Crafting the perfect positioning statement is considered by many to be one of the most important marketing tasks a company can undertake. Yet, many haven’t created their own.
Marc de Swaan Arons, writing for The Atlantic, emphasized the importance of the positioning statement for brands as far back as the ‘60s. Although times have changed since then, the need for a carefully constructed positioning statement is stronger than ever.
Read on to learn what this magic piece of the marketing puzzle is and how you can create yours.
What is a positioning statement?
If positioning is all about the way customers perceive your brand relative to others in the same industry, then what can be made of a positioning statement?
Succinctly, we can say that a positioning statement describes what your brand or one of its products does, why it does it, and who it does it for.
To expand on this so that you can craft your own, it helps to consider each part of the statement separately. Here are all of a compelling positioning statement’s most pivotal parts:
Your business’s audience is made up of both your current customers and potential new ones. Nailing down the definition of your primary customer base can make it a lot easier to put your positioning statement together. You can do this in several ways, including analyzing your current customers or even taking a peek at your competitors’ customers.
Once you have a general idea of who it is your company serves, you can add in demographics data to reveal a bit more about them. With your exact audience identified, you’ll have a much easier time determining what your positioning statement should highlight.
Identifying the needs your product is capable of satisfying is an integral part of crafting the perfect positioning statement.
As is the case when companies seek optimal product-market fit, sleuthing out unspoken needs involves asking the right people the right questions. Once you’ve identified your audience, you can categorize them by demographic and begin learning how your company could better satisfy them with timely surveys. The primary needs that your customers believe your product currently serves should be factored into your positioning statement.
Keep in mind that the needs your customers may have are not necessarily set in stone. As your understanding of your product and your customers grows in tandem with your business, you may find this facet of your positioning statement shifting in unexpected ways.
The advantages your product or service presents for customers should strongly influence your positioning statement. These form the basis of your business’s appeal to its audience and should be well understood both among your customers and within your organization.
When determining your company’s primary advantage for customers, start with the audience needs you’ve identified, then figure out how your business differs in its approach to satisfying those needs.
Your positioning statement’s advantages may also include details such as proof of social approval or quality signifiers, but these aren’t necessary to make it work.
What makes a positioning statement important?
Your brand’s positioning can make or break its success, especially in new markets. Your positioning statement expresses what your brand is all about in a simple, memorable way, allowing all members of your organization to understand its purpose and how it should be presented to prospective customers.
Putting thought into your positioning statement can pay off quite a bit later on, with positive ramifications for your marketing approach, competitive differentiation, and more. Best of all, your customers will be left with a long-term positive impression of your brand that could keep them coming back for years to come.
Tips for crafting your positioning statement
Consider your competitors
Have your competitors already worked out their positioning statement? If you’re wondering what competing brands might be planning, what their customers appreciate about them, and how your company can stand out as an attractive alternative, it might help to take a closer look at each competitor’s marketing material.
As you study your competitors, determine whether they’re upholding the promises they’ve made, and how your company compares from a potential customer’s point of view.
Keep it concise
Your positioning statement should be no longer than a few sentences. If you can condense it down to a single sentence, then do so. The simpler it is, the easier it is to understand, remember, and act on.
Follow a formula
Google’s head of marketing and communications, Christopher Escher, hit on a powerful approach to crafting a positioning statement that’s well worth a try. It’s a simple formula you can fill in with information about your brand, competitors, and customers you’ve gathered so far.
Escher’s formula is as follows:
- For (target customer)
- Who (statement of need or opportunity),
- (Product name) is a (product category)
- That (statement of key benefit).
- Unlike (competing alternative)
- (Product name) (statement of primary differentiation)
Here is a practical example of the above formula as a company like Apple might apply it for their Macbook laptops:
For sophisticated business users who need a dependable, yet portable device, the Macbook Pro is a laptop that delivers reliable performance. Unlike PCs, the Macbook Pro is designed for professional use and durability.
Your product’s strengths should be consolidated into as few points as possible when attempting the above to make the most of this method.
Your positioning statement defines your business
Crafting a killer positioning statement helps to make sense of your brand and your plans for its long-term development. For information on how VeryCreatives can partner with you to develop digital products that fit your brand’s positioning, book a call today.