Branding Strategies

De-positioning: The Most Effective Way to Position a Brand in Market

Ask not how your branding agency can help you change the world. Ask how your branding agency can help grow your business.


My twenty-plus years career running branding agencies have taught me what works and what doesn’t work in terms of positioning a business for growth. Many trends, perspectives, and buzzwords come and go. New ones continually pop up.


You’ve heard of approaches like disruption, differentiation, relevance, unique selling propositions, and personalization. But today, what you hear the most is brand purpose. Not just the what, how, or who the brand is, but the “why” you should care and how it makes the world a better place. This “why” is supposed to align with something bigger, which is more important than the straightforward selling of products.

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60-Second Brand Strategist: De-Positioning

Want to know the most overall effective brand strategy? The one that chooses customers to choose your brand over the others? The one brand strategists don’t talk about? It’s called de-positioning and it strategically highlights a positive feature of your brand to weaken your competitor’s position against you. Here’s what you need to know. First, it’s not negative campaigning. In de-positioning, you never mention your opponents. Instead, you call attention to one of your brand strengths that competitors don’t have, or can’t do very well. For example, when people were already concerned about the cybersecurity risk posed by voice recognition software, Apple embraced privacy as its core brand value which effectively raised doubts about its current and future competitors’ intentions. Advantage: Apple—that’s how you use one big idea to crush your competition.

Todd Irwin is the founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Fazer, a New York-based brand strategy and creative agency. Today, his focus is to deliver competitive brand strategies directly to the visionary leaders looking for growth. Fazer is a new-model agency championing a revolution in the agency industry by having branding experts lead marketing, advertising, digital, PR, and all the other teams with the ultimate purpose of helping its clients win.