Up until a few days ago, I had no idea that there was such a marvellous model to use when trying to position a brand (don’t judge me, college forgets to teach you the cool stuff), now I’m sure most of you are familiar with this model, however if you are like me and prefer models that follow a step by step flow, then this my dear industry friends is the positioning model just for you.

It is known as the ‘BrandKey’ model and it can be used to position any brand, it also allows you to establish the areas that the brand may in fact need to work on to develop a more effective strategy. This model is used in many different organisations and has many different names (for example’Brand Box’), regardless of name, shape or size, it is great none the less.


Because branding brand key
Because branding brand key model

Okay so let’s get down to business shall we… As you can see in the illustrated image above, this model has nine steps/stages that can lead to differentiating and relevant brand positioning:

1. Root Strengths

The first step of the BrandKey looks at the original product, values and benefits that make the brand so great, these aspects are the foundation on which you want to build a brand.

2. Competitive Environment

The competitive environment looks at the market in which a brand competes as well as  the relative value the brand offers in that particular market.

3. Target

Who is the brand targeting? What are these people like? What are their interests? Target market is defined by consumers attitudes and values, not  just their demographics.

4. Insight

The main elements you gather about the target market and their needs. Your insights ultimately guide your final outcome/executions.

5. Benefits

The differentiating functional, emotional and sensory benefits that motivate a purchase.

Functional benefits are based on a products attributes that provide customers with functional value.

Emotional benefits look at how a customer feels when purchasing or using a product- how does the product influence them emotionally?

Sensory benefits deal with the way in which a product appeals to consumers senses.

6. Values, Beliefs & Personality

What does the brand value? What does the brand stand for/ believe in? What kind of personality does the brand have?

7. Reasons to Believe

A brands ‘reason to believe’ is the proof that it offers to its consumers to substantiate its benefits/ brand experience.

8. Discriminator

The single most compelling and competitive reasoning for consumers to choose the brand over its competitors.

9. Essence

Refinement of the brand into a core idea or brand promise, the brand essence is the heart and soul of the brand as it guides all brand actions.

In conclusion a BrandKey allows us to make a distinction between describing the current situation of a brand and the future of a brand (their desired location- where the brand wants to go). It is important to note that points 1-4 deal with the external  factors of a brand and points 5-9 deal with the internal factors influencing a brand. I hope this simple positioning model helps you as much as it helped me!


Click to access r_-_Brand_Key.pdf


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