Embedded in this enquiry is an exciting new kind of a branding technique. A fresh term coined. But before we get to the core of the discussion, let’s first get the ABCs right. In a quintessentially-traditional branding ethos, organisations naturally lean towards building their product expansion and marketing plans before working on their market positioning.

Brand positioning calls for intensive brain storming sessions to kick-start a thought process on what is the core proposition of a brand. Undeniably it’s a strategy that starts from outside and moves inward.  In this exercise the first focus is the market and the next, the brand.

“The tactic has so far paid off for a lot of iconic brands and should work for yours too,” observes Serkan Ferah in Build Adaptive Marketing Strategies with the Psychographic Branding Method in Brandingmag. It fails only when:

  • The company pays no attention to potential consumer behaviour and their psychological frame of mind
  • When a company takes the concept of uniform consistency too seriously and creates barriers to brand access making it appear that the brand is only accessible to the classes and not the masses. That unfortunately limits the scope of the brand.

In both cases, the missing link is a strong consumer focus. This is equal to hara-kiri in the highly demanding, consumerist world that we live in today, where every little gesture must directly favour the customer. Adaptive marketing is the buzzword for this kind of a market scenario. Brands NEED to establish a more “bespoke” relationship with their consumers or they will perish.

Additionally, brands have to remain ground on factual, informative feedback received from numerous data networks. Only then can brands adapt themselves to customer demands and send out the right message at the right time. It goes for both products and services if the idea is to log in high sales volume and in turn demand sustained loyalty and a rising growth chart. How do you achieve all this and more?

The answer is with psychographic branding.

What is psychographic branding?

A more internal procedure, psychometrics is used to predict how consumers with diverse personalities and buying behaviour relate to a brand and its specific product/service. With psychographic branding, one can generate a blend of personalized mini-messages built on universal personality types. This of course, brings the marketing strategy several steps closer to the consumer and connects with him/her on a personal, intimate level.

The marketing blue prints till date have mostly looked into the how, when, who and what to market. Psychographic branding tool asks both the Who? And the Why? questions. However it has to be done with zero breach of privacy, while enabling brands to micro-target clustered segments according to general/segmented personality types. Call it “mass bespoke marketing,” which is a far cry from – ‘one standard for all audience’.

Phew!! ‘Market Segmentation’ has come a long way since 1956 when the phrase was first coined by Wendell R. Smith, an academic and a marketer. He was the first to propose segmentation of consumers by demographics, age, gender etc. for targeted marketing. These days, every branding agency in India worth its salt swears by this technique that implies zero wastage of effort. Mac Kinsey & Company notes that brands that employ behavioural insights surpass competition by 86% in sales progress and 25% in gross limits.

At Think Lemonad  we have been using psychological marketing since ad infinitum with encouraging outcomes.

Recommended: Brand color psychology – The art of choosing brand colors

How to use psychographic branding?

The application is a two-stage modus operandi.


What I mean to you!

Lay your foundations on truth that what is the importance of your brand in the lives of the consumers. First recognize what value you are transferring to your consumer through your product/service? The ideal meaning of a brand from the customer viewpoint is ‘what you got for them!’ The logos, the brand story, even the product and other forms are only a representation of your brand. The ‘worth you add to their life’ is however a different ball game altogether. You, as a company must know “why” the consumer is buying your products or services. This would reflect their psychological orientation to your brand. Explain it to them, how they should “see, hear, feel, touch and experience” your brand. For instance, if you are an outlet that deals in organic food items at a rational price your brand proposition could be “Go Organic … Pay Reasonable”

Stage# 2

For your ears only!

Communicate with them in a ‘language’ they can comprehend, effortlessly. Find out if different consumer sets relate to your brand differently and why? In what manner does your brand influences them? Search for answers from different groups, maybe Facebook, LinkedIn groups. It will help your understand your consumer better and you can accordingly, tailor your message to each consumer set. Trust + connect – those are the two values you need to build your relationship on.

According to psychometric tool DISC, there are –

16 universal personality types, of which four are primary and 12 are a combination of these four. Following is a brief discussion of these four personality variants.


These consumers are not interested in the method. They are only concerned about the results before pronouncing the final verdict. Take the shortest direct approach to find your way into the hearts of these consumers. Pay attention to a few, concrete features of your product/service. That should be your game plan. No long-winding stories. The communication mantra to adopt is – ‘Crisp Content’ ‘Direct Communication’.


They are die-hard dreamers. They get super excited by futuristic visions promised in an affirmative environment. The fear card will not work here. Any negative note could entirely damage your chances with them. Paint a bigger picture for them stating how your product/service will help them grow bid in life. They will buy a premium priced product if you tell them it will take them up the social ladder. The mantra here is – ‘Happy Future’ ‘Go Visual.’


The thoughtful crowd. The steady group will have a systematic and logical action sequence. They are in search of support, consistency and loyalty. To reach out, your communication strategy must be empathetic and friendly. Be gently sensitive. Do not use overpoweringly strong language. Bridge faith through earnest meaningful dialogues. This audience can be a huge part of a brand’s loyal brigade. The mantra – ‘Subtle Words’ ‘Sensitive Vibe’

Recommended: Using simple narratives to build powerful brands


They are hesitant and a doubtful set of people, who get easily attracted to actualities and statistics. They appreciate lengthy, exhaustive studies and stay away from small talk. Feed them with maximum informative material and a breather to look over and examine the same. These people can promptly change their minds. There are lesser odds to which your brand can impact them by intruding into their course of decision-making. They like the safety and security; feed them timely assurances and proofs on the declarations and claims your brand has been making but make sure those are really substantial. Comforting messaging with loads of factual data and realities. The mantra – ‘Indicative Numbers’ ‘Reality Check.’

Added Driver

Once the company knows which personality type, it is catering to; use suitable emotional triggers to stir and shake them. Especially in online advertisements this combination can be a boon for advertising. It could stimulate conversion rates. Here is the road map of top ten emotional drivers, culled from 9 Mind-Bending Ways to Use Psychographics in Your Marketing by Dan Shewan in Word Stream.

Let’s play!

The Dominant type can be driven by trigger of Interest.

For the Influencing it can be Happiness, Delight, Hope and Excitement.

The Steady ones will react to Joy and Affection.

The Calculating can also be won over by Interest but by different means.

As your shift through feedback received from every kind of customer, start building a data bank. It will make personality identification and futuristic goal-setting easier. Listing down of motives will complete this process of psychographic branding.

Lastly, customize your products/services to these psychographic profiles. You will soon discover lesser risks and higher returns from your marketing spend. Don’t engage with a bunch of anonymous listeners. Hello People!

What is psychographic branding?

Let this question linger on in your mind, until you take the stage #1 step.

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Beardo and ByJu’s – two names that have risen to great heights in a short while. How did they do this? They positioned their brand well. That is why they figure top on the list of our brand positioning examples –

What is brand positioning?

Positioning is the process of creating your brand identity in the minds of your audience. It differentiates your product, but it is neither your USP (Unique Selling Point), nor your brand identity. It is what your customers feel when they hear your brand name.

Think of it this way –

  • You want your brand to evoke a certain emotion.
  • You want to create a certain image in the minds of your consumer.
  • You present your brand the way you want your consumers to see it.

That’s positioning – and it’s not as easy as it sounds.

Let’s look at some brand positioning strategy examples –


Epigamia – from Drum Foods International – was just another ice cream brand until they began leveraging their lactose free element in yoghurt having realized that close to 70% Indians are allergic to lactose – a milk protein.

How did they do this?

Knowing that curd is an important part of the daily diet of most Indians, Drum Foods International positioned their flavoured curd as the Hero of Small Hunger – distinguishing their product from other yoghurt brands as whey free, lactose free, flavoured curd – as a healthy evening, ‘anytime’ snack.


The founders Valani and Shah discovered potential in the men’s grooming industry – an industry in which there were already big players like Proctor and Gamble – and decided to leverage their ecommerce site Aajkiitem to grab their share.

How did they do it?

The Beardo tagline – Anybody can grow a beard, but not everybody can be a Beardo–directly targets the millennial’s desire to look sleek and classy. Giving brick and mortar a pass, the founders decided to channel their marketing budget into online channels like social media and ecommerce – which added to the sense that Beardo is for the millennial and strengthened their positioning.

Recommended: 8 Powerful Global Branding Strategies to Emerge as an International Brand


Of all the brand positioning examples, ByJu’s stands out as the most significant because of its organic growth. Raveendran the owner of ByJu’s understood the perspective of both parents and students towards education. He decided to capitalize on his teaching skill.

How did he do it?

Following up on his belief that children learn best when they initiate the process, he positioned the ByJu’s app as a self-learning app that evoked an inclination to learn.The tag line Self Learning is the Best Learning underlines the sentiment behind the app. The rest as they say is history.


Unilever segments its target customer by age, gender, location, and many other demographics. Not so with Axe Deodorant, – which is targeted at all men.

How did they do it?

Axe positioned their product as a need for all men irrespective of age, social standing, work, location, or other demographics. They broke stereotypes – breaking their own tradition of segmentation and bundling all men into a single segment – thus leveraging their brand globally.


The origins of this new and huge brand, is no secret. Baba Ramdev had already gained the trust and followership of his viewers through his televised Yoga sessions and established Patanjali Yogpeeth – a place where Hindu culture, traditions, and norms were propagated along with herbal medicines and Yoga. The birth, growth and success of the FMCG was incidental – emerging from an already – perhaps unconsciously – established brand.

How did they do it?

Capitalizing on the popularity and followership of the Yoga Guru, Balakrishna – the current owner of the company – positioned Patanjali as a brand of trust; and that is what drove the success of Patanjali – challenging well-established industry giants like Dabur and Himalaya.

Recommended: What is psychographic branding? How to use it for your business?

Colgate and Close Up – Same Product different positioning

Ask any brand strategy agency and they’ll give you many examples of brand positioning. Let us look at two similar products – Colgate and Close Up.

Different variants of Colgate are positioned differently – for example, Colgate Sensitive Pro Relief is positioned as a pain reliever. Yet the brand itself is positioned as a trusted family brand at a premium price – and all their marketing collaterals are aligned to this central theme.

The Close Up “Make Your Move” tagline focuses on a healthy and bright smile, and fresh breath even when up close. The entire marketing strategy revolves around youth emanating freshness and liveliness.

Two contrasting strategies for the same product – toothpaste.

Positioning your brand matters. You could liken it to describing a beautiful landscape or a pretty butterfly and trying to evoke the right emotion in the minds of your listener. It has to be just so – the imagery captured in exact words – no redundancy.

Looking for a brand strategy agency? Come to Litmus Branding and let us help you create and position your brand.

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