Engineering of modern embedded systems requires complex technical, managerial and operational processes. To cope with the complexity, modeling is a commonly used approach in the embedded software industry. The modeling approaches in embedded software vary since the characteristics of modeling such as purpose, medium type and life cycle phase differ among systems and industrial sectors. The objective of this paper is to detail the use of a characterization model MAPforES ("Modeling Approach Patterns for Embedded Software"). This paper presents the results of applying MAPforES in multiple case studies. The applications are performed in three sectors of the embedded software industry: defense and aerospace, automotive and transportation, and consumer electronics. A series of both structured and semi-structured interviews with 35 embedded software professionals were conducted as part of the case studies. The characterization model was successfully applied to these cases. The results show that identifying individual patterns provides insight for improving both individual behavior and the behavior of projects and organizations.