The one thing that transformed Oatly from unknown start-up to multi-billion dollar industry leader?

Brand positioning.

But most companies never take advantage of this superpower

Here’s how you can leverage positioning to rule your category


Oatly was founded in 1993.

A business totally based on the science of turning oats into milk that had enough nutritional value to replace cow’s milk.


Very cool.

But that was it.

The rebrand

It wasn’t until they repositioned the business in 2014 that celebrities like Jay-Z and Oprah started investing and the business because the billion-dollar market leader that it is today.

How did they pull off such an outrageous rebrand?

They started from first principles.


Instead of letting the product, features and science lead the brand.

They started from scratch.

They spoke to customers to really understand what they cared about.

What is important in their life?

What did they value?


The internal brand

They then looked at their emotional connection with the product and why they were making it

We call this the internal brand.

What are you doing?

Why are you doing it?

Why does it matter?


Once they had put aside the technical detail about how the product was made it was clear why they were making it.

For the planet.

For people.

They believe that their product makes people healthier without damaging the planet.

This is a powerful purpose.

So they led the brand with this.


Aligning their purpose with the values of their customers allowed them to be authentic.

Authenticity breeds trust.

This could then be translated into a new visual identity and new messaging.

Both of which built upon their new brand strategy.


Great businesses signify more than the product to the fan, they are a way of life with a resonating philosophy.

And this is what Oatly tapped into when they rebranded.

As a result, they are now a billion-dollar brand leading their industry.


In Summary

The best positioning strategies will focus on the customer and the emotional connection to the product

• What are your customer’s values?
• Why are you doing what you do?
• Align your purpose to their values and lead with it