What's a Brand Key Model 2023 Guide to Positioning Your Brand

What’s a Brand Key Model? 2023 Guide to Positioning Your Brand


It is often challenging for companies with numerous products, such as multi-brand groups, to present and position themselves as a unified brand.

Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) producers like to use the brand key model to raise their profile to customers. This model is a slightly more modern and detailed alternative to Esch’s Brand Wheel, which can also be used to analyze the brand model of different brands in several categories.

For successful brand positioning and management, knowing your competition is essential. Knowing your brand and, above all, your customers are equally important.

The brand key is a good tool to see this side more clearly. The Brand Key can also help search for the proper positioning amid a confusing and sometimes over-saturated market.

Defining the Core Ideas of the Brand

What does your brand stand for? What are its values and morals? You should be able to describe what your brand creates and stands for in a single sentence to create its “genetic code.”

A brand’s “genetic code” can be found everywhere, from its positioning to product development. From its visibility, your brand’s “genetic code” should therefore create a brand essence.

If you want to define your brand essence, it’s worth asking yourself three questions:

  1. What are your goals?
  2. What exactly do you do?
  3. How do you do what you do?
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Brand Key Brand Profile as a Successful Positioning Model

Once you have defined your brand DNA, four elements for branding follow directly.

  • Benefits: What advantages do customers derive from buying your brand?
  • Values: What values does your brand represent? (Your “personality”)
  • Reasons to believe: Why should customers think your brand promise?
  • USP: What unique selling proposition or propositions differentiate your company and brand from competitors and other brands in your particular market?

You should formulate all four questions as precisely as possible. The more compact you can prepare answers to these questions, the easier it will be for you to work with and base on these answers in the future.

This part of the brand key actively helps you to understand your brand better and, if necessary, to readjust the brand image.

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Four Brand Key Questions – Infinite Answers

Take a look at your “benefits.” Today, a low price is no longer a unique selling proposition for brand positioning. Nowadays, consumers also expect products to be of a certain level of quality, and you have to make this a part of your brand key.

Instead, functional or emotional benefits are much more critical. Yes, you read that right. Emotional help because the decision for a particular brand can cause a positive feeling in the consumer’s mind – and this is a valuable asset.

This can be almost anything from environmental sustainability to fair trade to supporting young single parents. Think outside the box!

Or have you found a way to implement a specific feature into your products that no one else has thought of before? Let your customers share in your creativity! Get some consumer insights to help you in your brand strategy.

It’s a little more difficult to articulate your personality as a brand. However, in the brand key, this is one of the essential elements because your brand’s personality will – indirectly and in essence – influence all other decisions in your communication and product development.

Facts Can Help You Understand

While there is plenty of room for creativity in marketing, customers want guarantees. Reasons, or reasons why your brand delivers the promised advantage over other brands, demand hard facts.

Try to find an answer to why your product, in particular, is the best choice for your target group. Here, it’s worth cutting back on the creativity mentioned at the beginning and sticking strictly to tangible facts.

On the one hand, these are easier for you to use in communication, and on the other hand, they are also much easier for customers to understand. They are also objectively comparable to other brands.

Once you have checked off these three elements, there remains one last look back at your brand: the unique selling point.

It is sometimes difficult to distinguish this from the benefits or values, but defining this characteristic as precisely as possible is worthwhile. After all, it allows you to stand out from your competitors.

With the USP, you actively help your clientele to choose you among all the other brands via competitive reasoning.

A View of the Environment

Now that you’ve taken an in-depth look at your brand from the inside, the next step in the brand key is to also look at your competitive environment. Again, there are four factors to look at.

  • Root Strength: the values and advantages on which the brand is based
  • Competitive Environment: alternatives that the customer sees, i.e., competitors
  • Target: the person who will always prefer your brand
  • Consumer Insight: the knowledge that you have about your customers

A look at the visual of the brand key model will tell you that Root Strength is the model’s foundation.

Accordingly, you should also work your way up from your roots. What is it that you base your branding on? What benefits or values have characterized your brand since the beginning? Again, the more precisely you formulate, the easier it will be to use these contributions later.

The competition and the target audience are equally essential elements in the brand key model. This is not surprising, as they are undoubtedly the same customers you are vying for with your competition with their brands.

Equally Important, but Not the Same

You should always look at your competition from the target group’s perspective. How does your customer see the market and alternatives to your brand?

The more honest you are with yourself, the more accurate your picture will be – and the better you can position yourself in the middle of the market in the future.

It is similar to the target, your target audience. It’s no use if you want a specific clientele, but they simply don’t harmonize with your brand (so far?). Behavior, values, and socio-economic factors are just as influential elements you should define in your target person as personal attitudes to brand-relevant issues.

The last factor, which is also the link to your brand’s inside view, is your knowledge about your customer.

However, this is not about your “template customer” but your customers’ natural desires and needs, which you want to answer with your brand, can or will eventually. Here, thorough acquisitions help establish future processes that bring your position closer to your target.

Brand Key Conclusion

So whether you’re presiding over a long-established brand that you want to reposition as a brand or you’re just breaking into the market with your start-up, the brand key is an optimal tool to break down your company, your customers, and your competition.

The necessity of such an analysis for brand management and the correct brand positioning of the company on the market is probably clear to everyone.

Only through a deep understanding of all categories explained above can the right position of the brand be found, thus facilitating the navigation in the marketplace. Thus, necessary expansions of a brand, as well as individual company departments, become apparent. You can also call on a branding agency to help with strategy and development.

You, too, can use the brand key model to make a name for yourself and optimally address your target customer!


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