Your positioning affects your market perception as well as every facet of your branding. It affects everything your company shares with your target market regarding your brand and product. Effective positioning also has a significant positive impact on your internal teams: it enables sales representatives, marketers, and service and support teams to provide consumers with more enjoyable and consistent experiences.
Every piece of material you create, whether it be for your company website, Twitter page, or advertisement, should convey your brand and fundamental values. A positioning statement can help you do this.
A positioning statement is a succinct synopsis of a good or service that explains how it addresses a specific need of the intended customer base. A positioning statement seeks to match a company’s brand and value proposition with its marketing initiatives.
Internal tools called positioning statements assist marketers in making appropriate appeals to their buyer personas. They give your brand a distinct vision, which makes them essential to any positioning plan.
It is crucial to have a precise and succinct positioning statement so that prospective customers may quickly grasp your company’s offerings. Without having to purchase the product first, customers want to know how your mission and product set you apart from the competition.
The purpose of a positioning statement is to convey a brand’s value proposition to its ideal customers. It also frames the brand’s identity, goals, and distinguishing features within the context of the buyer’s experience.
To craft your positioning statement, you’ll need to get clear on a few key facets of your business:
- Who you serve
- What value you offer
- How you position your offer
- Why you’re in business
- What makes you different from the competition
As the article previously stated, you need to have a solid grasp of your positioning overall before you can create a positioning statement. This includes outlining the essential components listed below:
- Target market
- Market category
- Customer pains
- Brand promise
- Brand identity and values
- Target Audience
Your target audience is the “who” aspect of your positioning. Simply defined, it’s the group of consumers you’re targeting with your product or services. They say that “the riches are in the niches.” This comes down to the idea that, even if anyone can use your product or service, you should still be targeting specific buyers to maintain integrity and differentiation within your brand.
One of the best ways to define a solid target audience is by creating a buyer persona — also known as your ideal customer.
- Product Positioning
Product positioning should lead with the product’s benefits rather than its features. A smart way to do this is to imagine your customer’s life before and after using your solution. Then, tell the story of what happens to them when they make that decision. That’s the benefit you’ll include in your product positioning.
- Market Category
A market includes buyers and sellers. A category defines a specific segment of that market. Market categories can be as broad as “grocery store” and as niche as “vegetarian health food store.” Market categories usually start out broad and get more niche as the businesses occupying that market expand their product and service offerings to the consumers in the market.
Whether your market category is developed or you’re part of an emerging or niche market, you’ll need to define who the buyers are in the space, where they’re searching for goods and services, and who has their attention. You’ll want to define what your competition offers and how you can position your brand apart from those competitors.
- Customer Pains
Customer pains are the problems or issues your target audience is experiencing that could be solved with products or services available in your market category. Your product or service should aim to address customer pains and offer a solution.
- Brand Promise
Your brand promise is ultimately what the target audience or buyer persona stands to gain from using your product or service. It’s what success looks like to them if their pain or problem is resolved.
- Brand Identity
Brand identity is the personality of your business and includes both visible factors (such as logo design) and invisible ones (such as values or voice). Brand identity is one aspect of strategic market positioning that will set you apart from competitors and help you gain recognition from your target audience.
Values guide how your business makes decisions within the context of your brand. They create the culture of your organization and leave a favorable impression on your target audience. They are the intangible methods with which you execute your mission and vision.
How to Write a Brand Positioning Statement
When writing and evaluating your positioning statement, keep the following tips in mind:
- 1. Create a vision board.
Positioning statements are written documents. Since they don’t include images, video, or other visuals, it can be challenging to communicate what your business is, who it serves, and why that matters in just a few sentences.
To bypass the initial blank page syndrome, create a vision board instead. This works because, in a recent study, researchers at Columbia University found that emotional response is linked to the visual characteristics of an image.
To leverage this response, look for images that represent your customers in the environment where they need your product or service the most. Notice the emotions in the images, who is around your ideal customer in the image, and what they’re doing in the image to solve the problem.
Read Also: Ultimate Guide to Personal Branding
Creating a vision board that represents your target audience when they need your product the most can help make your positioning statement come to life.
- 2. Make it brief.
Your brand’s positioning statement should be concise and to the point. Aim for no more than three to five sentences, if possible. The wordier that your statement gets, the less factual it becomes. It then risks becoming more aspirational than what your business is, with more elements that are more inflated than grounded in truth.
- 3. Make it unique and memorable.
This statement should be unique to your company and the problems you aim to solve. When crafting your positioning statement, be sure to emphasize the distinctive qualities of your brand.
Buyers should be able to see the special value that your business can offer or solve for. Many markets are already saturated with products or services that are similar to your offering, so your statement should be able to capture their attention against the noise.
- 4. Remain true to your business’s core values.
The positioning statement isn’t the time to get fancy and pitch a new angle for the business. Your brand’s positioning statement should accurately reflect the core values of your business.
Clear core values in your positioning statement also send messages to your internal team. They help new employees with better alignment. Besides letting consumers know your stances, core values help existing team members stay on the right track and continue to deliver on your brand’s promises.
- 5. Include what the brand delivers to consumers.
Your brand offering is a vital part of your positioning statement. It’s the main reason that customers are seeking you out, so when crafting your own, you need to cover these two bases:
- Who does your company serve?
- How does your company serve this group?
Succinctly state who your customers are and how you will help them in your positioning statement.
- 6. Differentiate your business from the competition.
An effective positioning statement should articulate what differentiates a brand from its competition. Highlight your company’s unique qualities and how those qualities help serve your customers. You can even consider a niche marketing strategy.
Does your brand have cause-related campaigns? Differentiate your brand by highlighting your goals to give back.
Does your brand serve a previously underrepresented target audience? Let them know clearly and proudly that you fill that gap. If you’re not sure how to separate your product offer from your competitors, these competitive analysis templates can help you out.
There are so many different ways to stand out against the crowd, you just have to survey your competitors and see how you do it better.
- 7. Keep it simple.
In almost any circumstance, your team should be able to align key business decisions with your brand’s positioning statement due to its simple and easy-to-understand nature.
The more complicated your statement becomes, the less convincing or engaging it will be. Make sure your business’ value and offering is unmistakable and buyers will understand and seek to learn more about it in their buyer’s journey.
- 8. Consult a colleague.
Once you’ve written your positioning statement, your eyes might deceive you. After spending several hours perfecting every word, you’ll think what you’ve written is wonderful, when in reality it’s full of jargon, acronyms, and features that aren’t clear to someone outside of your company.
Just because positioning statements aren’t public-facing doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be easy to understand. Investors, new hires, and external agencies who work closely with your businesses will need to use this document, too.
To jargon-proof your positioning statement, have a colleague who is unrelated to your business review the statement for you and give feedback. They’ll make meaningful observations that you may have overlooked.
Positioning Statement Template
For [your target market] who [target market need], [your brand name] provides [main benefit that differentiates your offering from competitors] because [reason why target market should believe your differentiation statement.]
The template above can be used to help you form a positioning statement for your startup or small business. Add the details of your target market, company, and the main points that make your product or service stand out from competitors.
Below are examples of positioning statements of well-known brands to give you a feel for how to create one for your business.
Coca-Cola Positioning Statement:
“For quality beverage seekers, Coca-Cola offers a wide range of the most refreshing options. Each creates a great experience for customers when they enjoy a Coca-Cola brand drink. Unlike other beverage options, Coca-Cola products inspire happiness and make a positive difference in customers’ lives, and the brand is intensely focused on the needs of consumers and customers.”
Why It Works:
While its product offering is literally beverages, Coca-Cola leads its positioning statement with the positive experience they want to offer. It appeals to people’s emotions, telling consumers they’re buying from a company that wants to better their lives — even with something as small as a cold drink.
- Connects with the target audience by focusing on beverage consumers looking for quality and satisfaction.
- Sells its product(s) in a unique way by focusing on positive impact and using phrases like “inspire happiness” and “make a positive difference.”
- Highlights core values with a focus on quality products and customer experience.
- Offers a clear and focused message that is easy to understand and highlights benefits without feeling salesy.
Apple Positioning Statement:
“For individuals who want the best personal computer or mobile device, Apple leads the technology industry with the most innovative products. Apple emphasizes technological research and advancement and takes an innovative approach to business best practices — it considers the impact our products and processes have on its customers and the planet.”
Why It Works:
This positioning statement for Apple appeals to people of all different backgrounds. It inspires them to expect quality products made with the intent to innovate in a way that helps people and the environment. It also gains prospects’ trust by emphasizing its industry authority.
- Connects with the target audience by aligning itself with people who want “the best.” It also emphasizes the brand’s leadership in the industry.
- Sells its product(s) in a unique way with emphasis on innovative approaches to research and technological advancement.
- Highlights core values by mentioning the customer and environmental impact its products and processes have.
- Offers a clear and focused message that quickly communicates the most important aspects of the brand and products.
Nike Positioning Statement:
“For athletes in need of high-quality, fashionable athletic wear, Nike offers customers top-performing sports apparel and shoes made of the highest quality materials. Its products are the most advanced in the athletic apparel industry because of Nike’s commitment to innovation and investment in the latest technologies.”
Why It Works:
This positioning statement for Nike clearly outlines its range of products to better serve athletes. It also uses inclusive language to define what an athlete is. By doing so, people who enjoy hobbies and professionals alike can derive value from its product line.
- Connects with the target audience by identifying who uses these products and what they need.
- Sells its product(s) in a unique way through emphasis on innovation and technology in athletic gear production.
- Highlights core values by combining how this brand differentiates itself with a diverse range of customer needs.
- Offers a clear and focused message that is straightforward and covers the most important qualities of its products.
Creating a strong positioning statement is more crucial than ever due to the competition on the internet. You may utilize it to engage your audience, highlight your business’s distinctive value, and stand out from the competition. By using the preceding advice, you can draft a positioning statement that lays out a precise plan for the expansion of your company.