Business Strategy, Brand Strategy and Marketing Strategy – how do they intersect?

  • 29 May 2023
  • Paul Nelson

When asked how we work, we explain that we operate at the intersection of business, brand and marketing. Each of these areas is a critical function that requires an individual, well thought-out strategy.

But what roles do business strategy, brand strategy and marketing strategy each play? And how do they interrelate? In this blog post, we explore the relationship between them.

Business Strategy

A business or organisational strategy details a firm’s vision, mission and long-term objectives. The organisational objectives form the heart of the strategy, which lays out specifically how the firm plans to achieve them and the resources that will be needed to deliver.

Business strategy considers many things, including market structure and competitors, entry and exit barriers, market segmentation, market trends, organisational scale, spread and structure, organisational agility, organisational culture, product/service portfolio, branding and differentiation, IP, business model, distribution channels, supply and demand, sources of revenue, cost structure, cash flow, technology, strategic partnerships and the keys to success.

The strategies proposed should reflect the organisation’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, as well as its competitors and the market.

Brand Strategy

Brand is the expression of the essence of an organisation, product, or service – its reason for being. It communicates the characteristics, values and attributes that the organisation or product stands for, how it is positioned differently to competitors, and why a customer would buy it.

The brand strategy exists to amplify this brand to enable, express and bring to life the business strategy.

It consists of the brand positioning- the unique, relevant, credible and sustainable position in the market that it owns – along with the brand story, values, personality and brand tone of voice.

It should also include the employee value proposition (EVP), which is closely linked to your brand.

If there are multiple brands, it may also include a brand architecture framework and brand portfolio strategy. And if there are multiple brand audiences, the brand strategy may also include customer value propositions (CVPs).

Marketing Strategy

Once an organisation has signed off its brand strategy, it will need to create a marketing strategy and a marketing plan.

Whereas branding is strategic, marketing is more tactical and focuses on actively promoting and selling a product or service. It’s about putting the right product/service in the right place, at the right price, at the right time. It unearths and activates buyers. All marketing initiatives and campaigns should reinforce and support the brand essence.

A marketing strategy typically answers the following questions for a product or service:

  • Who are its customers?
  • Who are its competitors?
  • What makes it stand out in the market?
  • Which market trends can be taken advantage of?
  • What are its strengths and weaknesses and what are the opportunities and threats?
  • What initiatives and programs can be used to promote it and take advantage of its strengths and the available opportunities, mitigate its weaknesses and minimise the threats?

The intersection of business, brand and marketing

As you can see, there are several points of intersection between business strategy, brand strategy and marketing strategy.

The competitive environment, market structure, market segments and target customers are fundamentally important to all of these strategies, and all three strategies must consider market trends to be viable in the long run.

Branding precedes and underlies marketing efforts, and so marketing initiatives and campaigns should reinforce and support the brand positioning.

To create effective integration between business, brand and marketing strategy, consider the sequencing of these strategic plans so that each plan can be informed by the plans gone before them. Business strategy comes first, closely followed by brand strategy, and then marketing strategy.

We consider these connection points and associated conundrums as part of our daily fare. If you’d like a point of view on how to resolve or reconcile any of the above, we’d love to hear from you – please contact us.


This article was originally produced by BrandMatters, an expert brand strategy, research and insights agency, which was acquired by Fuller in 2023. Find out more.