Brand Strategy -3 Building Blocks of Brand Positioning

opento's Marquetypes model

Brand Strategy -It’s not rocket science!

To discover the most powerful positioning area for your brand, you need to consider your customer, the competitive market and your own brand. How do you define these three building blocks of your brand positioning?

The key to brand positioning is to focus on the right ‘bundle of associations’ for your brand.

Those associations should be meaningful and important to customers, distinctive from associations owned by competitors and linked to your brand vision.

Let’s look at how you can bring these three aspects together for your own brand using a (disguised) recent example from one of our customers. We’ll call them Brand S.

Brand S

Brand S is a consumer technology brand in a fast-growing, highly competitive BRIC market. Although they are growing fast in line with the market and maintaining share, their market analysis suggests there is bigger opportunity that they are failing to capture. This is often the case for technology companies that have focused on communicating product features at the expense of building a distinctive brand.

Luckily, Brand S’s CMO was ready to work on improving their positioning ahead of launching their next-generation innovation this year. Brand S’s cross-functional team of 8 people worked on the challenge using opento’s online products to get them to a solution cost-effectively and quickly.

The team worked systematically through the three building blocks of customers, brand and competitive market.


Let’s start with what’s meaningful and important to customers.

What’s the best way to define your customer needs? We focus first on why customers are in the category as a whole. What are they buying in terms of attributes, benefits and experiences? At a product and service level, they are looking for reliability and cost-effectiveness. But the real clue to branding territories comes from looking at their jobs-to-be-done and emotional needs.

There are many ways to discover your customer’s jobs-to-be-done and linking them to emotions. We use a structured method inspired by Scott Anthony’s laddering approach in The Innovator’s Guide to Growth and build up to the top-level needs in the category. For example, the main customer needs in your category could be about success or status or creativity.

Our Marquetypes™ brand positioning system categorizes customer needs into an archetypal territory. In Brand S’s case, these were primarily around the need for exploration and self-discovery that are associated with the customer archetype of Explorer.

Perhaps your customer archetype is in one of the other areas of the map. Is your customer a Lover, Jester or Everyman with an emphasis on the need for belonging?

Brand Vision

Next, look in detail at your brand vision. What are your values, your purpose and your motivation for your business and brand?  Are you driven by a need to change what isn’t working in the market? Or are you focused on being responsible?

Now take a realistic look at how your customers or potential customers see your brand. What type of brand personality do you have? Are you confident and responsible or mischievous and high-spirited? Then look at where customers think you excel: your competences. Are you better than competitors at helping them get organized or protecting them or helping them avoid specific types of problem?

The Brand S team defined their brand as being all about invention and fresh thinking. Taking into account their brand perception and their vision, we mapped their Brand Vision in archetype of Creator.


Don’t base your brand positioning on personality alone or competences alone but align them closely and make sure they are in tune with your values.


Market and Competition

Your competitors’ brands also own archetypal meanings. Review them in as much detail as you can. If you have market research data, look at where they are superior to you. Look at their marketing materials. What do they claim as their particular expertise?

The Brand S team mapped their main competitors and we classified most of the key competitors in or close to the Explorer archetypal territory.


This is not surprising in markets with an Explorer customer. Often a brand finds it easiest to simply reflect their intended customers with their own positioning and sometimes that is the most effective positioning in the market. However, the CMO of Brand S was determined to be distinctive in the market by staying close to their own unique personality and competences.

Where are your competitors operating? Are they all in the same part of the map and telling customers the same type of story? Can you find a new way to position yourself based on your unique combination of personality, competences and vision?

Brand Strategy+ Brand Positioning: Bringing it all together

So, now we have the three building blocks to explore options for strengthening Brand S: the customer, whose needs are strongly in the Explorer territory; Brand S itself rooted in Creator; the competitive market place battling as Explorers.

If you’d like to find out how Brand S selected a new direction and finalized their brand positioning, follow the rest of the story here.

Start your own brand positioning journey with a FREE assessment of your brand personality.

Share small business news, blogs and social media tips with Project Eve’s community of small business owners and entrepreneurs today. Our contributors come from a wide range of backgrounds; so whether you are a small business owner, social media strategist, financial adviser, serial entrepreneur, or write an amateur blog we urge you to contribute a blog to our 350,000+ community today. For more information, please refer to our Content Submissions Guidelines.

Add a Blog


  1. 234606 371945great work Exceptional weblog here! Also your internet web site a good deal up quickly! What internet host are you the usage of? Can I get your associate link on your host? I want my internet site loaded up as fast as yours lol 587094

  2. 892250 212162To your organization online business owner, releasing an crucial company is the bread so butter inside of their opportunity, and choosing a wonderful child care company often indicates the particular between a victorious operation this is. how to start a daycare 359969

  3. 300235 893888Fascinating point of view. Im curious to think what type of impact this would have globally? Sometimes individuals get slightly upset with global expansion. Ill be around soon to look at your response. 590781

  4. 744907 186023I enjoyed reading this a lot I genuinely hope to read far more of your posts in the future, so Ive bookmarked your blog. But I couldnt just bookmark it, oh no.. When I see quality websites like this one, I like to share it with other people So Ive produced a backlink to your site (from 42459

  5. 722732 112854This sort of in search of get the enhancements created on this particular lifestyle and diet, begin your L . a . Shifting the pounds diet answer is a huge procedure into accesing which normally hope. weight loss 799818

  6. Good post. I be taught one thing more difficult on totally different blogs everyday. It should at all times be stimulating to learn content from different writers and observe a little one thing from their store. I’d want to use some with the content on my weblog whether or not you don’t mind. Natually I’ll provide you with a link in your net blog. Thanks for sharing.

  7. 285633 658748Once I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now every time a remark is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any means you possibly can remove me from that service? Thanks! 822745

  8. After checking out a few of the blog articles on your site, I seriously like your way of blogging.

    I added it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my web site
    too and tell me your opinion.

  9. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your website. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme? Fantastic work!

  10. Hello just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same outcome.

  11. You have to waste less time to explore your necessary topic on internet, because today the searching methods of search engines are fastidious. Thatís why I fount this article at this place.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.