How often have you heard the term “I am a brand”? What does it really mean?  Do you think many major corporations such as Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson throw this catch-phrase around without really knowing the true definition of a brand? A brand is much more than a label, slogan or logo alone. A brand is an image that controls a perception, it’s an impression; it’s a promise; it’s a personality; it’s a relationship; it’s about’s all of these things and so much more.

Nowadays however, when it comes to personal branding many people have got it all wrong. So many athletes (no matter what level) feel that just because people know their name they are a brand and should be treated like a Coca-Cola.  Many athletes reach fame, notoriety or recognition overnight and truly believe they are an established brand and will last forever. Many don’t understand that to become a sustainable brand like Coca-Cola for over 120 years, you have to think strategically and holistically. Having worked for many Fortune 100 companies such as The Coca-Cola Company in marketing, it’s disheartening to see so many pro sports players make the mistake so early in their career only to leave the game broke, forgotten and struggling to survive. Being a good player or possessing extreme talent is not enough to survive the long haul.  Branding is much more involved and takes a holistic approach comprised of a strategy that must at the start, answer a few key questions? 

  • What is your Vision and Mission? 
  • What makes you unique? 
  • What do you stand for? 
  • What are others perceptions of you? 
  • What are the partnerships that best enhance your brand? 
  • How do you want your game to end? 

Once you have answered some of these questions, you must take the information and formulate a plan that will get you closer to defining your brand. Unleashing your maximum brand power must go well beyond your talent to be sustainable. The question you must ask yourself, is are you willing to create the framework with which to lay the proper foundation for building your best brand?

If you have an interest in creating a sound foundation so that you are able to successfully “Branch Out” into a sustainable personal brand, log on to my website and contact me for help.


Darrel Branch
Branch Out Group, LLC