Positioning Strategy Examples (2023)

Positioning Strategy Examples (1)


By Michal Clements Positioning April 30, 2021

11 Top Brands Consistently Identified: Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola, HubSpot, Tesla and More

Most popular positioning strategy examples focus on the situation where a company needs to position one brand in a market space. At times, the brand is positioned in a single product category. For example, Coca-Cola and Pepsi in carbonated soft drinks, Tesla in electric vehicles, JetBlue in air travel, Chipotle in fast food.

(Video) How To Make A Perceptual Map (Positioning Strategy Examples)

    Other popular positioning examples are for brands that have extended across several categories, for example Nike in athletic performance apparel and shoes or Disney in movies, TV, and theme parks. Still other popular examples are for retailers that span multiple categories, such as Amazon.

    What’s not often reviewed in positioning strategy examples is how a company that has several brands can position each within a similar market category or space.

    In searching for positioning strategy examples, seven sources identify leading examples. These included:

    1. Jigsaw
    2. Learning Hub
    3. MerlinOne
    4. Instafollowers
    5. Canto
    6. Brand Master Academy
    7. Segmentation Study Guide

    From the 37 brands that these sources cumulatively identified as having strong positioning strategy examples, 11 brands rose to the top for consistent performance.

    Top-Tier Positioning Strategy Example: Apple

    Positioning Strategy Examples (2)

    At the top tier, Apple is most consistently identified by 100% of these sources as a great positioning strategy example. These reviews cited Apple for innovation, premium positioning, and unique end-to-end experience. Specific taglines noted are “Think Different” and “Everything is easier on a Mac.” Despite being relatively newer, Apple earns the top spot for positioning strategy (i.e., it was created in 1977), a few years after Nike and many years after Coca-Cola.

    Apple is an example of a brand that has extended across several categories.

    Second-Tier Positioning Strategy Examples: Nike and Coca-Cola

    For the second tier, Nike and Coca-Cola are regularly considered to have great positioning strategies. These brands are listed among the top positionings in more than half of the reviews.

    (Video) 3 Keys To A Brand Positioning Strategy

    Positioning Strategy Examples (3)

    In the case of Nike, the brand (first marketed as Nike in 1971) is extended across several product categories, including athletic apparel, footwear and accessories. There is even a Nike Apple Watch, combining these two powerful brand equities.

    The Nike brand positioning strategy is identified by these sources as focused on serious athletes to give a performance edge, while also providing comfort. Despite its controversial origin, the famous “Just Do It” tagline has endured.

    Positioning Strategy Examples (4)

    While the Coca-Cola company offers apparel and accessories under the Coca-Cola, the brand first created in 1886 still dominantly competes in the carbonated soft drink (CSD) category. There is no evidence of a Coca-Cola Apple watch, though there is a Coca-Cola app.

    Coca-Cola’s positioning strategy focuses on positivity and positive experiences while drinking Coca-Cola. According to these reviews, over time, Coca-Cola has consistently focused on happiness, quality, the joy of sharing and friendship. These sources cited the current “Taste the Feeling” and historical “Always” taglines.

    The Coca-Cola company also produces a number of other soft drink brands including Sprite, Fanta, Barq’s, Fresca, and more. Each of these brands has its own positioning strategy. We will explore an example of a company with two similar sun care brands in the same category after reviewing the other consistently performing brands.

    Positioning Strategy Examples (5)

    Third-Tier Positioning Strategy Examples: HubSpot, Tesla, Disney, Pepsi, Starbucks, Amazon, Chipotle and JetBlue

    These third-tier positioning strategy examples are also recognized by several sources as among the top brands.

    The first three names on this list are each recognized by three sources: Pepsi, Disney and Chipotle.

    Like Coca-Cola, Pepsi is primarily recognized as a carbonated soft drink brand. The Pepsi brand (first created in 1886 as Pepsi-Cola) is noted for focusing on youth, as well as being forward-looking (i.e., “Choice of the New Generation”), and tasting better than the competition (e.g., with “Take the Pepsi Challenge”). Pepsi’s 2020 “That’s What I Like” tagline was not noted among these sources.

    Similar to Coca-Cola, the PepsiCo’s brand portfolio includes several other carbonated soft drink brands such as 7Up, Mountain Dew, and Sierra Mist. PepsiCo has 23 billion-dollar-brands including Gatorade, Lay’s, Starbucks RTD Beverages, Lipton, Aquafina, Tropicana, Soda Stream, Doritos, Cheetos, Quaker, and more.

    (Video) Marketing positioning strategy

    Initially created in 1923, the Disney brand is recognized for its magical experience brand positioning strategy. The brand was noted for family entertainment, making dreams come true and making memories. The brand is extended across:

    • theme parks and cruise lines
    • consumer products, including character merchandise, books, magazines, Disney Store and Disney Catalog
    • studio entertainment
    • Disney+
    • and more

    The Chipotle brand competes in the fast food industry and was created in 1993. Chipotle is recognized by sources for a brand positioning strategy of offering higher quality, and better ingredients (e.g., non GMO), along with customization. The tagline noted is its founding motto of “Food with Integrity.” Chipotle reported that digital made up 46% of sales in 2020, and that they opened 161 restaurants and closed nine. According to analysts, the brand is positioned for continued growth.

    The next set of brands are identified by two sources as top positioning strategy examples.

    HubSpot is identified as a brand that “just works” and is “integrated out of the box,” offering technology that helps its customers “Grow better.” With offerings in marketing, sales and service, HubSpot competes across several service categories. The brand was created in 2006.

    Tesla is recognized for moving the electric vehicle industry forward, and changing the future for drivers and for energy use. Tesla was created in 2003, and competes primarily in one product category, electric vehicles.

    Starbucks is identified as a brand that focuses on delivering premium quality and a customized experience for each individual. The brand offers a wide variety of beverages in its retail stores, and through Pepsi, in ready-to-drink products in supermarkets. It has also offered entertainment services and was first created in 1971, the same year as Nike.

    The Starbucks brand is so well known for offering a premium experience that one large-scale, mixed-use development planner opined that having the Starbucks logo in the illustrations was helpful to getting investors interested.

    In 2020 to 2021, Starbucks announced it was closing 500 stores (400 in a first wave, plus an additional 100), primarily café locations with dining rooms, to shift to more pickup and delivery. The brand has plans to open approximately 50 net new stores.

    Starting in 1995 as an online bookseller, Amazon has expanded across multiple product and service categories. Amazon is now recognized by sources for a brand positioning strategy of offering everything you need in one place, quick delivery, the perception of low prices, efficiency (“One Click”), customer ratings and customization. Today, many product searches start on Amazon. Consumers also check prices on Amazon. Amazon’s dominance in online spending in the United States is well recognized.

    (Video) Strategic Positioning

    Fourth-Tier Positioning Strategy Examples

    Other brands that were identified as top positioning strategy examples by only one source included the following:

    • 7Up
    • Adidas
    • American Express
    • Avis
    • Burger King
    • Dollar Shave Club
    • Cadbury
    • Dove
    • Duracell
    • Everlane
    • Facebook
    • FedEx
    • G2
    • KFC
    • M&M’S
    • Marriott
    • Michelin
    • Microsoft
    • Pringles
    • Rice Krispies
    • Rolex
    • Subway
    • Virgin Airways
    • Volkswagen
    • Volvo
    • Whole Foods

    Positioning Strategy Examples: Portfolio Case Study in Sun Care

    As we’ve seen, many of these examples explore a brand’s positioning in a specific product category or an overarching brand positioning across multiple product and services categories.

    Brand positioning in a situation where a company has more than one brand in the same product category is less frequently explored.

    This portfolio case study for brand positioning comes from Insight to Action’s experience working with the Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic brands, both of which compete in the $1B sunscreen category.

    At the time we were working with these brands, they were both owned by Energizer Personal Care (now Edgewell Personal Care). The Hawaiian Tropic and Banana Boat brands share a few common equity attributes from their history:

    • “Tropical” / island heritage
    • For sun protection
    • Lighthearted

    By comparison, one of the leading competitor brands in the category is Neutrogena, which comes from a more clinical, medical heritage and Coppertone, which comes from an all-family heritage. In 2019, Neutrogena had two of the top 10 sun protection brands (Neutrogena Ultra Sheer and Neutrogena Beach Defense), while Coppertone had Coppertone Sport and Coppertone in the top 10. Banana Boat had Banana Boat Ultra Mist Sport Performance, Banana Boat Sport Performance and Banana Boat Ultra Sports, while Hawaiian Tropic had Hawaiian Tropic.

    We’ve provided specifics on the Banana Boat positioning strategy example, including the positioning framework and an advertising execution example. Let’s compare how the Hawaiian Tropic brand, which is owned by the same company, developed a separate positioning strategy with distinct consumer targets.

    We’ll compare the classic brand positioning frameworkas follows:

    • Totarget[specific audience],
    • For [defined]frame of reference,
    • Brand Xis the [functional/emotional]point of differentiation
    • Because [attributes]reasons to believe
    Banana BoatHawaiian Tropic
    To targetAdult women and men with active outdoor lifestyles and a commitment to prevent sunburns and sun damage “Alicia” and “Alex” Includes family householdsIndulgent sun and beauty seeker (women) “Angelique” Focus on single women
    For frame of referencesunscreensunscreen
    ___ is the (functional/emotional) point of differentiationBanana Boat gives you unbeatable protection that fits your active lifestyle Hawaiian Tropic makes your sun care more indulgent with natural conditioning and light, warm tropical scent
    Because (attributes) reasons to believeThree-way protection with patented AVO-Triplex and products tested in the sun Unique botanical formula is tested in the sun (instead of just in the lab like other products)

    The positioning strategy statements were translated into advertising execution that reflected the different targets and brand positioning as shown below.

    (Video) Create A Competitive Positioning Strategy (Process Framework)

    Positioning Strategy Examples (6)

    For more perspective on positioning strategy, visit Insight to Action’s brand positioning and messaging agency page.


    What is Coca Cola's positioning strategy? ›

    The company has an extensive selection of refreshments; each offers a positive experience for consumers. In contrast to other beverage brands, Coca-Cola brands itself as a product that provides happiness and positive in customers' lives.

    What is Nike's positioning strategy? ›

    Positioning of Nike

    Positioning is all about placing the company's brand in the market with other competitors. Nike has strategically positioned its brand as a market leader for sports equipment that provides innovative and premium quality technology.

    What is a positioning strategy? ›

    A positioning strategy—also known as a market or brand positioning strategy—is a type of marketing strategy that focuses on distinguishing a brand from its competitors. The goal of a positioning strategy is to influence consumer perception by effectively communicating a brand's competitive advantage.

    What is Starbucks positioning strategy? ›

    Positioning of Starbucks

    The company's positioning strategy is customer-based, giving more than what the customer needs. Besides producing great coffee, it promotes a good reputation to its target market through excellent store ambiance, environmental protection, and social commitment.

    What is Netflix positioning strategy? ›

    It's positioned as a subscription-based video-on-demand platform that's easy to access from anywhere, at any time, on mobile/tablets or TV, with a wealth of experience and broadcast-quality video, all to satisfy consumers' digital consumption desires.

    What is Nestle positioning? ›

    Nestlé uses a differentiation strategy to deliver various goods to distinct segments based on age, profession, seasons, weather, gender, and other factors. For example, Nescafe 3 in 1 is good for individuals who are pressed for time, Koko Krunch cereal is good for those who wish to taste real chocolate, and so on.

    What is Hershey's positioning strategy? ›

    Hershey's established position is that of an old, reputable chocolate manufacturer that is to be turned to when one looks for good and rather affordable chocolate goods.

    What is Kitkat positioning? ›

    Kit Kat's target market is both men and women belonging to all age groups. The brand displays itself as “youthful” in nature, and focuses on that segment of consumers who are fond of chocolates, and are willing to indulge themselves in chocolaty snacks.

    What is Adidas positioning strategy? ›

    Adidas presents itself as a major sportswear brand and attempts to build its reputation by creating and selling qualified items, providing swift service, and having a lengthy history. The business views itself as its brand for those who aspire to be great football players, athletes, and so on.

    What is Sephora positioning strategy? ›

    Sephora started in Paris as a retail store. It has now expanded around the world and offers its product range as well. Sephora positioned itself in the market by being the first one to start assisted self-service in the retail industry. It has been continuously rolling out new stores in most countries.

    What is the positioning of Gucci? ›

    Gucci's strategy to be the hottest brand is to promote inclusivity: appealing to everyone, rather than a specific gender. To that end, the Italian luxury house offers its customers more ready-to-wear to best capitalize on fashion trends.

    What is positioning give an example? ›

    The objective of market positioning is to establish the image or identity of a brand or product so that consumers perceive it in a certain way. For example: A handbag maker may position itself as a luxury status symbol. A TV maker may position its TV as the most innovative and cutting-edge.

    What are the most common positioning strategies? ›

    There are three standard types of product positioning strategies brands should consider: comparative, differentiation, and segmentation. Through these strategies, brands can help their product stand out by targeting the right audiences with the best message.

    How do you create a positioning strategy? ›

    How to Create a Brand Positioning Strategy
    1. Determine your current brand positioning.
    2. Create a brand essence chart.
    3. Identify your competitors.
    4. Conduct competitor research.
    5. Identify your unique value proposition.
    6. Build a brand positioning framework.
    7. Create your positioning statement.
    28 Sept 2022

    What is Pepsi positioning strategy? ›

    PepsiCo uses multi-segment type of positioning and accordingly, it targets more than one. customer segment at the same time with different products or service packages. For. example, Pepsi-Cola is positioned as soft drink that tastes good and has a pleasantly.

    What is Dunkin Donuts positioning strategy? ›

    Positioning. Dunkin Donuts is positioning itself as a brand of choice nationally and internationally. The company's philosophy is “make and serve the freshest, most delicious coffee and donuts quickly and courteously in modern, well-merchandised stores” (DD IP Holder LLC, 2010).

    What is Volvo positioning strategy? ›

    Volvo Cars has revamped its brand positioning in a bid to move into a more premium space and launched a TV campaign for its current XC60 model. The Swell film introduces some of the pillars that will underpin Volvo's new positioning, which include ambition, simplicity, authenticity and Swedishness.

    What is Spotify's positioning? ›

    Our mission is to unlock the potential of human creativity—by giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by it.

    How is Spotify positioned in the market? ›

    Understanding that music and podcasts accompany people wherever they go and whatever they do, Spotify positions itself as a soundtrack to their lives – a service with millions of tracks and hundreds of thousands of podcasts. It describes its proposition as “the right music or podcast for every moment”.

    How does Spotify position themselves in the market? ›

    Marketing Strategy of Spotify

    The key feature of this platform is that it's free for users only, with some ads playing between the music. It has been found that this freemium model approach has worked amazingly for Spotify because users can take benefit of free music without paying for a subscription.

    What is McDonald's positioning? ›

    The term "positioning" refers to the process of selecting the marketing mix that is most suited to the target client group. McDonald's employs adaptive product positioning, which entails the corporation redefining products and services regularly in response to market developments.

    What is Amazon's positioning? ›

    What is Amazon's positioning strategy? Amazon's brand is built on customer satisfaction. It wants to be known as the most customer-friendly company on the entire planet. This means Amazon wants to position itself as the most convenient company with the lowest prices and the best customer service out there.

    What is Cadbury brand positioning? ›

    Cadbury has come a long way in terms of its advertising strategies. It started with print advertising, followed by television campaigns targeted at kids. It broke the stereotype with its “Asli Swad Zindagi Ka” ad and positioned itself as a product for adult consumption as well.

    What is British Airways positioning strategy? ›

    BA for decades has positioned itself as a premium airline. This strategy was especially reinforced in 2011, when the company, after years of cost-cutting, announced a five-year £5 billion investment plan designed to put the customer back at the heart of its business.

    What is the basis of positioning used by Louis Vuitton? ›

    In this perspective, it is clear that Louis Vuitton (LV) bases its product positioning on fashion and the most recent trends. Louis Vuitton's products are created with the newest market trends and current fashion in mind, allowing clients to discover the latest trend-based offerings and high-quality items.

    What is Rolex positioning? ›

    It describes Rolex watches as “Symbols of excellence, performance, prestige, and innovation” . Therefore, the positioning strategy of the company is to project the product as luxury brand that strived for excellence.

    How Nike uses differentiation strategy? ›

    Nike's differentiation strategy is to establish the company as the standard in athletic wear. By focusing on their product line, they are able to produce high quality products that meet customer expectations.

    What are the 7 positioning methods in marketing? ›

    The seven basic types of positioning strategies are:
    • Product characteristics or consumer benefits. In using this strategy for positioning, the focus is on quality. ...
    • Pricing. ...
    • Use or application. ...
    • Product process. ...
    • Product class. ...
    • Cultural symbols. ...
    • Competitors (relation to)

    What is Maybelline brand positioning? ›

    Maybelline has the top research and development teams and resources through their parent company L'Oreal. 2. Maybelline has a coveted image of being hip, intelligent, stylish and charming which is positioned well to target young women. 3. The brand has a strong market penetration and brand loyalty globally.

    What is Louis Vuitton branding strategy? ›

    Louis Vuitton's (LV) primary strategy is the use of its heritage in stories, fashion movies, and others. The brand is enhancing its presence via the most popular social media channels. The content used by LV appeals to the consumer's lifestyle aspirations.

    What is luxury positioning? ›

    Brand positioning refers to the unique space a brand carves out in the mind of the consumer. In other words: What differentiates one luxury brand from its competitors? How does the brand story connect with and entice a target audience?

    What is a good positioning statement? ›

    Guidelines for Good Positioning Statements

    It is simple, memorable, and tailored to the target market. It provides an unmistakable and easily understood picture of your brand that differentiates it from your competitors. It is credible, and your brand can deliver on its promise.

    Why is positioning strategy important? ›

    Effective strategic positioning ensures that an organization's marketing tactics are oscillating with customers and obliging them to take some sort of action. Without communicating a product/service's best qualities to a customer segment, an organization can't grow.

    What are the 6 positioning strategies? ›

    Amy Guettler defines the 6 critical brand-positioning strategies that can revitalize a company brand.
    • Quality Positioning. ...
    • Value or Price Positioning. ...
    • Benefit Positioning. ...
    • Problem and Solution Positioning. ...
    • Competitor-Based Positioning. ...
    • Celebrity-Driven Positioning. ...
    • How did we accomplish this goal? ...
    • What did we accomplish?

    What are the 5 steps in the product positioning process? ›

    Five Steps to Positioning Your Product
    1. Step 1: Understand why Your Customers use Your Product. ...
    2. Step 2: Identify the Market You're in and the Persona You're Going After. ...
    3. Step 3: Determine the Market's Maturity. ...
    4. Step 4: Determine People's State of Mind. ...
    5. Step 5: Tying it Together.
    11 Oct 2019

    What are the five 5 selling strategies? ›

    5 Sales Strategies for Businesses
    • Define your buyer.
    • Tell a story.
    • Target a niche market.
    • Sell your brand.
    • Focus on internal growth.

    What is positioning and its example? ›

    Definition: Positioning defines where your product (item or service) stands in relation to others offering similar products and services in the marketplace as well as the mind of the consumer. Description: A good positioning makes a product unique and makes the users consider using it as a distinct benefit to them.

    What are the 7 key elements of product positioning? ›

    Components of successful product positioning
    • Price.
    • Product application/use.
    • Target customers.
    • Competitive advantages.
    • Ethical values/policies.
    • Speak to your ideal customers.
    • Research the competition.
    • Determine the unique features and value of your product.

    What are the 4 main components of product positioning? ›

    The Positioning Statement definition is comprised of 4 parts; the target, the category, the differentiator, and the payoff. We'll talk about these in summary below, but first, there is some work to be done. Before sitting down to write your PS, decisions must be made.

    How do you develop an effective positioning strategy? ›

    7-Step Brand Positioning Strategy Process
    1. Determine how your brand is currently positioning itself.
    2. Identify your direct competitors.
    3. Understand how each competitor is positioning their brand.
    4. Compare your positioning to your competitors to identify your uniqueness.
    5. Develop a distinct and value-based positioning idea.
    23 May 2022

    What is 5 P's strategy? ›

    Each of the five P's represents a distinct approach to strategy. This includes Plan, Ploy, Pattern, Position and Perspective. These five elements enable a company to develop a more successful strategy.

    What are the 5 C's of sales? ›

    In today's market environment, effective selling involves building trust through the use of five C's: conversation, curiosity, collaboration, customization and coaching.


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