I believe this could also be: "They used his/her brother as an example." Is that right?
Nope, there is no possessive in the original sentence.
With his/her the phrase would become "Usarono suo fratello come esempio", remember also that in this case the article goes away if you add "suo".
Well in that case "nostri" is implied and you have to guess it from the context, which is not hard in most of the cases... but the correct form would be "i nostri genitori".
I think what you are trying to say is that I was right. Since, in the sentence above and numerous others I've seen on Duo, all without context as usual, the definite article was used where a possessive pronoun would have been suitable in English.
If you read the comments on the link you'll see that "i nostri" was no more implied than "his brother" here. Ciao.
I see your point, I just wanted to say that, in my honest opinion, it's incorrect to translate "I genitori / I fratelli" with "our parents / our brothers" and the other way around.
In Italian, probably unlike in English, you may have sentences both with the possessive pronoun and without, with slightly different meanings.
"Ho paura che i genitori ci chiamino" can't be translated as "I'm afraid that OUR parents..." because, if it would be possible you could also translate with "I'm afraid that MY parents..." etc.
I hope I made myself clear enough. Cheers!
Please can someone tell me why I can't write com'esempio? (rather than come esempio)
As far as I know 'come' cannot be shortened. The only exception I can think of is: Com'è (How is).