Why Brand Strategy and Design NEED Each Other

May 4, 2024

brand development

When it comes to successfully marketing a brand, there are lots of moving parts. Everything needs to be carefully considered, from the SEO strategy and social presence to the logo and business cards. Sometimes, those moving parts can feel like marbles rolling around and colliding with each other. But we should think of those parts more like gears in a clock—interconnected and all necessary. Here’s why brand strategy and design need each other, and neither functions as well in a vacuum.  

Breaking Down Branding: Brand Strategy and Design

The term “branding” can sometimes feel a little big and blobby. When we talk about brands, branding, and brand strategy, what are we really talking about? You can think of it like a big ol’ Venn Diagram, where brand strategy and design exist and overlap. 

Brand Strategy Essentials

Think of your brand strategy as a map in the wilderness: it helps you chart where you’re going and figure out the best way to get there. Your brand strategy should guide every decision, from how you talk to your customers to the products and services you offer. It should also serve as the foundation for big decisions about your brand design. 

Brand Design Elements

We’ve done a deep dive on essential brand design elements before. But in general, when we’re talking about brand design, we’re talking about the visual assets that make your brand recognizable in the market. This includes your colors, logo, fonts, and any other distinctly “You” visual cues. 

The Overlap Zone

The overlap zone between brand strategy and design is where the magic really happens. It’s where your brand’s identity and values start to influence both sides of the strategy/design coin. 

For example, let’s say your primary brand strategy is industry disruption. You’re here to shake things up, make a big impact with bold, cheeky messaging, and resonate with an audience that’s tired of business as usual. Can you imagine trying to accomplish that with a color palette of pastels and Times New Roman font? 

Big-impact brands need big-impact brand design.

When there’s a disconnect between what brands say and what they show, it creates a jarring experience. Not only can it confuse your target audiences, but it can break their trust. Instead, brands that want to shake things up should use bold, bright colors and unique or blocky fonts to support their disruptor identities.  

Benefits of Symbiotic Brand Strategy and Design

For a brand to make a lasting impact, there HAS to be a strong tie between the strategy and design. Let’s break down the top benefits: 

Supports Consistent Brand Experience

The strongest brands ensure that every touchpoint provides a consistent brand experience. That means cohesion across your website, social media, packaging, and even in-person experiences. This is especially important in today’s digital-first world, where potential customers might interact with your brand across multiple platforms before ever making a purchase. When brand strategy and design work in concert, you’re building trust, loyalty, and awareness every step of the way. 

Builds Stronger Emotional Connection

We already know that strong brand design has the potential to create emotional connections and resonance. But without a driving strategy behind it, even the most beautiful brand design has the potential to fall flat. Visible design elements might catch someone’s eye, but it’s the brand identity (and strategic foundation beneath it) that’ll make them loyal buyers for life. By aligning your brand strategy and design, you can strike the right chord and make sure your audiences feel understood and valued. 

Increases Brand Resilience

Markets change, trends come and go, and things can get truly wild when it comes to business planning. When your strategy and design work hand in hand, you can adapt and evolve without losing your core identity. Because your strategy and design are firmly rooted in your brand’s identity—values, mission, and purpose—you can make informed decisions from a place of authenticity rather than reacting to each change that comes your way.

Our Design Process Starts with Brand Strategy

Successful brands don’t just happen by chance. Here at Lunar Creative, every project starts with a strong, strategic foundation. That means digging into the specifics of your brand and your market. Our brand strategy packages include: 

  • Brand purpose: Digging into the driving force behind your brand, business, and product/services. This isn’t just What you do, but the Why behind it. This includes developing a strong mission statement and vision statement for the evolution of your brand.
  • Core values: The guiding values that dictate how your brand shows up and interacts with the world. They encapsulate your mission, vision, and purpose, acting as a decision-making framework to ensure brand consistency.
  • Target audience profiles: Once we’ve got the foundation of your brand identity nailed down, we’ll do the research to figure out your ideal target audiences. These are the folks who are most likely to be lifelong brand loyalists because they resonate with your brand’s values and purpose. That means digging deeper than age, gender, location and really leaning into who they are and what they value.
  • Psychology mapping: Hundreds, if not thousands, of little factors play into our everyday buying decisions. As part of our strategic process, we’ll spend time thinking about your brand’s user experience and pros/cons when compared to top competitors.
  • Industry trends: Even if you’re the guy with the fastest horses around, you’re gonna struggle to compete with steam engines. We’ll analyze current industry trends to help identify potential threats, opportunities, strengths, and weaknesses in relation to your competition.
  • Brand positioning: This is a big idea that we can’t really dig into here. But in general you can think of brand positioning as finding your “lane” in the market. A brand position statement will highlight the unique value you bring and the position only you can occupy in the industry.
  • Brand messaging: The essential snippets that make your brand easily recognizable out in the world. These key pieces include your tagline, headlines, calls-to-action, and unique selling propositions or key statements.
  • Brand voice/tone: Making sure you’re always speaking your industry’s language in your brand’s voice. Having a clear brand voice helps keep things consistent, whether someone is reading your weekly newsletter or just stumbled across your Instagram.
  • Brand content pillars: This is where we outline what you know and what your audience needs to know. It’s your shortlist of ideas, topics, and inspirations for future content development. For example, a wellness company’s brand pillars might include 1) nutrition education, 2) inspirational messaging, and 3) wellness product spotlights. 

Whew! We know it’s a long list. Are you still with us? This comprehensive approach to brand strategy gives us the strongest foundation to start building out the visual elements of your brand. From there, we can get down to building a beautiful AND effective brand package

Ready for Better Brand Design?

You can totally choose to design your brand on a whim or because you like the way something looks. Or you can use the tools in our brand strategy toolkit to develop something that’s authentic, resonant, and more effective than a shot in the dark. Ready to see the difference? Get in touch to learn how Lunar Creative can elevate your project. 

brand strategy and design