It’s a tiny thing. One or two sentences at the most. Often quite simplistic. This is your brand positioning statement. But like a keystone in masonry, sometimes small things are required to support the weight of everything else.
A brand positioning statement is crucial to cohesive marketing. They’re used for both internal and external communication. But what exactly is it?
As the name suggests, it places your brand amongst the competition for your target’s loyalty and dollars. Where do you fall in that spectrum? How do you measure up, and who are you targeting? It essentially boils everything – targets, benefits, pain points, value propositions, industry – down to a single (or in some cases, two) sentence. It distills all that information to a straightforward statement that’s easy to understand, and guides the rest of what you do to identify and connect with your prospects.
What Is a Brand Positioning Statement?
There’s no set formula, but
How you express those ideas is where some freedom and play enters the equation, but if you love a good template, author Geoffrey Moore offers the following in his book “Crossing the Chasm”:
For (target customer) who (statement of the need or opportunity), the (product name) is a (product category) that (statement of key benefit, the most compelling reason to buy). Unlike (primary competition), our product (statement of primary differentiation).
You may want to get more creative than that, but a well thought out and conceived positioning statement can emerge from that basic structure. It does require time and effort, though. As the foundation of your marketing plan, it’s not something you want to throw together haphazardly. Everyone from sales to marketing is going to look to it for guidance in all that they do, so you’d better be certain that it speaks to your product or service. It should provide clarity and focus above all else.
Got It. Now What?
Once you’ve drafted your statement, it’s time to test it out and ask a few questions:
- Is it believable? Is it credible?
- Is it clear and specific?
- Does it speak to and focus on your target market (their wants, needs, desires)?
- Does it differentiate you from the competition?
- Can it guide your brand decision making?
- Does it simplify your product and all that it has to offer?
- Does it eliminate all confusion about what, who, why, and how?
A good brand positioning statement can answer “yes” for most of these. A great one can do the same for all of them. Aim for great.
Your positioning statement needs to answer questions about how you want to be seen and by whom. If it does that, it’ll guide the decision makers in your business. It’ll bring cohesiveness to your message. It’s easily digested by your team and your prospects.
A great one is simple, yes, but jam packed with all the crucial information that everyone – marketers, salespeople, customer service reps, prospects, customers, media, managers – needs to know. It’s short enough to allow for easy tweaking and adjusting, but long enough to present the “need to know” facts.
Evolution is Allowed
Nothing is forever, and your brand positioning statement may evolve over time. As your competition, or target, or product itself change, so too must your statement. Just try not to re-evaluate too frequently. As your guide, you want to stick with it for a while, to see where it leads you. You wouldn’t ditch your tour guide five minutes into a three hour hike through the forest. Let him or her get you safely to where you want to go. And let your brand positioning statement do the same.
Consistency in your message will allow more customers – new and existing – to connect with and trust what you are saying. Need help getting started? Contact our Exhale branding team for a brand audit and strategy session.