Brand Designer vs Brand Strategist [What’s the difference]

When it comes to building a successful brand, there are several important players involved in the process. Two key roles are the brand designer and the brand strategist. While these two roles may sound similar or even interchangeable, they actually have very different responsibilities and skill sets. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the unique roles of the brand designer and brand strategist, how they complement each other, and why both are essential to creating a strong and memorable brand. Whether you’re a business owner looking to build your brand, or just curious about the behind-the-scenes of branding, this post is for you.

Importance of Understanding the Differences

Understanding the differences between a brand designer and a brand strategist is crucial for any business looking to build a strong and successful brand. While both roles are important for brand development, they have distinct and different focuses. A brand designer is responsible for creating the visual elements of a brand, such as the logo, typography, color palette, and overall aesthetic. On the other hand, a brand strategist focuses on the overall strategy and messaging of the brand, including its positioning, target audience, and core values.

Without a clear understanding of the differences between these roles, businesses end up hiring the wrong person for the job or underestimating the importance of one role over the other. For example, a company that focuses too heavily on the visual elements of its brand without a strong brand strategy may fail to effectively communicate its message to its target audience. On the other hand, a company with a well-developed brand strategy but poor visual execution may struggle to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Let’s dive in to see each one in detail

What is a brand designer?

brand designer vs brand strategist

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A visual communication professional with training in the art of visual design is a brand designer.
Designing brand identities or brand identity components that are used to visually differentiate brands and their goods from those of rivals is the responsibility of the brand designer.
The role of the brand designer is to visually represent the brand’s features so that its visual identity corresponds to its meaning and message.
In other words, the brand designer uses imagery to graphically represent the brand and its approach.

What is a brand strategist?

brand strategy

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The brand strategist is the brand architect and project manager who integrates all kinds of communication, including verbal as well as visual, in contrast to the designer who specializes in visual communication.
Before creating a brand, the brand strategist’s primary responsibility is to specify the strategy it will use to interact with its target market.
One of the main responsibilities of the brand strategist is to identify this demographic and the message the company wants to convey in order to connect and engage.
Every company in the world works to find a solution for a group of people or many groups of people.

Businesses that are successful are those that are able to find the proper formula for conveying the correct message about how they can assist their consumers and how that assistance is worthwhile.
Every successful company has a success plan.

Functions of a Brand Designer

Brand designers often start their careers and gain experience as graphic designers, who typically cover a wider range of design, before transitioning into brand identity design.
Web / Website Design

Print Design
Environment Design

Package Design
On the other side, brand designers are experts in creating brand identities and the components that make them up, such as:


Color Schemes
Image styles
Brand Guidelines
In addition to creating these components, brand designers also have the following duties:
Think visually and creatively
Recognizing the client’s goals and the business case
putting the design into practice as directed by the creative lead
working along with other branding and marketing experts
presenting innovative viewpoints
Speaking out at client meetings

What do Brand Strategists do?

The brand strategist, works in a direct hands-on role with the client, whereas a designer in an agency setting reports to the creative director and may have little connection with the client.
It’s important to note that many independent brand designers interact with clients face-to-face, but their primary goal is to comprehend the brand identification brief rather than to create the brand strategy.
The brand strategist must have a thorough understanding of the client, their goals and desires (whether or not they are the same), the market environment, and the target audience before they can establish the strategy.
They can only come up with a plan or strategy to accomplish the objectives given the circumstances if they have a thorough comprehension of these conditions and aims.
While brand strategists establish strategic aspects, brand designers create the visual components, which may include;



Customer Profiles
Competitive Reports

Tone and Voice
Tagline & Brand Name
The strategist’s job is to supervise the brand identity’s implementation so that the brand may be expressed visually, regardless of whether they had a hand in its creative direction or design.
The brand strategist not only defines strategic components but also manages and delivers the branding project as a whole, often overseeing marketing teams or other creative and branding experts like:

designers of brands, graphics

user experiences, and user interfaces
Product developers and designers

Ad Professionals
Managers of social media
Managers of marketing Animation

Skills as a brand designer

In the process of developing a brand, brand designers are crucial.
There are various qualifications in terms of abilities that the designer must possess in order to be a successful brand designer.
Branding expertise includes
superior visual communication
Organizing abilities
high-level speech exchange
time management
Skills in Conceptualization
Teamwork skills

Proficient use of advanced design software
The capacity to adhere to instructions and meet deadlines
Use designs to highlight certain characteristics
A brand designer who has each of these talents is more likely to support the creative team.
But if the brand designer lacked any one of these abilities, it would be difficult for them to perform their job tasks.
Want Practical Brand Strategy Advice & Methods?

Skills as a Brand Strategist

While brand designers are most valuable when they use their design abilities to visually express the brand, a strategist needs a deeper and broader range of skills.
First and foremost, the brand strategist must be able to comprehend the markets, companies, and sectors of their customers.
After comprehension, insights are needed to envision and outline the strategy that would eventually lead to the creation of a competitive brand.
Expertise in brand strategy includes

Creative Thinking
Active Listening
superior communication abilities
Leadership & Direction
Conceptualization and Ideation
People Administration
Problem-solving in Project Management
Investigation & Development
Relationship Development
Building strategic brands make use of a wide range of specialized abilities, from design to development to marketing execution and everything in between.
A brand strategist doesn’t need to be skilled in every activity, but they do need to have a thorough understanding of each one in order to bring these experts together to create a unified brand.

Prerequisites to Become a Brand Designer

Designers are often employed after graduating from college via internship and work experience programs.
Designers with a traditional education are likely to have a degree or higher national diploma in one of the following fields.
Visual Design
Designing a brand’s identity
Graphic Design for Communication
Graphic Arts
Communications with images
Design & Art
Although agencies often favor hiring designers with formal training, a surge of self-taught designers has entered the market in the last ten years.
Although more and more highly competent and fiercely competitive self-taught designers are emerging, a significant part of these designers may lack the core design concepts that traditionally educated designers have.
However, education alone is never sufficient, and your portfolio is your visual résumé when it comes to brand design. It is preferable if you have a larger selection of genuine client work.
If you have the necessary foundational abilities, the next stage is to get experience working on client projects.

Prerequisites to Become Brand Strategist

Brand strategists were originally considered to be high-end professionals only available to Fortune 500 companies.
For the select few who made the trek in the past, this was a well-traveled route.
A usual place to start was with a degree in one of the following disciplines.
Advertising & Media
Communications and Marketing
Business or commerce bachelor’s degree
Media and Communication
Any of the following positions in marketing, the media, or advertising would be made possible by this core knowledge, including:
Media buyer

Social media manager

Marketing Manager
Content manager
Research and development expert in marketing

Chief Marketing Officer
Public relations professional
A professional with extensive knowledge in any of these areas would be an excellent choice for brand strategy positions.
More recently, brand strategists have evolved as a result of their expertise in establishing brands in industries like copywriting, design, and digital marketing.
These strategists are supplying the growing need of entrepreneurs of smaller companies to create brands with sound strategies.

How Much Money Does a Brand Designer Make? (Salaries for Brand Designer Jobs)

The amount of money a brand designer may make depends heavily on their level of design expertise.
Employment also depends on location. For instance, careers in brand design are often more lucrative in large locations with robust economies than in smaller ones.

The average annual salary for graphic designers employed as workers, according to Glassdoor, is about $50,000.

On the other side, senior brand designers make substantially more money, $82,000 to be exact, demonstrating the market’s true worth of branding specialty.
Having said that, a good independent brand designer with an effective marketing plan might make substantially more money depending on their target market.
For instance, in contrast to an employee, a freelancer may target lucrative enterprises that are already established in order to resurrect their brand identity.
Quite conservatively, two projects each month at $5,000 each would provide $120,000 in revenue.

How Much Do Brand Strategists Make? (Brand Strategist Job Salaries)

Once again using Glassdoor as our comparison source, the average yearly income for brand strategists is $102,000.
Now, it seems to reason that well-established companies with the financial resources to retain a brand strategist on a full-time basis would often prioritize experience.
There aren’t many junior brand strategist opportunities available since strategists are often expected to have years of experience working closely with brands before entering the industry; but, as this specialty develops, anticipate that to change.
When it comes to independent strategists, the proper professional with the correct marketing plan may again make substantially more money than the typical brand strategist compensation.
Using the same straightforward example as the brand designer, two strategy projects each month at a cost of $10,000 each would generate $240,000 in revenue, which is again extremely conservative.

Which One to Hire

When it comes to building a successful brand, it’s essential to have both a skilled brand designer and a brand strategist on your team. However, understanding when to hire each one can be tricky.

When to hire a brand designer:

  • You want to redesign your brand’s visual identity, including your logo, color scheme, and other design elements.
  • You need help creating branded marketing materials like brochures, business cards, or advertisements.
  • You’re launching a new product or service and need help with the visual branding.

When to hire a brand strategist:

  • You’re just starting and need help developing a brand strategy, including defining your brand’s mission, values, and personality.
  • You need help identifying your target audience and developing a messaging strategy that resonates with them.
  • You want to differentiate your brand from competitors and need help with brand positioning.

Final Words on Brand Designer vs Brand Strategist

There is no denying that there is a growing need for branding experts.
Millions of startups and entrepreneurs are rising, many of whom have a keen awareness of the significance of their brands.
Demand for the right specialists has never been higher due to the fact that the world’s already-established businesses are emphasizing their brands more than ever.
The answers to these four questions will be useful if you’re deciding where to take your branding career.
What are my objectives

what are my strengths

Where do I need to grow?
What are my interests?
Some people will look for a brand strategist, while others will look for a brand designer.
The service you provide should be influenced by your goals for the future, your objectives, and the skills you currently possess or can develop.

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