Should Brand Strategy be called Something Else?

Dec 21, 2023

Originally posted on frostcreative.co.uk

The term “brand strategy” has become a ubiquitous phrase. It seems that when you talk about strategy, people get it. Stick the word ‘brand’ in front and people struggle. While the term Brand Strategy is widely used, the question arises: Does the term accurately reflect the depth and significance of what it encompasses? In a world where the concept of a brand is often misunderstood, misinterpreted, or oversimplified, is it time to reconsider the terminology and align it more closely with its integral connection to overall business strategy?

The Conundrum of ‘Brand’

The term ‘brand’ often conjures images of logos, colours, and taglines, encapsulating merely the visual and tangible aspects of a company. This also suggests a huge cost outlay, which is not the case.  However, a brand is far more profound. It is the sum of experiences, emotions, and perceptions that customers associate with a business. The disconnect arises when individuals in the world of marketing and business fail to grasp the comprehensive nature of what a brand truly represents.

Brand Strategy: A Subset or the Whole?

Brand strategy, in its current terminology, implies a specialised subset of strategies focused on the establishment and promotion of the brand. However, the reality is that the brand is not an isolated entity; rather it is intricately woven into the fabric of the overall business strategy. From product development to customer service, every facet of a business contributes to the formation and reinforcement of its brand.

The Power of Precision in Naming

Words matter, especially in the complex world of business. Precision in terminology aids clarity of thought and action. Considering the intimate relationship between brand strategy and overarching business strategy, perhaps it’s time to reconsider the label itself. Could ‘brand strategy’ be more accurately referred to as ‘business strategy, or audience strategy’ encompassing the holistic approach required for success in the sector you operate?

The Case for Business Strategy

Business strategy, by its very definition, encapsulates the overarching plan an organisation adopts to achieve its goals. It involves decisions regarding resource allocation, market positioning, and competitive advantage. By embracing the term ‘business strategy’ or ‘audience strategy’ in lieu of ‘brand strategy,’ we emphasise the interconnectedness of brand-building efforts with the broader organisational vision and the people it serves.

A Unified Vision

Renaming brand strategy to business strategy, or other, could foster a more unified approach within organisations. It reinforces the idea that every business decision, whether related to operations, marketing, or customer relations, is a strategic move that contributes to the overall success and perception of the brand. This shift in terminology promotes a holistic perspective, aligning teams and departments under a common vision.

Summary

In the world of business, the language we use to describe concepts plays a pivotal role in shaping understanding and actions. The term ‘brand strategy’ may fall short in capturing the depth of what it truly entails, often leading to misconceptions and fragmented approaches within organisations. By acknowledging that it’s completely intertwined with the overall ‘business strategy,’ we embrace a more encompassing and unified perspective, reinforcing the idea that every aspect of a business contributes to the overall brand. In this era of clarity, it’s time to ask: is it not what we call it, but how accurately it reflects the essence of what we do that truly matters?

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