If you’re reading this, you’re most likely wanting to learn more about brand strategy.
And I don’t blame you. It’s a tough market out there as a designer.
Related: See our 101+ best brand strategy resources
Not only do we have to compete with our peers but we now also have to compete with DIY tools such as Canva and cheap marketplaces such as Fiver.
Are you feeling the decline?
Struggling to make a good living from your freelance work?
Never fear, specialisation is here!
Specialising allows you to increase your fees and get hired for your unique skillset without competing on price.
Think about it, if you owned a Porsche and it broke down, would you take it to a regular mechanic or a mechanic that specializes in Porsches?
The same goes for our creative industry.
If you specialize, you get hired for that skill set and you can charge more for the privilege.
When I learned how to separate my designs from my creative thinking I became a specialist and was able to increase my fees and you can too!
Have you specialised yet?
Now’s your chance, learn brand strategy!
Here are the best brand strategy courses on the market, many of which I have taken personally.
Enjoy your trip down the brand strategy rabbit hole.
Top Best Brand Strategy Courses
Here is a summary of all the courses we will dive in to below. Many of these include brand strategy templates, PDFS, frameworks, examples & all the different types of brand strategy so if you’re wanting to develop branding strategies, look no further!
- Brand Master Secrets
- Activate Your Strategic Brain
- Story Brand
- LEVEL C
- Mark Pollard’s Brand Strategy Class
- Brand Clarity
You will find even more at the end of the article.
Top Brand Strategy Courses Compared
|Brand Master Secrets||Brand Master Academy||120 Videos, 20 Hours||$697|
|CORE||The Futur||15 Videos, 4 hours||$489-$1729|
|Activate Your Strategic Brain||Stef Hamerlinck||8 Hours||$299|
|eResonaid||Fabian Geyrhalter||15 Videos, 1.5 Hours||
|Story Brand (SB7)||Donald Miller||10 Hours||$275|
|LEVEL C||Marty Neumeier||1-2 Days In Person||$1060-$1560|
|Brand Strategy Class||Mark Pollard||1.5 hours||Free (2m Trial)|
The Best Brand Strategy Courses Online & In-Person
Brand Master Secrets (Course + Worksheet Bundle)
Cost: $697 | Length: 120 Videos, 20 hours | By Stephen Houraghan
Brand Master Secrets helps you become a brand strategist and earn specialist fees. And in my opinion, this is the most comprehensive brand strategy course on the market.
Stephen Houraghan, a brand strategist and producer of the course, has truly gone above and beyond with this course to give you everything you need to become a brand strategist.
I thought I knew a lot about brand strategy before I took this course, but by the end, I realised how much more there was to know.
The course gave me all the techniques and processes and more importantly… all the systems and tools I needed to build brand strategies for my clients.
I literally watched every video front-to-back and learned something new in pretty much every module (and that’s coming from someone who has been in branding for 15 years!).
This is the consolidated “fast-track” version to becoming a brand strategist.
I wholeheartedly endorse this course for any designer who wants to become a brand strategist and earn specialist fees.
Check out the 15-minute video about the course, which lays out exactly what you get in the Brand Master Secrets.
If you do enrol, you should know that there is a full cash back guarantee if you decide it’s not right for you.
If you want to ask me any questions about the course, send me an email and I’ll be happy to answer them for you.
You can also check out the video with Stephen and I asking all your burning brand strategy questions.
Who’s this for? For those who want the most comprehensive and best value course on the market (in my opinion), with all the systems, tools, worksheets and processes to help you earn specialist fees.Learn More
Cost: $489-$1729 | Length: 15 videos, 4 hours | By: The Futur, Jose Caballer
CORE Discovery from The Futur, taught by Jose Caballer, “empowers you, the creative, to hold Discovery work sessions with your clients to define, align and generate insights for all the key stakeholders, allowing you to go from being an “order-taker” to being a powerful strategic leader and valued partner to your clients and community.
This course focuses on a collection 6 key exercises (Culture, Customer, Voice, Feeling, Impact and X-Factor) in which Jose Caballer walks you through in a series of videos. There are templates and explanations and some print outs for live facilitation too.
This is design strategy framework and while it’s one of the more insightful courses on the market, it is tiered towards senior designers who have been in the game some time. A lot of background knowledge is required, which is why I preferred the aforementioned Brand Master Secrets as it teaches you these advanced principles to actually help you position yourself as an expert and be confident in selling through strategy as a service.
On a side note, you could actually learn the fundamentals with Brand Master Secrets then use the CORE framework for your sessions, so they can work in tandem quite well.
Who is this for? CORE is an advanced ‘course’ for those who understand what strategy is and are looking for a framework to help improve their process and facilitate workshops of their own.Learn More
Cost: $299 | Length: 8 Hours | By: Stef Hamerlinck
Activate Your Strategic Brain will help you master the fundamentals of brand strategy and become a more valuable designer, allowing you to create better design solutions for your clients.
Although I still in the midst of taking this course, the modules seem quite promising:
- The key concepts: brand purpose, personality, customer, value proposition,
- How to sell brand strategy and how to price it
- How to do a workshop with your client
- How to think strategically and get beyond the brief
- How to bridge the gap between strategy and design
The course covers the whole spectrum of brand strategy, from selling, facilitating, positioning to preparing for design. The goal is to become a more complete and strategic designer, so you can charge more and create brands that connect with their audience.
Stef also has a separate course for $79, that will teach you how to facilitate a brand workshop.
Who is this for? Designers who want to jump straight into the core concepts of brand strategy to help better their designs and service offerings, at a slightly more affordable rate.Learn More
Cost: $649-$949 | Length: 1.5 Hours, 15 Videos | By: Fabian Geyrhalter
Fabian Geyrhalter is an acclaimed brand strategist, author and podcaster, who I had the pleasure of interviewing, and he has taken his one-day brand strategy workshop, which he has done hundreds of times around the world, and made it into an online course, ready for the taking.
eResonaid will help “Define your company, your culture and your story, while drawing your audience into your offering”.
This course consists of 15 videos that range between 3-10 minutes in length, so it’s short and sweet.
But what I found the most valuable, were the PDF worksheets that came with it, including an interactive PDF workbook that acts as your hands-on guide through the course. You can take this and easily apply it for your own clients.
Fabian includes 2x 1-on-1 30min advisory calls within the price to gain feedback and guidance on your discovery journey or to course-correct if necessary. (But you could always go with the basic version of the course if you do not see value in it).
As a bonus, you also receive Fabian’s two branding books in e-book format.
You can easily complete this course in a day, making it an extremely condensed version of strategy, that will help provide brand clarity, without the fluff.
Who this is for? eResonaid is perfect for someone who needs to learn or apply brand strategy quickly since you can easily get through the course in a single day.Learn More
Cost: $275 (yearly subscription) | Length: 10 hours | By: Donald Miller
Although Story Brand (based on the book) is a messaging framework, it’s worth mentioning because it is solid framework to help sell any product or service. In fact, the principles of Brand Story are used on the home page of JUST Creative.
You won’t learn how to become a brand strategist, but you will learn how to hook your customers with a “story brand”.
The basic premise is this:
“A CHARACTER who wants something encounters a PROBLEM before they can get it. At the peak of their despair, a GUIDE steps into their lives gives them a PLAN, and CALLS THEM TO ACTION. That action helps them avoid FAILURE and ends in a SUCCESS.”
Each of these 7 bolded chapters/modules come with actionable step-by-step guides that help you implement what you’ve learned into your own brand. There is also a free online tool that guides you through the implementation process.
This course used to be $1500 but has just recently dropped to $275 as part of their Business Made Simple subscription which now includes three all-new courses on Marketing, Leadership, and Emotional IQ.
Who is this for? Someone who wants to improve their messaging & marketing skills, with an easy to follow framework, at a great value price.Learn More
Cost: | Length: 1-2 days In person | By: Marty Neumeier
Marty Neumeier, “the grandfather of branding” is running Brand Masterclass Workshops around the world.
Unlike the other courses on this list, this course is done in person, in locations such as London, LA, Philly and Dublin. I am working with their team, to bring him to Australia too.
The workshop is called Level C because they are on a mission to permanently place the role of “BRANDING” in the C-Suite (aka CEO, CBO, CDO).
This best part? This Masterclass Workshop is a certification so when you’re finished, you will become a Certified Brand Specialist.
Graduates from the London masterclass have already used this credential and are leveling up into roles such as Global Director of Marketing, Head of Strategy, Head of Brand, and more — which means higher levels, broader scopes, more influence, better titles, and more money!
Although not technically brand strategy, you master modern brand building disciplines hands-on, and in the process build connections along the way, meaning you can level up together.
It goes without saying, this is a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the best in the industry and get certified in the process.
Seats are extremely limited, so don’t wait too long on this one.
See their website for upcoming locations.
» Los Angeles Brand Masterclass (Postponed to late 2020 due to COVID)
» Philadelphia Brand Masterclass (Postponed to late 2020 due to COVID)
» Dublin Brand Masterclass – Postponed to late 2020 due to COVID – $1060-$1560
Who is this for? For someone who prefers to work within a classroom format & wants certification to level up their career.Learn More
Cost: $10/m (2 Month Free Trial) | Length: 1.5hours | By: Mark Pollard
In this short 1.5 hour crash course from Mark Pollard, you learn how to create a brand that can stand the test of time. Mark breaks down every brand into three categories—Product-centric, Customer-centric, and Vision-centric—and draws out frameworks for understanding how brands can develop and thrive within each. Successful brands need a bit of all three, but as the class progresses Mark shows how one of these types of brands continually outperforms the rest and shares how to move your brand towards this model. You can download a worksheet to follow along and learn how to write out your brand on a single page to distill it into clear and concise terms.
Whether you’re a freelancer, marketer, small business owner, or entrepreneur getting your brand off the ground, this class will give you a deeper understanding of brands, businesses, and quite possibly yourself.
Who’s this for? Someone who wants to dip their toes into the world of brand strategy without too much investment.Learn More
Other Business / Marketing / Brand Strategy Courses
- Brand Strategy Made Simple – The Futur Academy
- Mini MBA in Marketing by Mark Ritson – $1250
- BrandIt (for Leadership Teams) by Matt Davies – $750
- Designing Strategy by IDEO U – $799
- WHY Discovery Course by Simon Sinek – $150
- Business Strategy Sprint by Scott Galloway – $750
- Brand Labs by Watson Creative – $250-$800
Free Brand Strategy Courses & Resources
- Skillshare – Type in ‘brand strategy’ into their search (Includes 2 months free trial)
- Archetypal Branding on Udemy – 1.5 hour course on brand archetypes
- Strategyzer – 30+ downloads & videos that you can use to better design, test, and assess your business
- The Futur’s YouTube Channel – See their video on How to become a brand strategist
Courses & Resources Coming Soon…
- Brand Builder Academy by Mash Bonigala – Date TBD
Have another brand strategy course or resource to add? Please let me know!