In all likelihood, a lot of other companies out there do something similar to what you do and likely sell similar products or services. So, if you had just 15 seconds to tell a potential customer what your brand is all about, you would want to prepare a statement that truly captures the essence of how you want your brand to be perceived.
Your brand identity and unique value propositions are what customers and prospects care about. By making the effort to summarize them in a brand positioning statement, you can ensure that you always have your company's differentiating values on the tip of your tongue.
What is a brand positioning statement?
Think of it simply as a concise statement that differentiates your brand from the competition. Sometimes referred to as a unique selling proposition – this statement informs your target market (customers, potential customers):
- What your brand does
- Who your target market is
- Your differentiating values
- The outcomes of those differentiating values
A positioning statement is different than a mission statement, which articulates the collective goal of an organization. Differences include:
- A positioning statement focuses on how customers perceive the organization and benefit from dealing with it instead of the competition.
- A mission statement is focused on the business's core purpose. It is more important to the employees so that everyone understands their function and how they fit in the big picture.
- A positioning statement tries to sell the features that differentiate them from competitors and make them the best in their industry
- A mission statement does not consider the competition and focuses solely on the organization's reason to exist.
- A positioning statement is rarely stated word for word to the public. Instead, the business uses marketing strategies and branding to communicate the essential elements of its positioning statement.
How to create a brand positioning statement
Start by brainstorming the answers to these four questions:
- What does your brand do?
- Who does it do it for (i.e., who is your target market)?
- What are its differentiating values?
- What are the outcomes of those differentiating values?
Then, turn those answers into a concise statement using language that reflects your brand personality. As you craft your statement, you also have to:
- Be succinct: Three or four memorable sentences are a lot more impactful than a lengthy declaration.
- Be clear: Keep it simple. No lengthy sentences or jargon language.
- Use your brand voice: Your style, tone, and diction should reflect your brand personality.
- Focus on the positives: This isn't a brand promise to alleviate pain points; it's a promise to add value.
It might take some work to get your positioning statement just right. But in the end, you should be left with concise information of your value proposition that is broad enough to guide many types of branding decisions you will make but specific enough to be unique to your organization.
Do you really need a brand positioning statement?
You don't necessarily need a brand position statement. But you do need a positioning strategy. And more importantly, your branding and brand story should factor into your marketing strategy and every piece of content you create.
While you don't absolutely need a tagline or a single, declarative paragraph that highlights your branding position, values, competitive advantage, and differentiator(s) as a company must be abundantly clear on your website and implicitly conveyed in your messaging.
To keep that messaging consistent across all channels, you'll almost certainly need internal-facing documentation and branding guidelines that inform your marketing materials. But again, if you can extract those values into a statement, articulating your brand identity will be easier.
The bottom line: Brand positioning is a practice, not a statement. We all know that saying something doesn't necessarily make it so. The same holds true for your brand positioning statement. Your brand personality is not achieved through a three-sentence declaration; it's achieved through a sustained effort to be a brand that repeatedly demonstrates its values for its audiences, employees, and customers.
Are you looking for a partner with the experience, knowledge, and talent required to help your brand stand out in your market? Our brand strategy consultants have helped dozens of successful companies, and we would be delighted to hear about your business and your goals. Interested in learning more? Contact us to get started!