6 Top Brand Positioning Exercises For Your Strategy Workshop

Looking for effective brand positioning exercises to define your differentiation strategy? Look no further.

Brand positioning is the art of uncovering, defining, and providing a unique and valuable difference in the experience you offer as a brand, to ultimately attract your target audience.

Forging such a difference is easier said than done and it takes well-defined processes, effective positioning exercises, and a heavy serving of creativity to do so.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the most effective brand positioning exercises you can use in your brand strategy workshops to give you the tools to uncover gems.

What Is Brand Positioning?

Brand positioning represents the unique space your brand occupies in consumers’ minds, contrasting it with competitors. This positioning forms the bedrock of your brand identity and shapes customer interactions with your products or services. 

It encapsulates the unique value you provide and reasons why customers should opt for you.

Moreover, it necessitates a deep understanding of your audience, competitive landscape as well as your strengths and weaknesses as a brand.

Your brand positioning strategy shapes your marketing message, determines how your brand communicates with your target customers, and underpins all your branding efforts. 

It’s a critical component of your marketing strategy, and it’s shaped through a series of branding exercises, which we’ll delve into shortly.

The Importance of Brand Positioning Exercises

Brand positioning exercises extend beyond mere marketing gimmicks; they constitute an integral part of the brand strategy development process.

These exercises facilitate:

A deeper exploration into your target auidence

A vivid picture of your market landscape

Deep insights into gaps and opportunities that exist in the market for differentiation and a competitive edge.

These exercises are a way to take a step back, to take a fresh look at your brand from different perspectives, and to align your brand with the needs and aspirations of your customers. 

They help you to create a unique difference that stands out in the market and gives you a competitive advantage.

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6 Effective Brand Positioning Exercises

Now, we’ll explore six potent exercises that can mold and refine your brand’s positioning strategy. Each exercise targets a different facet of your brand, offering a fresh perspective and enabling a closer alignment with your customers’ needs and aspirations.

These exercises are not just theoretical concepts;

They are practical tools that you can use in your branding workshop as part of a branding exercise.

They are designed to stimulate creative thinking, challenge assumptions, and bring fresh insights into your brand workshop efforts.

#1 Positioning / Perceptual Map

The initial exercise involves crafting a perceptual map. This visual tool enables market mapping and illustrates your brand’s standing among competitors. It aids in pinpointing differentiation opportunities and areas where your brand can establish a unique position.

Imagine a grid with different brand attributes on each axis.

Each point on this grid represents a brand, and its position reflects how customers perceive that brand based on those attributes.

By plotting your brand and your competitors on this brand positioning map, you can see the landscape of the market and identify opportunities for your brand to stand out.

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#2. The Association Web

The Association Web centers around aligning your brand with distinct differentiation points. This exercise requires the creation of a network of associations that link your brand to specific concepts, emotions, or ideas, distinguishing it from competitors.

Think of it as a spider web, with your brand’s differentiated image at the center and strands extending out to various points of difference. These could be anything from specific product features to emotional benefits.

Ensuring that all aspects of your brand are on the same page will help create a cohesive and strong brand identity.

The goal is to strengthen your brand’s position in the market by creating strong, positive associations in the minds of your customers.

#3. Create An Enemy To Position Against

The following exercise is the creation of an enemy to counter. This doesn’t imply the formulation of a competing brand, but rather identification of your customer’s pain points and enemies that your brand can oppose.

By positioning your brand as the solution to these problems, you can set your brand apart from competitors and resonate more deeply with your customers.

This exercise is about understanding your customers, their needs,

#4. Uncover A Signature Personality

The process of uncovering a signature personality involves:

The identification of traits and voice that will harmonize with your audience

Providing a unique edge in your market

The definition of your brand’s personality traits

Assurance that these characteristics permeate your brand voice, persona, and all marketing communications.

Think of your brand as a person. 

What kind of person would it be?

What traits would it have?

What kind of voice would it use to communicate?

By defining these aspects, you can create a brand personality that is unique, consistent, and resonates with your target audience.

#5. Blue Ocean Strategy Canvas

Inspired by the Blue Ocean Strategy, this exercise involves creating a strategy canvas that maps out the key factors your industry competes on and where your competitors invest. 

By analyzing this canvas, you can identify opportunities to create blue oceans of uncontested market space where competition is irrelevant.

The goal is to:

Redefine the boundaries of competition

Innovate in ways that make your brand stand out

Find a segment of the market that your brand can dominate

Choose a competitive landscape that is less crowded

Allow your brand to really shine


As we conclude, let’s pause to reflect on the salient exercises we’ve discussed. These exercises extend beyond merely formulating a catchy slogan or designing an attractive logo; they focus on constructing a brand that resonates with your customers, distinguishes itself in the market, and aligns with your business objectives.

The importance of creative engagement and strategic alignment in brand workshops cannot be overstated.

By engaging in these exercises, you can uncover the core elements of your brand’s identity, align your sales team around a clear vision, and create a brand that truly stands out in the market.

Key Takeaways

Brand positioning goes beyond logos, requiring a strategy that defines a unique identity and resonates with target customers through emotional appeal and distinct values.

Effective brand positioning exercises deeply explore brand identity, personality, and create a unique positioning statement, helping brands align with customer aspirations and stand out competitively.

Six practical exercises can shape a robust brand positioning, including perceptual mapping, association webs, positioning against an enemy, defining a brand personality, leveraging Blue Ocean Strategy, and consumer experience mapping.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is brand positioning?

Brand positioning is the distinct space your brand holds in the minds of consumers, highlighting the value you offer and why they should choose you over competitors. It’s about creating a unique position in the market for your brand.

What is the significance of brand workshops?

Brand workshops are significant because they help to uncover the core elements of a brand’s identity, ensuring consistency in messaging for sales teams and customers.

What is a perceptual map?

A perceptual map is a visual tool that helps you understand your brand’s position in the market compared to your competitors and identify opportunities for differentiation.

What is the Blue Ocean Strategy Canvas exercise?

The Blue Ocean Strategy Canvas exercise is a tool that helps businesses identify opportunities to create uncontested market space by mapping out key competitive factors in their industry. It is inspired by the Blue Ocean Strategy, and is a valuable exercise for strategic planning.

What is consumer experience mapping?

Consumer Experience Mapping is the process of understanding a consumer’s journey with your brand, uncovering moments of friction or delight to improve their experience. It helps differentiate your brand in the market.

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