Positioning isn’t about making your brand appear cheap or expensive, elegant or everyman, tasteful or functional when viewed ‘on the shelf‘ of options.

Positioning is about inventing and owning a category of one in the mind of your consumer – so that your brand owns the first and only position.


  • Which brand comes to mind for women looking for a soap that moisturises their skin as it cleans?
  • Which brand comes to mind for teenage boys needing a deodorant that aligns with their inner fantasy of being a sex god to women?

Positioning is why Unilever can (infuriatingly) own both Dove and Lynx – one brand that empowers women and the other that objectifies them (but that’s another story).

Note how neither sub-brand is Positioning themselves on price or utility (cheap/expensive, soap/deodorant) – if they did, this is clearly an open and vulnerable position for attack.

In reality, the actual ingredients of both Dove and Lynx are presumably not that different, however in the mind of each brand’s target consumer, there is no other choice… they each belong to a category of one that Unilever invented out of thin air.

Both Dove and Lynx clearly understand their Positioning.

Here we’re only talking supermarkets – whose shelves are filled with multiple choices of each commodity giving consumers a mild dose of choice anxiety.

On the web, we can multiply that tenfold as we’re not just competing against local brands, but now overseas brands as well.

Because of the exponential rise in competition thanks to the web, there has never been a more urgent time to Position yourself as the best for the least for the most.

HT to Al Ries and Jack Trout for their classic work on Positioning.

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