the first step in building a brand plan

The most important element of any marketing plan is the brand positioning statement. This statement will become the mantra you use to crystalize what makes your brand unique while guiding everything you do from this point on. Whether you’re working with endorsers or philanthropies, giving a post-game interview or posting a photo to Instagram, every element of your life going forward will contribute to establishing your brand as the entity you describe in this statement. But before you write it, you need to understand it.

The central process through which a statement is determined is called a situation analysis. This is where you separate good brands from great brands. In his book A New Brand World, author and renowned marketer Scott Bedbury calls this practice the “big dig,” in which you as the developer of the marketing plan pull together research ranging from industry trends to personal history, competitive analysis to personality traits. Your goal is to figure out where you fit within the landscape of athletes and influencers around you.

 

The most important element

of any marketing plan is

the brand positioning

statement.

 

Take the filter off—nothing is off-limits. If you think it’s interesting and even remotely applicable to your brand, write it down. Other brands that you find compelling? Write them down. Athletes whose post-sports careers inspire you? Write them down. What tools are other athletes using to reach followers? What are the things they do that attract attention? What trends are you seeing in the sport you play?

Not only is this a chance to become knowledgeable about what’s happening in the world around you, this is your opportunity to look inside and discover what truly motivates you, what makes you special, and what makes you happy. It’s an introspective deep dive. When you think you’ve exhausted your exploration, you should be left with what feels like an overwhelming amount of research. That’s what we want.