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Brand positioning

Brand positioning is the conceptual place of a brand within the target customer’s mind. Historically, positioning was focused on the product; this was then broadened to encompass a product’s reputation and where a brand is positioned compared to its competitors. Effective positioning should be informed by industry trends and external market realities. As such positioning is closely related to brand strategy, brand equity and market segmentation.

Key Reading

Important papers from across the Warc database

This Best Practice paper argues that a brand positioning should always contain a strong message for the brand that some people love, and some people hate, in order to be effective. It discusses the five common pitfalls in brand positioning. Brand examples covered in the paper include Starbucks and IBM.
This Best Practice paper provides a framework to use when writing a brand positioning statement.
Les Binet and Sarah Carter look at a common mistake when positioning a brand.
A Best Practice paper providing a "how-to" guide for positioning a business, product, service or brand.
This classic paper provides a model for examining a portfolio, identifying problems and opportunities.

Case Study

This case study demonstrates how BBC 1Xtra, a digital radio station for 15-24-year olds, particularly from ethnic minorities, has found an audience-led strategy to maximise the potential of existing assets on air, online and with ongoing outreach.
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This event report looks at how Danone, the dairy products company, departed from the category norm with its communications around the launch of a new yogurt brand in the UK.


This article examines the spectacular growth of the parkrun start-up and the lessons brands can learn from its success.


This article explores the necessity for brands to have conviction as consumers demand honesty, integrity and empathy from them.


This event report looks at how drinks brand Guinness reacted to a changed marketing environment, developing its global brand purpose and successfully tweaking creative when necessary.


This article provides an overview of the complex topic of brand positioning, a marketing strategy that aims to make a brand occupy a distinct position, relative to competitor brands, in the mind of the consumer.


This case study shows how Britvic, a soft drinks bottler, devised a new internal strategy to consolidate marketing and creative guidelines to be applied across its global businesses.


This event report analyses the process of building a successful brand, from the point of view of three established brands: Just Eat, Disney and Philips.
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  1. Article

    This Best Practice paper explains how to position a brand, arguing that effective positioning needs to be distinctive, appealing and relevant.

  2. Article

    This article explores how brand strategy should be retooled for the digital age, without devolving into a purely tactical dispute.

  3. Article

    This article explores how to revitalise a brand, a high-value and desirable pursuit that can deliver business results without the risks of new product development.

  4. Article

    This article gives recommendations for brand positioning, the process of establishing a clear belief and an ambitious future vision - recently, its most popular incarnation has been the 'brand purpose'.

  5. Article

    This article provides marketers with information and guidance on building brands.

  6. Article

    This article discusses the common pitfalls found in brand positioning, arguing that in order to be effective brand positioning should have a strong message that some people love, and some people dislike or even hate.
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