Jon Miller and David Muir, in their book The Business of Brands, make an excellent case that, to a large extent, brand strategy is business strategy and should ultimately be regarded as an approach to building shareholder value.
They argue that some persistent misconceptions lead to a limited view of brand strategy. Quoting from their book:
-- Brand strategy is more than marketing: marketing, in the strict sense, is about taking products and services to market. We believe that brands can play a wider role than growing and retaining market share.
-- Brand strategy is more than communications: to build a strong brand takes more than communications. It’s more than what you say (and how you say it) - brands grow out of what you do (and how you do it).
-- Brand strategy is more than effectiveness: effectiveness - doing something well - is not itself a strategy. Brands may perform well in the short term at the expense of their long-term competitive position.
-- Brand strategy is more than positioning: positioning is about clearly differentiating the brand from its competitors. Find a gap and then fill it. However, positioning-led strategies often overlook the importance of awareness and of establishing points of parity.