Marketing Canvas - Positioning

In a nutshell

How to address your category will help you make choices and clarify how to stand out from the competition. Are you a leader (power player setting the standards), are you a challenger (playing the leader game but challenging it) or are you a game changer (redefining the game)? Can you leverage your positioning further (be more leader, challenger or game changer)? Not knowing this or answering no means that you need to revisit your current positioning for creating value

In the Marketing Canvas

In the Marketing Canvas, we have identified 6 main categories for building your Marketing Strategy: CUSTOMERS, BRAND, VALUE PROPOSITION, JOURNEY, CONVERSATION and METRICS. Each of these categories, have 4 dimensions which means that a total of 24 dimensions (6 by 4) are defining your Marketing Strategy.

POSITIONING is a one of the 4 dimensions of the BRAND category.

How do you use it?

In the Marketing Canvas Method, we believe that a Brand should have a clear positioning on the market. Other elements of your Marketing Strategy depend of this choice (like your Value Proposition or your conversations). Having the right positioning depends of the market situation (growth curve) of the category and your situation (new player, existing player, …).

If you enter a category/market, you could be a challenger (introduction, growth market) or a game changer (mature, decline market). If you are an existing player, you could reinforce your role of Leader, revisit how to be more challenger or disrupting the market (which is rarely working as most of the disruptors are coming from outside the market).

Your brand should have a clear positioning which could be:

  • Leader Brand (Power Player):  Choice of the Mass Consumers, even at risk of losing early brand lovers. Leaders are the dominant players. In many cases they are representative of the category. They have the biggest booth at the trade show and enjoy significant mind and market share. Ford, Gillette, and Nike are examples of Leadership brands.[1]

  • Challenger or Follower Brand: Turning leader’s strengths into weaknesses. They are typically recognized as an alternative to Leader brands based on a competitive advantage. They may be a lower cost alternative or address a specialty need. Rather than defining the category, they leverage differentiation. Hyundai, Norelco, and New Balance are examples of Follower brands.[1] Aldi is challenger brand as an example.

  • Game Changer or Disruptor Brand: Disruptor brands move into a blue ocean space, all by themselves. They use a new product, distribution channel, target market or price point. They are so different they appear to be the only brand that can satisfy the consumer’s changing needs. Tesla and Uber are disruptor brands.

Your positioning will have an influence on your VALUE PROPOSITION (features, emotions, pricing) and how you will go on the market (JOURNEY, CONVERSATION).


Is the POSITIONING of your Brand helping you achieve your goals? 


  1. DKY, 2016,

  2. Beloved Brands,

More on the Marketing Canvas

Marketing Canvas by Laurent Bouty

Marketing Canvas by Laurent Bouty