
Consistent messaging: A brand strategy focuses on developing consistent messaging to convey a company's brand. Marketers may consider the images, fonts, colors and language style they want to use in their marketing content to establish this messaging.
Emotional connections: This component of a brand strategy involves developing methods to establish and maintain emotional connections with customers. Marketers may consider ways they can create emotional experiences to influence customers' perceptions of the brand.
While many marketers use the results of brand analysis, they're typically not involved in conducting the review of a company's brand. Instead, external companies often conduct a brand analysis. These companies do research to assess a company's customer base, evaluate brand messaging and compare a company's brand with others in the marketplace. They provide this information to marketing departments and offer an objective analysis to highlight areas where the company can improve its branding efforts.
Unlike brand analysis, nearly every brand strategy involves a company's marketing personnel. Marketing employees work together to review the results of a brand analysis and brainstorm ideas to strengthen a company's brand. These teams are responsible for developing a brand strategy that aligns with the company's strategic goals. While marketers create the brand strategy, they often share it with other employees in the company, such as sales departments, to ensure consistent brand messaging across the organization.
Typically, marketing teams or external companies perform a brand analysis before developing a brand strategy. This analysis helps marketers determine the company's perceived image, understand what current branding strategies work well and identify areas for improvement. After completing a brand analysis, marketers may reference it when working on marketing campaigns, but they rarely change or update the analysis unless the company undergoes a major transformation, such as a merger or rebranding.
In contrast, a brand strategy is a long-term plan that may change or evolve over time. Marketers typically determine a brand strategy after reviewing the results of the brand analysis. They can then create a formal plan for developing or improving a company's brand. Marketers typically change or update a brand strategy based on the results of their marketing efforts. They use data to measure the outcomes of their brand strategy and make adjustments when necessary to ensure its success.
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