Five questions that will kickstart your brand planning process

A brand plan is an opportunity to make decisions on how to allocate your brand’s limited resources. Essentially, the five questions of this article will help kickstart a smart brand planning process to help you decide on your vision, analysis, key issues, strategies, and execution plans. Focus on the smartest ideas that will drive the highest return. 

  1. Where could we be?
  2. Where are we?
  3. Why are we here?
  4. How can we get there?
  5. What do we need to do?

Now, I have enough to start to map out my brand plan.

To illustrate, click on our one page Brand Plan Rough Draft you can use in your brand planning process.

Brand Plan on a page

Below, you will see our annual brand plan on a page. Importantly, the brand plan has three distinct sections: analysis, issues and strategies, and execution plans.

  • The analysis section lays out the summary from the deep-dive business review with an overview of the top three points, which envelop what is driving your brand’s growth, what is inhibiting your brand’s growth, which threats could hurt your brand, and what opportunities your brand faces.  
  • The key issues and strategies section focuses on the top three issues getting in the way of achieving your vision. You should put the issues in question format. And the strategic solutions are the answers that match up to each of those questions. Set goals to measure your brand’s performance against each strategy. 
  • The execution section maps out the specific plans for each of the chosen execution areas that line up to most essential consumer touchpoints.  

I first came up with this “marketing plan-on a page” format when I led a team with 15 brands. It helped me see the big picture quickly, rather than having to hunt through a big thick binder. Also, the sales team appreciated the ability to see the entire plan on one page quickly. Most salespeople also had 15 brands to manage with each of their customers. Everyone who works on the brand should receive the one-page plan. And then, keep it close by to steer their day-to-day decisions.

To illustrate, click on our one page Brand Plan you can use in your brand planning process.

Brand Planning process

How the five brand plan questions help guide your brand plan

While it is easy to get writer’s block, it can be worse when you sit at your computer staring at a blank screen with the word “vision” staring back at you.

Below are five brand plan questions to help you kickstart your brand planning process. Indeed, this will help decide on the big picture elements of your brand plan before fine-tuning and perfecting the writing.

  1. Where could we be?
  2. Where are we?
  3. Why are we here?
  4. How can we get there?
  5. What do we need to do?

Your written answers will start to reveal a rough draft outline of your brand vision, analysis, key issues, strategies, and tactics. While you don’t even realize it, the rough draft sets up the entirety of your brand plan.

Brand Plan rough draft

To start your rough outline, force yourself to write out three bullet points for each of the five simple brand plan questions. Make it challenging to narrow down your list to the top three points, as the extra effort now will help focus your mind on the most significant points.

It is very easy to get lost in the brand planning process. Many brand leaders will spend a few weeks writing a plan. As you solicit conflicting input from across the organization, it will add a layer of confusion to the plan you must sort through. It is easy to get lost in a mess.

To illustrate, click on our one page Brand Plan Rough Draft you can use in your brand planning process.

I recommend you start with the five questions, either on your own or with a group brainstorm. Then, keep coming back to this document a few times throughout the process to make sure you stay on track. Unquestionably, I find these five questions keep you grounded and focused throughout the planning process.

Beloved Brands playbook

Our Beloved Brands playbook goes in depth on everything you need to build a brand consumers will love. Learn to about strategic thinking, brand positioning, writing brand plans, advertising decisions, media planning, marketing analytics, and financials.

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Our readers tell us they keep our Beloved Brands playbook close by for whenever they need to take on a new project. Clearly, we are thrilled that 89% of Amazon reviewers have given Beloved Brands a 5-star rating. Also, we wrote a B2B Brands playbook and a Healthcare Brands playbook

Brand Plan

Building your marketing skills with our post on how to write a brand plan

One of the most important skills that marketers need to know is the fundamentals of writing a brand plan. Below, you will see our step-by-step process for how to write a brand plan that everyone can follow. Click on the button below to learn how to write a vision, purpose, key issues, strategies, and tactics. To illustrate, that article includes definitions, examples, tools, and templates that you can use in your brand planning process.

To illustrate, click on our brand planning process.

Our Brand Plan template

If you are running the brand planning process or working as a consultant helping your clients, our Brand Plan template includes ideal slides for vision, purpose, analysis, key issues, strategies, brand positioning statement, and execution plans. We have three different brand plan templates, for consumer brands, B2B brands or healthcare brands.

consumer brand plan template

Our Brand Plan template provides formatted blank slides with key marketing definitions where you can insert your own brand plan. And, we include a fully completed Brand Plan. You will also get our one-page Brand Plan and our one-page Brand Strategy Roadmap. Ideally, we hope that it will help you with the brand planning process. 

Brand Plan template slides

To illustrate, click on the PowerPoint slides from our Brand Plan template that you can use in your brand planning process.

Brand Plan Examples

Consumer Healthcare

Marketing Plan Consumer Healthcare brands
For example, Gray's Mouthwash is a consumer healthcare brand. To view, click to zoom in.

Quit Smoking

Marketing Plan OTC Pharma Healthcare plan
Clearly, this marketing plan example for Gray's QuitFix is a pharma brand. To view, click to zoom in.

B2B Stage Lighting

Marketing Plan B2B Stage Lighting
For example, Gray's Stage Lighting is a B2B brand. To view, click on this B2B marketing plan to zoom in.

B2B Industrial tools

Marketing Plan B2B industrial Tools
Indeed, a marketing plan example for Gray's Tools, a B2B industrial brand. To view, click to zoom in.

Strategic Thinking

Smart strategic thinkers ask challenging questions.

To start, take the opportunity to improve your strategic thinking skills. Look to the five steps to building an effective brand strategy

We show how to use our Strategic ThinkBox, and lay out the five elements of strategic thinking. Next, go deeper on to challenge your brand’s core strength, engage with consumer strategy, or competitive strategy

Undoubtedly, you must understand the business situation before making your next move. We show how to write the ideal strategy statements you can use in your marketing plan

Video Lesson: Key Issues

To illustrate, watch our video on how to find the key issues on your brand that you can use in your marketing plan. Importantly, it helps you find the best possible questions. Subsequently, it sets up strategic solutions to answer those questions.

Play Video about Strategic Key Issues Video

To view, use the ▶️ controls to play our brand strategy video. 

Staying on strategy through execution.

As you move to the marketing execution, you need to use in-the-box creativity to stay on strategy. We map out the advertising process, and the innovation process. Take a look at  our Creative Brief and the good and bad creative brief examples. Then, we set you up to make marketing execution decisions using our advertising checklist to evaluate creative advertising ideas. And, you can use our innovation checklist to compare new product ideas.

Importantly, marketers need to understand media planningpricing strategy, and social media strategy

Our brand templates make it easier for you to do your job.

Moreover, we provide brand templates that help you run your brand. For instance, you can find templates for marketing plans, brand positioning, creative briefs, and business reviews. Altogether, we offer brand toolkits with all the presentation slides you need. 

If you are looking to make your marketing team smarter, we can help. To get started, email Graham Robertson at graham@beloved-brands.com

Marketing Excellence

We empower the ambitious to achieve the extraordinary.

Without a doubt, our role at Beloved Brands is to help the ambitious marketers who are trying to improve their marketing skills. Most importantly, we will prepare you so you can reach your full potential in your career. You will learn about strategic thinking, brand positioning, brand plans, marketing execution, and marketing analytics. As well, we provide a suite of marketing tools, templates that will make it easier to do your job, processes that you can follow, and provocative thoughts to trigger your thinking. 

Have you gone through an assessment of the marketing skills of your team? Take a look below:

The fundamentals of marketing matter.

Our Beloved Brands marketing training programs cover different streams to suit the type of marketer you are. For instance, our marketing training covers consumer marketing, B2B marketing, and Healthcare marketing. 

The marketing fundamentals that we show in this article are part of what we use in our marketing training programs. Ambitious marketers will learn about strategic thinking, brand positioning, brand plans, marketing execution, writing creative briefs, advertising decision-making, marketing analytics, and marketing finance

Importantly, when you invest in our marketing training program, you will help your team gain the marketing skills they need to succeed. Without a doubt, you will see your people make smarter decisions and produce exceptional work that drives business growth. 

Finally, I wrote our Beloved Brands playbook to help you build a brand that your consumers will love. If you are a B2B marketer, try our B2B Brands playbook. And, if you are a Healthcare Marketer, try our Healthcare Brands playbook.

We designed our brand templates to make it easier for you to do your job.

Moreover, we provide brand templates that help you run your brand. For instance, you can find templates for marketing plans, brand positioning, creative briefs, and business reviews. Altogether, we offer brand toolkits with all the presentation slides you need. 

Beloved Brands video

Everything a Marketing must know about.

Importantly, Brand leaders need to know how to think, define, plan, execute and analyze with the best of them. Moreover, while the brand leaders don’t really know how to do anything, they are looked upon to make every decision. Have a look at our five minute video on everything a marketer must know. To read more, click on this link: Everything.

To view, use the ▶️ controls to play or volume buttons 

If you are looking to make your marketing team smarter, we can help. To get started, email Graham Robertson at graham@beloved-brands.com

Beloved Brands graham robertson

Contact Information

Graham Robertson

Email: graham@beloved-brands.com

Phone: 416–885–3911

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Marketing Book

beloved brands

the playbook for how to create a brand your consumers will love

With our Beloved Brands playbook, you will learn how to think strategically, define your brand positioning, write a marketing plan, make execution decisions, and analyze your brand. Our readers tell us they reach for Beloved Brands as a reference tool to help them with the day-to-day management of their brand. We are proud that 89% of online reviewers have given Beloved Brands a 5-star rating. As a result, Beloved Brands has been a #1 bestseller in brand management. We also have the B2B Brands playbook and our Healthcare Brands playbook

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If you are running a marketing team, your will always benefit from having a smarter team. When you invest in our marketing training program, you will help your team gain the marketing skills they need to succeed. As a result, you will see them make smarter decisions and produce exceptional work that drives business growth. 

We have designed our marketing training program to build the fundamental skills that will help your team reach their full potential. We will work with your team to help them learn take on Strategic Thinking, Brand Positioning, Marketing Planning, Marketing Execution, and Brand Analytics. 

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