What is brand strategy in marketing?

A brand is more than just a logo or a product; it’s the essence of what a company stands for and how it is perceived by its audience. Brand strategy is all about shaping these perceptions and building connections with consumers. 

This article looks into the intricacies of brand strategy in marketing, exploring its definition, key elements and development process. By understanding the fundamentals and the role of branding in driving business success, marketers can develop more impactful and cohesive strategies to elevate their brands in the eyes of consumers.

Understanding brand strategy

Brand strategy refers to the long-term plan devised by a company to establish and differentiate its brand in the market. It is a comprehensive framework that guides how a brand is positioned, perceived and communicated to its target audience. This plays a critical role in shaping consumer perceptions and influencing purchasing decisions. By defining the brand’s positioning, visual identity, mission statement and messaging, brand strategy helps create a clear and compelling image of the brand. 

Brand strategy vs overall marketing strategy

Both of these are closely intertwined and complementary to each other. While brand strategy focuses on defining the brand’s identity, positioning and messaging, marketing strategy covers the tactical plans and activities aimed at achieving specific marketing objectives. This provides the foundation and guiding principles that inform marketing strategy, ensuring marketing efforts are aligned with the brand’s business goals and core values. 

Conversely, marketing strategy is the implementation arm of branding, translating target positioning and messaging into actionable campaigns, initiatives and communications across various channels. A cohesive relationship between brand strategy and marketing strategy ensures consistency, relevance and effectiveness in how the brand is presented and perceived in the marketplace.

Brand strategy in hospitality

In the hospitality industry, where competition is fierce and guest expectations are high, a comprehensive brand strategy is essential for success. It includes the overall guest experience, brand positioning and reputation management. Some of the key aspects of brand strategy specific to the hospitality sector include:

  • Establishing a unique brand identity: in hospitality, brand identity plays a crucial role in setting the tone for the guest experience. From the design and decor of the property to the quality of service and amenities offered, every aspect contributes to shaping the brand identity. Successful hospitality brands differentiate themselves by creating a distinct identity that resonates with their target audience and reflects their values and personality
  • Delivering consistent and memorable guest experiences: from the moment guests interact with the brand through booking channels to their stay experience and post-stay interactions, every moment should reinforce the brand promise and leave a positive impression. Consistency in service delivery, personalized touches and attention to detail are critical for building customer loyalty and advocacy
  • Building trust and reputation: hospitality brands invest in strategies to boost guest satisfaction, address feedback and complaints promptly and actively manage their online reputation through review platforms and social media
  • Differentiating through unique offerings: whether it’s innovative dining concepts, wellness facilities or experiential activities, brands that offer something distinctive and memorable can create a competitive advantage and attract discerning travelers
  • Engaging and building relationships with guests: effective brand strategy in hospitality involves engaging with guests beyond their stay experience and building lasting relationships. This could include personalized communication, loyalty programs and special offers to incentivize repeat visits

Bringing brand strategy and marketing to hospitality is a specialized field where career-seekers can benefit from having an appropriate degree as well as experience.

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Key elements of brand strategy

To meet the objectives outlined above, the brand strategy needs to combine a range of different components that work together to make a recognizable brand, including: 

Brand positioning

This involves identifying the brand’s unique value proposition – the benefits and attributes that set it apart from competitors – and positioning it in a distinct and favorable light in the minds of consumers. Effective brand positioning communicates the brand’s relevance and superiority in meeting the needs and desires of a certain section of the market.

Brand identity

The identity of a brand includes the verbal and visual elements that serve as the outward expression of the brand’s personality, values and attributes. This includes design elements such as logos, colors, typography, imagery, taglines and brand voice. A strong brand identity not only makes the brand recognizable and memorable, it also evokes specific emotions and associations that resonate with the target audience. Consistency in brand identity across all touchpoints and channels reinforces brand recognition and strengthens brand loyalty over time.

Target audience

Understanding the target audience is essential for crafting effective brand messaging and communication strategies. Building a successful brand strategy involves conducting research and analysis to identify the demographics, behaviors and needs of the target audience. This enables brands to tailor their messaging, tone and communication channels to resonate with the preferences and interests of their potential customers. By speaking directly to the target audience’s motivations and aspirations, brands can build stronger connections and drive engagement and loyalty.

Brand messaging

This involves articulating the brand’s value proposition, benefits and personality in a way that resonates with the target audience. It covers the language, tone and content used in all brand communications, including advertising, marketing campaigns, website copy, social media posts and customer interactions. Consistent and compelling brand messaging reinforces the brand’s positioning, identity and differentiation, while also engaging and influencing consumers’ attitudes and behaviors.

Brand differentiation

This involves identifying and emphasizing the unique attributes, benefits and qualities that distinguish the brand from competitors in the marketplace. This could include factors such as product features, quality, pricing, customer service, brand values or innovation. By clearly articulating its points of differentiation, a brand can stand out in a crowded market, capture consumer attention and build a loyal customer base. 

Developing a brand strategy

Developing a brand strategy

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Making a strategy is a vital process for businesses aiming to carve a distinct identity, resonate with their target audience and drive long-term success. It involves strategic decisions and thoughtful planning to shape how a brand is perceived and positioned in the marketplace. Let’s look at the key steps.

Research and analysis

Before developing a brand strategy, it is essential to gather insights through thorough research and analysis. This includes conducting target market research to understand industry trends, consumer preferences and dynamics of the ideal customer base. Competitor analysis helps identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats posed by competitors. Also, gathering customer insights through surveys, focus groups and data analysis provides valuable information about target audience preferences, behaviors and needs.

Defining brand objectives and goals

Once research and analysis are complete, it’s essential to define clear objectives and goals for the brand strategy. These should align with the overall business aims and provide a roadmap for achieving success. Whether the goal is to increase brand awareness, drive customer engagement or improve market share, setting measurable and achievable objectives ensures the brand strategy remains focused and results-oriented.

Brand positioning and messaging

Based on research and insights gathered, brands craft a unique positioning statement that communicates its value proposition, target audience and points of differentiation. This positioning statement serves as the foundation for developing brand messaging that resonates with the target audience. Messaging should be consistent, compelling and aligned with the brand’s identity and values. 

Implementation plan

Once the brand strategy is defined, it’s crucial to develop a comprehensive implementation plan that outlines how the strategy will be executed across various channels and touchpoints. This includes defining strategies for brand communication, marketing campaigns, product launches and customer experiences. The implementation plan should identify specific tactics, timelines, responsibilities and resources needed to execute the brand strategy effectively.

How to start a career in brand management

Managing brands is a dynamic and rewarding field that involves developing and implementing strategies to build and boost the reputation and perception of a brand. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in brand management, here are steps you can take to get started.

Obtain a relevant education

While there’s no specific degree requirement for brand management, a background in marketing, business administration, communications or a related field for your industry, such as hospitality, can provide a solid foundation. Consider pursuing a bachelor’s degree or additional education to gain relevant knowledge and skills in areas such as branding, consumer behavior, market research and strategic planning.

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Gain practical experience

Hands-on experience is invaluable in preparing for a career in brand management. Look for internships, part-time jobs or entry-level positions in marketing, advertising, public relations or brand management departments. These opportunities allow you to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world settings, develop practical skills and build a network of industry contacts.

Develop key skills

Brand management requires a diverse set of transferable soft skills, including strategic thinking, creativity, analytical ability, communication and project management. Take proactive steps to develop these skills through coursework, workshops, certifications and extracurricular activities. Seek opportunities to work on branding projects, conduct target market research and collaborate with cross-functional teams to gain hands-on experience.

Stay current and network

Stay abreast of industry trends, best practices and emerging technologies in brand management by reading industry publications, attending conferences and participating in professional development opportunities. Networking with professionals in the field through industry events, online forums and social media platforms such as LinkedIn can also provide valuable insights, mentorship and job opportunities.


Brand strategy in marketing stands as a cornerstone of advertising, guiding the direction and perception of businesses in the eyes of their consumers. In a rapidly evolving marketplace where customers are inundated with choices and information, a strong brand strategy is more crucial than ever. It provides a roadmap for businesses to navigate challenges, seize opportunities and build enduring relationships with their audience. If you want to focus on brand strategy in hospitality, consider getting a relevant degree from a well-renowned school such as Les Roches.

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