Writing a positioning statement
Learn how to write a positioning statement that can boost your brand and improve operations.
In just one or two sentences, a positioning statement specifies your target market and explains how your business serves that segment better than your competition.
"Your positioning statement won't resonate with everyone, and it shouldn't," says Brandi Starr, president and brand strategist of Cassius Blue Consulting. "It lets your ideal audience know that you are not only a solution to meet their specific needs, but the best solution — making your competitor's offer irrelevant."
In addition to introducing your business to customers, a positioning statement can guide your marketing strategy and communicate your brand to internal and external partners, such as new employees and potential investors.
How to write a positioning statement
Successful positioning statements should be concise and follow a formula. For example, look at one of Amazon's earliest positioning statements, and note the keywords we boldfaced:
"For World Wide Web users who enjoy books, Amazon.com is a retail bookseller that provides instant access to over 1.1 million books. Unlike traditional book retailers, Amazon.com provides a combination of extraordinary convenience, low prices, and comprehensive selection."1
While this example is specific to Amazon, many businesses follow this general formula. When writing a positioning statement, consider using these keywords and filling in the gaps with information about your business:
"For (define your target customer here) who (describe your target customers' needs or pain points here), (include your business name here) is a (identify your product or service category here) that (describe the key benefit of your product or service here). Unlike (identify your main competitors here), (include your business name here) provides (state the key difference between your product or service and your competitors’ here)."
Be flexible and adjust this template to fit your business, if needed, and maximize the power of your positioning statement by making it clear, specific, and credible.
The benefits of a positioning statement
Your business may offer many products or services and provide a variety of benefits to your customers, but it's helpful to distill your message into one simple statement.
A clear, concise positioning statement can help you:
Differentiate your business from the competition
Generate a targeted marketing strategy
Train salespeople to pitch customers effectively
Share your business's identity with new employees
After creating your statement, treat it like a living document. Make updates to your target market, competition, and brand promises as your company grows.
As long as you keep it current, your positioning statement can help you and your staff articulate your business's unique value in a way that's easy for customers and other partners to understand.2
1 "How to Write Market Positioning Statements." eCornell. (2014) http://blog.ecornell.com/how-to-write-market-positioning-statements/
2 "How to Create Strong Brand Positioning in Your Market." The Cult Branding Company. http://www.cultbranding.com/create-strong-brand-positioning-strategy/