Follow us

Our book

Brand Toolkit

If you are working on Brand Positioning for your brand, then you are in the right spot. What is a brand positioning strategy? A Brand Positioning Statement defines how your brand shows up in the market. Importantly, it should outline your ideal target consumer, the space you play in, your main message that differentiates your brand from others, and the support points. Too many brands are negligent in differentiating themselves from competitors and end up stuck in the clutter of the market. Our brand positioning process provides a logical approach to getting more emotional. We have cheat sheets to find the ideal functional and emotional benefits. To illustrate, you will find 20 different examples of brand positioning statements within this article.

Can you describe your brand in a way that motivates consumers to engage with your brand in a space that is ownable for your brand?

Essentially, we have brand positioning statement examples for a type of brand close to yours. We include examples of consumer packaged goods retail, restaurants, tourism, B2B, cars, beer and alcohol, healthcare and pharma, and many famous brands.

Table of Contents - Brand Positioning

Brand Positioning - where can your brand win

To find your ideal brand positioning statement, you want to find the most motivating space for consumers. And find the space that is most ownable for your brand. Our brand positioning statement process starts with a defined consumer target your brand will serve. Then, we focus on the emotional and functional benefits that differentiate your brand. Further, we use support points to help differentiate your brand from competitors. 

Brand positioning is the conceptual space a brand owns in the consumer’s mind. It’s what they think of you. Importantly, as you dig in on creating your brand positioning statement, look for the space to play, and then the ideal space can differentiate your brand to win in the market.

Brand Positioning is all about how to differentiate. 

To start, the first circle comprises everything your consumer wants or needs. Next, the second circle includes everything your brand does best. Finally, the third circle lists what your competitor does best.

Your brand’s winning zone  (in green) is the space that matches up “what consumers want” with “what your brand does best.” Most importantly, you can own and defend this space from attack. Essentially, you can satisfy the consumer’s needs better than any competitor.

Your brand will not survive in the losing zone. (in red) This space matches the consumer needs with “what your competitor does best.” Consequently, you will fail to differentiate, and your competitor will beat you every time.

What happens when there is a tie?

As markets mature, competitors copy each other. It gets harder to be better with a definitive product win. Many brands play in this risky zone  (in grey). If you and your competitor meet the consumer’s needs in a relative tie, you can win the tie with emotions and innovation.

You will fail if you only focus on using product features to differentiate your brand. As the market matures, competitors copy each other. And that winning green space gets very small. Instead, you can carve out a winning brand positioning space by focusing on the emotional benefits. In this article, I will show you our logical way to engage with our Emotional Cheat Sheet, which has 40 emotional benefits to play with.

Avoid the dumb zone

Sadly, I always have to mention the dumb zone. (in blue) Here, two competitors “battle it out” in a space where consumers do not care. One competitor says, “We are faster,” and the other brand says, “We are just as fast.” However, no one bothered to ask the consumer if they cared about speed. Both brands end up failing to differentiate and playing in the dumb zone.

Brand Positioning Maps

Before you get started on the details of your positioning statement, you can sketch out where brands currently play. A brand positioning map allows you to see the most cluttered space and the open space. The brand positioning map provides some direction on establishing a unique positioning for your brand. But it doesn’t provide much detail. Significantly, our process will help narrow the specifics of your brand positioning statement. 

Pick two dimensions that matter to consumers.

Below, we can assess the market for sit-down chain restaurants in the US. First, we look at price; high versus low. Then, we might add in flavors; traditional American vs. International. To illustrate, we see two gaps in the market; high-end International and upper-mid American. Moreover, we see a cluttered mess in lower-end American restaurants. 

Drawing from my experience with Brand Positioning

As a former VP of Marketing, I have seen the impact a smart brand positioning can have on a brand. Equally, I have also seen poor brand positioning work based on random guesses rather than a smart process. Brand Positioning impacts your brand communications, future product innovation, the purchase moment, and the customer experience. 

While I spent 20 years in marketing and loved every day, my current role is to teach marketers the essential marketing skills to help them in their marketing careers. Brand Positioning is one of the core elements of our Marketing Training.

Brand Positioning in 60 seconds - easy to follow video

Our Marketing in about 60 seconds video goes through the best-in-class process to use functional and emotional consumer benefits to build your brand positioning. Our video gives you a good overview and any details you can find in the rest of this post. 

Brand Positioning Statement template - four key elements

Four elements make up a brand positioning statement. To start, define who you will serve (consumer target). Then, define where you will play (category) and where you will win (main benefit statement). To back up your main benefit, use support points to explain why consumers should believe you (reason to believe).

1️⃣ Who is the consumer target?

First, define a slice of the population most motivated by what your brand offers. However, don’t just think about who you want but who wants your brand.

2️⃣ Where will you play?

Next, consider the competitive set that defines the space in the market your brand competes in. Brand positioning is always relative to who you compete against. For instance, a brand is never fast. It should be faster.

3️⃣ Where will you win?

What is the central promise you will make to the consumer target? It should differentiate your brand to be interesting, simple, unique, motivating, and ownable. Do not talk about what you do. (Features) Instead, talk about what the consumer gets (functional benefits). And talk about how the brand makes them feel. (emotional benefits)

4️⃣ Why should they believe us?

Finally, lay out the support points and features needed to back up the main promise. Moreover, these support points should close any potential doubts, questions, or concerns the consumer has after hearing the main promise.

Our Brand Positioning Template is available in a PowerPoint presentation

Introducing our brand positioning for consumer brands template that includes everything you need to effectively communicate your target profile, brand positioning statement, brand idea, brand concept, brand values, brand story, brand credo, and creative brief. Moreover, these slides can serve as the strategic elements of your brand book.

Brand Positioning Template

Brand Positioning Process - use our step-by-step process

If you do not define your brand, then you risk the possibility that your competitors will define your brand. And you might not like it. 

In this post, I will show you the homework you must do to create a winning brand positioning statement. The tools are designed to help you decide who your brand will serve and what it stands for. You will learn to find the ideal balance between the functional and emotional benefits to find which ones are simple, interesting, motivating, and ownable for your brand.

Consumer target

Focus on those who are the most motivated by what you do. There is this myth that a bigger consumer target will make the brand more significant, so scared marketers target ‘everyone.’ For instance, there seems to be an irrational fear of leaving someone out.

Moreover, a broad consumer target gives your brand a lower return on investment and eventually will drain your brand’s limited resources. Please focus. Below, you will find a consumer profile that sets up Gray’s Cookies as an example of our brand positioning. We include consumer insights to give flavor to the target.

Building a Target Profile

Identifying gaps in the marketplace

To identify where you have an opportunity, you can use market research to help plot your competitors. Plot each brand based on the functional and emotional benefits, and you will begin to see space where there may be an opportunity for you to win. Below, you can see how Gray’s Cookies and Oreo match up regarding functional and emotional benefits. The farther from the center, the stronger that brand plays on that element. Oreo wins on sensory appeal, experience, comfort, and feel-good. To illustrate, you can see Gray’s has the opportunity to win on healthier, smarter, and stay in control. 

To illustrate, click on our Brand Positioning spider map to differentiate from your competitor.

Consumer Benefits Ladder

Turn your brand’s features into consumer benefits. Stop thinking about what your brand does. And, start thinking about what your consumer gets. As a result, your brand positioning statement comes alive.

The four steps to build a Consumer Benefits Ladder

First, leverage all available consumer research to brief the team. Above all, define the consumer target profile with consumer insights, need states, and the consumer enemy. 

Second, brainstorm all possible brand features your brand offers and any brand assets. Importantly, focus on the features that give your brand a competitive advantage.

Next, move up to the functional benefits. Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes, and for each feature on your list, ask, “If I am the consumer, what do I get from that?” Keep asking with answers that differentiate and move into a richer zone.

Finally, move up to the emotional benefits by looking at each functional benefit and asking, “So, if I am the consumer, how does that make me feel?” Clearly, keep asking the question until you see a deeper emotional space that you can play in that will help differentiate your brand.

Avoid using lazy words in your brand positioning

Avoid vague words that mean so many things, they mean nothing at all. For example, ambiguous words include nice, great, interesting, or quality. 

Avoid Using Lazy Ambiguous words

When you define your brand positioning, the specific words you choose must matter to your consumers. Importantly, your brand positioning statement should leave zero room for interpretation.

This type of thinking is part of our Beloved Brands positioning process. To help, keep reading below to see how we provide two consumer benefit cheat sheets with 60 functional benefits and 40 emotional benefits to help you write with much more specific words that differentiate your brand.

Functional consumer benefits

Our functional benefit cheatsheet determines where you can win

To help brand leaders, I have taken twelve functional benefit zones and expanded the list to over 50 potential functional benefits your brand can build around. Our functional benefits zones include helping consumers stay connected, making them smarter, saving money, simplifying life, helping them be healthier, helping their family, providing sensory appeal, helping their experience come to life, working better, enhancing their professional standing, driving business results, and helping execute. 

As you look through the list, gravitate to 2-3 of the functional benefit zones you think will fit the needs of your consumers and where your brand can do it better than competitors. Start with the words on the cheatsheet below, then layer in your creative language based on specific category words or specific consumer words and phrases they use.


What is a brand positioning strategy? Click on our Functional Benefit Cheatsheet to see how to differentiate.

Emotional consumer benefits

Our emotional benefit cheatsheet determines where you can win

From my experience, marketers are better at finding the ideal rational benefits compared with how they work at finding the ideal emotional benefits for their brands. As a brand, you want to own one emotional space in the consumer’s heart as much as you own a rational space in the consumer’s mind.

When I push brand managers to get emotional, they struggle and opt for what they view as obvious emotions, even if they do not fit with their brand. I swear every brand manager thinks their brand should be the trusted, reliable, and likable. Use our cheat sheet to dig deeper on emotions.

Our emotional cheatsheet has twelve emotional consumer benefit zones, which include knowledge, control, comfort, self-assured, optimism, feel myself, liked, freedom, get noticed, sense of belonging, revitalized, and pride.

What is a brand positioning strategy? Click on our Emotional Benefit Cheatsheet to see how to differentiate.

Gray's Cookies benefit clusters

To start, look at the two cheat sheets and narrow them down to potential clusters of functional and emotional benefits. Ideally, match what consumers want and what your brand does best. Then, take three zones from each cheat sheet and add 2-3 support words per zone to create a cluster. For example, below are key benefit words we will use to set up Gray’s Cookies as one of our examples of brand positioning statements.

To illustrate, click on our Consumer Benefit sort above. What is a brand positioning strategy? 

Consumer benefit cluster

Once you focus on the main benefits, you will see a cluster of benefits for your brand. I call this the brand thesaurus. Use these choices to build out a brand positioning statement. Also, you can hand this cluster to your execution team and tell them to stick to these words as they build out their day-to-day communication. To illustrate, below is a completed example of the benefit ladder for Gray’s Cookies. 

What is a brand positioning strategy? To illustrate, click on our Consumer Benefit Ladder above. 

Turn benefit clusters into benefit statements to differentiate your brand

Next, for each cluster, use the words to inspire a brainstorm of specific benefit statements that fit your brand, using the specific brand, consumer, or category words. For example, we’ll use Gray’s Cookies, a fictional cookie brand that combines great taste and low calories. Concerning functional benefits, I have chosen to build around functional clusters, such as healthy, sensory, and experiences, and emotional clusters, such as control, knowledge, and optimism.

What is a brand positioning strategy? To illustrate, click on our Consumer Benefits brainstorm above. 

Find the winning space that differentiates your brand in the market

To illustrate, I have created a 2×2 grid to help sort through the potential benefits to find the winners, according to which are most motivating to consumers and most ownable for your brand.

What is a brand positioning strategy? To illustrate, click on our Brand Positioning test above.

The same four zones from the Venn diagram are now on the consumer benefits sort grid, including the winning, losing, risky, and dumb zone.

First, the “guilt-free” consumer benefit is highly motivating and highly ownable for the brand, landing in the winning zone. This space best differentiates your brand from others in the market.

On the other hand, the consumer benefit of a “new favorite cookie” is highly motivating but already owned by the central power players, so it falls into the losing zone. Then, the “feel more confident” benefit falls into the risky zone. Finally, the benefit of “more comfort in choices” is neither motivating nor ownable, so it falls into the dumb zone.

Reasons to believe in marketing

I took one logic class at University, and the only thing I learned was ‘premise-premise conclusion.’ Easy class, but the lesson has stuck with me:

  • First, all fish live in water (premise)
  • Next, tuna are fish (premise)
  • Therefore, tuna live in the water (conclusion)

In a brand positioning statement, the main consumer benefit is the conclusion, with a need for two support points as the premises. Therefore, the reason to believe (RTB) should never be the conclusion. If pure logic teaches us that two premises are enough to draw any conclusion, then you only need two RTBs. 

Brands that build concepts with a laundry list of RTBs are not doing their job in making focused decisions on what support points are needed. With consumers seeing 5,000 advertising messages daily, having a long list of support points risks cluttering their brand communications. Claims can be an effective tool in helping to support your reason to believe and to help differentiate a brand.

There are four types of claims you can use on your brand: 

Process Support

  • First, look at how your product works differently.
  • Then, showcase what you do differently within the production process.
  • Finally, what added service/details do you provide in the value chain?

Product Claims

  • First, what is the usage of an ingredient that makes you better?
  • Then, look at the process or ingredient that makes you safer.

Third-person endorsement

  • To clarify, who are the experts in the field who can speak on your behalf?
  • To sum up, look to past users/clients with the proof support of their stories.

Behavioral Results

  • To help, look at clinical test results.
  • Most importantly, assess the in-market usage study.
  • Finally, look at before and after studies.

The reason to believe

As you narrow in on the main benefit, look at it from the consumer’s vantage and see if there are gaps you need to fill in with support statements. Use four types of claims, whether linked to what you do differently in the process, how your product works better, third-person endorsements, or behavioral results. 

For process support, you can explain how your product works differently, showcase what you do differently within the production process, or discuss any added service you provide in the value chain. 

To use product claims, highlight the usage of an ingredient that makes your brand better, different, safer, or cheaper. 

Use third-person endorsements when you can access experts who can speak on your brand’s behalf or a substantial collection of past users/clients who can demonstrate proof of performance based on stories or reviews. And explore recognized awards, such as J.D. Power or whatever is recognized in your industry. Definitely, reach for behavioral results when you have a clinical test, in-market usage study, or before and after studies.

What is a brand positioning strategy? To illustrate, click on our Brand Positioning support points to differentiate. 

Using the brand thesaurus to improve your writing

Once you have selected your functional and emotional clusters, you can create a brand thesaurus of keywords that define the brand. Using our Gray’s Cookies brand example, we can see the difference between the support points we came up with and then rewritten to layer the keywords into the phrase. Hand this brand thesaurus to everyone who works on the brand to keep everyone aligned with the brand positioning. You will see smarter social media posts, in-store signage, and customer presentations.

What is a brand positioning strategy? To illustrate, click on our Brand Positioning support points to differentiate. 

Brand positioning statement examples - 20 different examples

Consumer packaged goods brand

In conclusion, here is our Gray’s Cookies case study, which serves as one of our examples of brand positioning statements. The guilt-free uses emotions to help differentiate the brand from other cookies. 

To illustrate, click on our Brand Positioning example above. What is a brand positioning strategy? 

Brand positioning for B2B brands

As you did with Gray’s Cookies, start by looking at the two cheat sheets and narrow down to potential clusters of the B2B functional and B2B emotional benefits. Most importantly, match what customers want and what your brand does best. I recommend that you take three of the zones from each cheat sheet that will best differentiate your brand and then add 2-3 support words per zone to create a cluster. Below are the benefit clusters that set up our Gray’s Stage Lighting brand. In short, Gray’s Stage Lighting is an example of B2B brand positioning.

Customer benefit clusters for B2B

What is a brand positioning strategy? To illustrate, click on our B2B Brand Positioning to see how to differentiate.

Taking the clusters and brainstorming brand positioning benefit statements

What is a brand positioning strategy? To illustrate, click on our B2B Brand Positioning brainstorm to differentiate. 

B2B Brand Positioning example

Most importantly, we use Gray’s Lighting as a B2B case study that serves as our example of brand positioning statements. If you are a B2B marketer, we have created a unique page to help explain what you need to be successful: B2B Marketing

What is a brand positioning strategy? To illustrate, click on our B2B Brand Positioning Statement above.

Brand positioning for healthcare

For Gray’s QuitFix, the three functional benefit zones include working better, sensory appeal, and helping you be healthier. 

Next, take the supporting words within each zone to build a cluster. 

Using the “works better” zone, we include powerful details and performance. For the “sensory appeal” zone, include the words subconscious, taste, and touch/feel. When using the “helps you be healthier” zone, include the words reduces, prevents, weight, and mental health. Take each benefit cluster to inspire a brainstorm of various benefit statements. Start each functional benefits statement with “I get.” 

  • For instance, the “works better” benefit cluster can drive a functional benefit statement is, “I get a smoking aid that successfully delivers the performance for me to quit smoking.” 
  • And, for the “helps you be healthier” benefit cluster, a functional benefit statement is, “I get to control my mental health while quitting smoking.”

Then, explore the emotional zones.

The emotional zones I have selected are staying in control, having a sense of optimism, and feeling myself. For the emotional benefits, start each statement with “I feel.”
  • Using the emotional benefit of “stay in control,” the emotional benefit statement would be, “I feel in control of my weight and health to help me successfully quit smoking.”

For Gray’s QuitFix, the winning consumer benefit statements are staying in control and the optimism to be successful in quitting.

Below, we can show how to differentiate a pharma brand by helping to stay in control. If you are a Healthcare marketer, we have created a unique page to help explain what you need to be successful: Healthcare Marketing

What is a brand positioning strategy? To illustrate, click on our Brand Positioning example for a healthcare brand above. 

Brand Positioning for a technology brand

This same process can work with technology or service brands. For example, with GrayTech, the main B2B benefit to differentiate with is to “make your business more valuable.” 

To illustrate, click on the technology brand positioning statement example to show how to differentiate a tech brand

20 Brand positioning examples

Most importantly, we know that our brand positioning process works on any brand. To illustrate, click on any brand positioning examples to explore new ways to differentiate your brand. Above all, we cover almost any type of business. 

To illustrate, click on any examples to zoom in for details. 

Brand Positioning FAQ

What is a brand positioning strategy? What are the major steps in brand positioning?

  • First, define the consumer target. Use segmentation of different types of consumers and add consumer insights and the enemy. 
  • Second, list out all the product features. What do you do better or differently than competitors? 
  • Third, turn those features into functional benefits and emotional benefits. In the voice of your customer, what do I get? And, how does that make me feel?
  • Next, write benefit statements and test them with your target. Focus on the winning statements. They should clearly motivate your target and be ownable for your brand. 
  • Then, add in two key support points or claims that back up your main benefit statement. 
  • Finally, put the brand positioning statement together with the target, category you play in, the winning benefit, and two reasons to believe. 

Why is brand positioning important?

The main role of brand positioning is to align everyone who works on the brand, so that you can build a brand reputation that matches the brand positioning. While a reputation takes time, you want all of your communication, new product ideas, customer experience, and sales ideas to match up to the brand positioning. Importantly, explain how you will you use your resources to drive growth on your brand.

What are common brand positioning mistakes?

First, the most common mistake is having too many messages. It will confuse your target. They won’t know how to describe your brand, or know why they should buy your brand instead of a competitor. When they don’t know, they will only buy your brand when it is on sale. 

Second, the other common mistake I see in brand positioning is too broad of a target. There is a lot of debate about the role of light buyers. My argument is that if they were light buyers before you told them your main message, they’ll likely stay light buyers after. Instead, having a base of loyal users can drive higher profits. That allows you to use their higher frequency to use the investment to keep building a larger base.

Third, marketers can be too logical and focus mainly on the functional benefits. Yet, there is a lot of research that shows the value of emotional benefits. Use our emotional cheat sheet to find those emotions that will make your brand stronger.  

Finally, the mistake I see with brand positioning is not using it in the advertising. I see too many creative briefs with laundry lists of features and claims, and not enough with a focused main message.  

What are the best examples of brand positioning?

We can see how brand positioning helps the best brands in the world. For example, Nike helps athletes exceed their expectations. Or, Apple makes technology simple so people can do more and get more from their laptops, phones, or watches. Volvo is about safety. Clearly, T-Mobile is the uncarrier who goes against the norms of the communication industry. For example, Special K helps people stay in control of their weight. 

Beloved Brands logo

Graham Robertson

Email questions

Call 416 885 3911

Follow us on LinkedIn

Beloved Brands book

Brand Toolkit

Beloved Brands Marketing Training

Beloved Brands Marketing Training Video

Elevate your team’s performance with our marketing training. The smarter they are, the greater your brand growth will be.

Our Best Posts for Beloved Brands blog

Click to read more

Beloved Brands Playbooks
Beloved Brands Brand Templates

Find the template that fits your brand. Each of our templates is available for consumer, B2B, healthcare, or retailer brands. 

Beloved Brands Mini MBA
Beloved Brands graham robertson

Contact Information

Graham Robertson

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 416–885–3911

Search our site for any marketing topic

M a r k e t i n g    B o o k

beloved brands

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

With our Beloved Brands playbook, you will learn 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 rated Beloved Brands a 5-star. 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

Marketing Training

The smarter your team, the better the results you will see!

As a marketing team leader, you know that your team’s success is essential for your company’s growth. Our Beloved Brands marketing training gives your team the skills they need to make strategic decisions, produce exceptional work, and drive business growth. They will learn to define brand positioning, write effective plans, improve brief writing, make informed execution decisions, and analyze their brand’s performance.

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

Brand Toolkit
beloved brands book, marketing book
Beloved Brands Mini MBA