Is there a different between brand identity and brand strategy? Hell yeah. Most everyone has a brand identity. Very few have a codified brand strategy. I say codified because most marketers believe they have a brand strategy but can’t articulate it.
Brand identity comprises the people, places and things presented to consumers to generate purchase and loyalty. Think of it (hopefully) as organized selling. Brand identity components include: logo, packaging, signage, color palette, retail experience, sales people, ad copy and imagery. The cleanest way to see if you have a distinct brand identity is to ask consumers to play it back. Brand identity is the state of your brand in consumers’ minds. All controlled by the various outputs (or buildables), as I like to call them.
Brand strategy, on the other hand, is how you get there. How you get to the perception of what a brand is and what a brand does (Is-Does). Brand strategy must precede brand identity.
The more ingredients to throw into the pot, the less flavor you have. That’s what happens when you create brand identity before brand strategy. Brand strategy is an organizing principle for product, experience and messaging. That how you build a brand from the ground up.