18 Brand Positioning Examples to Inspire Your Brand Strategy

The image shows a glass ball positioned amidst other objects. It serves as the visual introduction to my article on brand positioning, featuring plenty of brand positioning examples and effective brand placement strategies.

By Nine Blaess | 11:51 min

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    Over 200 bird species peacefully coexist here in New Zealand. Each has found its place in the ecosystem—from food choice to habitat. Successful brands understand that they, too, must secure a unique place in the market to survive. And that’s what brand positioning is all about.

    In this article, you will find 18 brand positioning examples and effective brand placement strategies.

    But before we dive in, let’s clarify what brand positioning is.

    What Is Brand Positioning?

    Your brand positioning determines how your brand gets perceived by its target audience relative to the competition.

    In other words, your brand positioning gives people a compelling reason to choose your brand over another.

    What Is a Brand Positioning Strategy?

    Your brand positioning strategy is the intentional effort to create a clear image of your brand in people’s minds.

    It includes defining the key features, benefits, and values characterising your brand and offering.

    It also involves analysing your target audience’s preferences, perceptions, and behaviours, as well as studying your competitors and identifying potential gaps in the market.

    Market research is a helpful tool in this process.

    So, your ideal brand positioning should be tailored to your brand, stand out from the competition and appeal to your audience.

    Image shows a Venn diagram of the ideal brand positioning strategy—which is serving the audiences needs, doing what your brand does best and doing what the competition doesn't do.

    Your brand positioning strategy should also act as a plan to consistently communicate your brand message across various brand touchpoints, such as messaging, visual identity, or customer interactions.

    The ultimate goal of your brand positioning strategy is to create a consistent, memorable and differentiated identity for your brand.

    Why Is Brand Positioning So Important?

    Millions of new companies are founded every year. The chances of survival are often slim.

    A staggering 5.5 million new business applications were filed in 2023 in the US alone. Around 2.5 million (45%) of these businesses will fail in the first five years, and only around 1.4 million (25%) will exist after 15 years.

    So, how can you ensure your brand not only survives but thrives?

    The answer may lie in your brand positioning.

    Your brand positioning forms the basis for your entire corporate communication. It ensures your messages are consistent, clear and relevant to your target audience.

    In addition, a distinct positioning allows you to communicate the benefits of your brand effectively.

    This allows you to differentiate your brand and add genuine value. Over time, this helps to build trust and loyalty and increases your customers’ willingness to pay higher prices.

    Key Elements of a Brand Positioning Strategy

    Typically, a brand positioning strategy includes the following:

    Target Audience Research

    Identify specific demographic, psychographic and other relevant characteristics of your target audience.

    When you understand your audience deeply and know them in detail, you can tailor your messages and offers directly to them.

    Competitive Analysis

    Understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors in the market. This analysis will help you identify opportunities for differentiation.

    Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

    Define what sets the brand apart from these competitors.

    What is it you can offer that no one else can? This could be a unique feature, benefit, or value proposition that resonates with your audience.

    Brand Promise

    Articulate the promise or commitment your brand makes to its customers. This promise should be irresistible and reflect your brand’s values and mission.

    Brand Personality

    Define the personality traits and characteristics that make up your brand’s identity. A relatable brand personality helps humanise your brand and create an emotional connection with people.

    Brand Positioning Statement

    Develop a brief statement that summarises your brand’s position in the market. This statement should communicate who the brand is, what it offers, and why it’s unique.

    Here is a template you can use to write your brand positioning statement:

    For [target audience], [brand] is the [category] that [unique selling proposition] by [points of differentiation], offering [key benefits] unlike [competitors] so that [target audience] can [desired outcome].

    And here’s how this could sound for, let’s say, HelloFresh:

    For busy families, HelloFresh is a meal kit delivery service that provides fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes, making home cooking simple and enjoyable, unlike traditional shopping, so that families can enjoy delicious meals together without the stress of meal planning.

    Although the elements mentioned earlier are common in brand positioning, different brands may emphasise different aspects based on their goals, target audience, and industry.

    Some focus more on differentiation and value, while others prioritise a unique brand personality.

    Ultimately, each brand must identify its strengths and priorities to align its positioning with its goals.

    18 Different Types and Real-life Examples of Brand Positioning Strategies

    There are many creative and original ways to approach brand positioning.

    Here are some strategies to inspire you. But remember, since most brands incorporate multiple elements into their positioning strategy, many examples can overlap with other categories.

    1. Brand Personality

    By developing and communicating a unique brand personality, you can position your brand to resonate with your target audience and stand out.

    But how do you do that? Let’s say all your competitors in the industry use a more formal tone. Here’s an opportunity to break away from the norm and create a friendly brand personality that appeals to a younger, more casual target audience.

    Example: Oatly

    Oatly’s playful and irreverent brand personality challenges the traditional norms of the dairy industry. With its bold and rebellious persona, Oatly appeals to forward-thinking consumers looking for alternatives to dairy milk.

    Here’s an example:

    Example: Liquid Death

    Liquid Death is another brand that builds its positioning on its unique brand personality.

    The company simply sells canned water but has managed to captivate millions. Liquid Death has successfully differentiated itself from traditional bottled water brands by embodying the rebellious punk culture and taking an ironic stance against the beverage industry.

    The brand’s unusual marketing campaigns and packaging appeal to a youthful target group seeking to break free from the mundane.

    2. Unmet Customer Need

    Another approach to brand positioning is to identify an unmet need in the market and position your brand as the solution.

    Example: IKEA

    When Ingvar Kamprad founded IKEA in the 1940s, he saw a need for affordable, high-quality furniture. This realisation led to the invention of flat-packed furniture and self-assembly in 1953.

    As a result, IKEA reduced its production, transportation and assembly costs and positioned itself as an affordable alternative to expensive designer furniture.

    Ikea Billy assembly instructions with screws
    Photo by Semyon Borisov on Unsplash

    3. Values

    According to the Ipsos Global Trend Report 2023, 79% of respondents believe companies can simultaneously make profits and support good causes. In addition, 63% are willing to pay a premium for brands that demonstrate social responsibility.

    These figures show the significant influence values have on our purchasing decisions. So, it can make sense for certain brands to base their positioning on values.

    Example: Dove

    The ‘Real Beauty’ campaign has successfully positioned Dove as an advocate for authentic beauty and self-acceptance.

    By challenging conventional beauty ideals, Dove promotes a culture of inclusion and diversity, challenging the entire advertising industry.

    Here is an example:

    4. Product Innovation

    Innovation in product development gives brands another opportunity to occupy a unique market position.

    By offering fresh solutions to people’s needs, brands can carve out a unique market position and appeal to those seeking innovation.

    Example: Coca-Cola

    In 1886, Coca-Cola revolutionised the beverage industry by introducing the first cola drink. Thanks to its unique and refreshing taste, Coca-Cola became a pioneer and market leader.

    Example: Tesla

    I know this strategy is becoming increasingly difficult. Nevertheless, Tesla has managed to embody innovation.

    Although electric vehicles have been around for a while, Tesla has taken them to a new level—with self-driving features, touchscreen user interfaces, modern design and much more.

    Watch Tesla present its Model 3:

    5. Product Benefits

    While creating entirely new products or categories may be challenging, brands can also stand out by focusing on the unique benefits their products or services offer.

    Example: Dyson

    An example is Dyson, whose vacuum cleaners stand out for their innovative technology and design.

    Dyson consistently emphasises its features, such as strong suction power and advanced filtration systems.

    By highlighting these features, Dyson positions itself as an industry leader and appeals to customers looking for high-performing products.

    6. Emotional Benefit

    Even if your company cannot offer functional benefits, it may be able to create emotional benefits.

    Emotional value refers to the intangible rewards or feelings people experience when using your product or service.

    Example: Disney

    Disney positions itself as the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

    The entertainment company is known for the joy and wonder it brings—be it through the magic of its fairy tales or childhood memories.

    7. Distribution Channel

    Positioning a brand via its distribution channel strategy can be another strategic move to stand out.

    One model gaining increasing traction is the direct-to-consumer (D2C) approach.

    By selling directly to consumers, brands can offer competitive prices and keep total control over the customer experience.

    Example: YT Industries

    If you’re a mountain biker like me, you’re probably familiar with YT Industries.

    Thanks to its direct-to-consumer (D2C) strategy, the company bypasses traditional retail channels, lowering overhead costs and allowing YT to offer high-quality bikes at competitive prices.

    YT offers a seamless shopping experience through its user-friendly website—from browsing to purchase to delivery.

    This approach has made YT one of the top mountain bike brands, even in an already saturated market.

    Screenshot from the YT Industries website as an example for a direct-to-consumer distribution brand
    Screenshot of the YT Industries website

    8. Price Point

    Setting the price is another way to position your brand. Your pricing will influence the perception of your brand’s quality and value.

    Depending on the market and your brand strategy, you could position your brand as ‘the premium option,’ ‘the affordable option,’ or something in between.

    Example: Louis Vuitton

    Louis Vuitton strategically positions itself as a premium luxury brand. Charging high prices reflects the exclusivity and superior craftsmanship the brand offers.

    This way, Louis Vuitton appeals to affluent buyers pursuing status and prestige.

    Example: Aldi

    In contrast, Aldi pursues a value-based pricing strategy and positions itself as a budget-friendly option in the food retail sector.

    By offering premium products at lower prices, Aldi attracts price-conscious shoppers who want to maximize their budget without compromising quality.

    Here is an advertisement from Aldi Australia:

    9. Target Audience

    Identifying your target audience is the key to defining your brand’s positioning. Remember, you can’t please everyone.

    The more detailed you know your target audience—their age, interests and lifestyle—the better you can tailor your message and products to resonate with them.

    Some brands develop their positioning strategy mainly around their audiences.

    Example: Lululemon

    The yoga brand Lululemon appeals to active, health-conscious individuals who appreciate an urban style.

    Lululemon sells these customers not just leggings but a lifestyle. The brand wants to make its customers feel special by offering yoga classes, events and rituals.

    Lululemon’s focus is always on holistic well-being, as this advertisement shows:

    Example: Folx Health

    I want to give you another example: Folx Health is aimed at a very narrow and specific audience: the LGBTQ+ community.

    The brand offers telehealth services, including hormone replacement therapy and sexual health. There is a particular focus on inclusivity, accessibility and sensitivity to the specific needs of LGBTQ+ people.

    10. Geographic Location

    Sometimes, what makes a brand stand out is as simple as its location.

    Example: Maranui

    The Maranui Café is a local example from Wellington, New Zealand.

    Although the café offers dishes similar to other cafés, there is always a long queue. The reason? Maranui is located right on the beach and offers the best sea view in the city.

    11. Disadvantage

    This strategy is undoubtedly one of my favourites.

    I admire brands that turn a perceived disadvantage or challenge into a unique advantage. Recognising and addressing their weaknesses is a great way to build people’s trust and credibility.

    Example: Guinness

    Guinness, the iconic Irish stout beer, has made a name for taking longer to pour.

    The brand’s famous slogan, “Good things come to those who wait,” acknowledges the longer wait required for the perfect pint. Rather than communicating this as a disadvantage, Guinness sells it as proof of the beer’s quality.

    Here is one of the brand’s most famous ads:

    Example: Avis

    In the 1960s, Avis found itself only the second choice after Hertz, the market leader for rental cars. Because the brand couldn’t identify any obvious benefits, Avis launched its famous “We Try Harder” campaign.

    With slogans such as “Avis can’t afford dirty ashtrays” or “Avis can’t afford not to be nice,” the brand communicated its commitment to client satisfaction.

    Image shows old Avis Advertisement of the "We try harder" campaign
    Image source: ’Branding in Five and a Half Steps‘ by Michael Johnson

    12. Quality

    Earlier, we discussed how price and perceived quality often go hand in hand when it comes to brand positioning. But let’s look at quality again as a separate strategy.

    Example: Arc’teryx

    Arc’teryx is known for its high-quality outdoor clothing and equipment.

    The brand combines technical innovation, quality and performance in extreme environments, appealing to serious outdoor enthusiasts who value functionality and durability.

    Of course, the equipment is expensive, but what are 700 dollars for a jacket that will last a lifetime?

    This video shows how serious the brand takes the development of the perfect gear:

    13. User Experience

    If your brand doesn’t fit into the strategies discussed so far, there’s another option: Why not create a seamless and beautiful user experience?

    Example: Apple Retail Stores

    Apple has wholly transformed retail with its Apple Stores.

    From the sleek, minimalist design to the attentive staff—every element of the Apple Store has been carefully orchestrated to create an experience.

    Visitors can test the latest products, participate in workshops and events or get individual advice. And there isn’t even a conventional checkout.

    Example: Spotify

    Let me give you another example, this time for a digital brand.
    Spotify grants users access to extensive music, podcasts, and other audio content libraries.

    Thanks to its intuitive user interface, personalised recommendations, and other features like cross-device syncing, users can access their favourite music anytime, anywhere.

    13. Customer Service

    Your customer service can be another differentiator. Excellent support can leave a lasting impression and build and maintain long-term relationships.

    Example: Zappos

    Zappos is known for going the extra mile for its customers.

    Do you know the famous story?

    A woman once called to cancel an order because her husband, whom the order was for, had passed away. In response, a Zappos customer service representative handled the cancellation and sent her a flower bouquet to express their condolences.

    14. Convenience

    For some brands, convenience is at the heart of their positioning.

    Brands that offer seamless and efficient solutions for everyday needs can gain a competitive advantage in our fast-moving world.

    Example: Uber

    Uber has radically transformed the taxi industry by creating a convenient way to book a ride with just a few clicks on your smartphone.

    With its user-friendly app, Uber makes getting from A to B easier than ever. After all, who calls a cab these days?

    Here’s a fun ad from the brand:

    15. Personalisation

    Some brands position themselves as “The personalised option.”

    They differentiate themselves from their competitors by individualising their services or products, making them more relevant to each customer.

    Example: Netflix

    Netflix is an example of this. The streaming service uses algorithms to determine the behaviour and preferences of its users.

    This way, Netflix can give people individual recommendations for films and TV shows. Netflix keeps its audience engaged by compiling content based on each user’s usage history, ratings, and preferences.

    Example: Prose

    I want to give you another example of how personalisation is possible with physical products, too—even on a larger scale. Prose offers personalised hair and skin care products.

    New customers complete a questionnaire and receive products tailored to their hair or skin type and individual requirements.

    16. Thought Leadership

    Another way to position your brand is through its thought leadership.

    Thought leadership involves establishing your brand as a trusted authority within its industry by sharing your expertise and innovative ideas.

    Example: HubSpot

    HubSpot, a leading provider of inbound marketing and sales software, has positioned itself as a thought leader in the digital marketing industry.

    HubSpot provides marketers with valuable insights, trends and best practices through its blogs, eBooks, webinars and reports.

    Here’s a great video HubSpot created on brand positioning. It shows what type of content HubSpot provides:

    17. Brand Heritage

    Some brands derive their positioning strategy from their long-standing tradition and cultural heritage.

    Example: Levi’s

    Levi’s is an example of a brand that relies on tradition in its positioning. Their iconic jeans have been worn for generations.

    Levi’s emphasises its heritage, rooted in American culture and history, in its vintage-inspired designs, advertising campaigns and collaborations with artists and musicians.

    The fact that Levi’s employs a historian speaks for itself.

    18. Craftsmanship

    Lastly, some brands focus on attention to detail and outstanding craftsmanship.

    Example: Rolex

    Rolex positions itself as a leading brand in the watch segment by stressing its craftsmanship.

    The precise craft that goes into every Rolex watch shows in the attention to detail and high product quality.

    Here is a short video demonstrating this:

    Last Words

    I hope you found these examples of brand positioning inspiring.

    As you can see, brand positioning is about occupying a specific place in people’s minds.

    By identifying niches in the market or perception and successfully occupying them, you can differentiate your brand and build a strong bond with your customers.

    But remember, brand positioning is an ongoing task. As the market evolves and consumer preferences change, your brand positioning may need to adapt to stay relevant and competitive.

    That’s why you should continuously monitor and manage the perception of your brand. Gather feedback, track market sentiment, and make adjustments to maintain a positive and unique brand image.

    Let’s finish with a statistic: consistently positioned brands generate, on average, 10-20% more revenue. That’s a convincing reason to take a closer look at your brand positioning.

    As part of my brand strategy work, I help businesses with their positioning strategies. If you want to learn more about my approach, please get in touch with me.

    Title image by Kaboompics

    Nine Blaess

    Nine Blaess

    Hello, I’m Nine. I blend strategy and design to craft engaging brand identities and websites that celebrate the uniqueness of each business.

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