Understanding Where You Stand – The Positioning Statement
Positioning Statement: For [target consumers], [brand/product name] is the [frame of reference] that [point of difference], because [reason to believe].
The positioning statement is the backbone of successful brand building. A well-written positioning statement doesn’t give you the chance to hide behind marketing jargon or hedge your bets. It’s an honest, straightforward statement of what your company is, what it does better than its competitors, and why.
To create a successful positioning statement you have to make choices — clear, yet excruciatingly painful choices. Those choices determine what is the most foundational and fundamental to the success of your brand or business, such as:
- Defining your bulls-eye target consumer
- The market segment or frame of reference you aim to own
- The one key point of difference that makes you unique amongst a sea of competitors
- The reason why any one of your many skeptical consumers should believe that your claim is actually credible and true
This requires deep insights, introspection, and the ability to persevere past a pitfall that successfully trapped many marketers: the “complication paradox”. It’s a belief that your business or brand is so complicated you can’t afford to choose who to target, where to compete, or how to win. In the end, this mental paralysis manifests itself with long wandering positioning statements full of broad terms to ensure no one is “excluded”. It feels safe, but in reality, it is anything but.
The positioning statement isn’t intended to encompass everyone you want to reach, every competitor you’ll face, or every attribute that makes you unique. Instead, it’s intended to focus on the ones that matter most. By gaining clarity on that, you can more easily make choices on where to invest your resources, which market segments to pursue, and what message you need to communicate. While no strategy is guaranteed to work, a sound positioning statement provides a clear battle plan and direction to cross the chasm between strategy and execution and drive growth for your business.
Stay tuned for future posts outlining how a successful brand positioning can evolve or change over time. That’s right…it’s not one and done. Things change and you have to, as well.