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What Is a Positioning Statement?
A positioning statement, or brand positioning statement, is a concise and evocative description issued by a company or small business that identifies its target market and the elements that make it stand out from the competition. A positioning statement is an internal tool that should serve as a template for a company’s marketing efforts. Unlike mission statements, positioning statements do not outline the company’s vision or goal; they provide a strong, clear message to consumers, outlining any differentiators, detailing the brand identity, and offering a frame of reference.
What Are the Core Elements in a Positioning Statement?
Several core elements define an effective positioning statement:
- Brand identity: Brand identity is the voice, face, and identity of your business. It can include your brand name, a tagline, a logo, or any positive visual element that identifies your value proposition, along with the elements that set your brand apart from competitors in your target market. Delivering a clear and concise brand identity will spark immediate identification of your value proposition with customers and deliver on your brand promise, or what they can expect from your product and company.
- Target market: Your target market is the section of the broader marketing segment to which your product is intended. Target markets are composed of both retailers and customers, or the target audience. Understanding their demographics—age, gender, income, location—their pain points (the specific problems they face), and how your brand addresses and solves them is an essential component of a strategic positioning statement.
- Frame of reference: Frame of reference (FOR) refers to how your target market perceives your brand. Once you’ve identified your brand’s FOR, you can focus on the differentiators, which are the elements that establish your brand as a positive and valuable alternative to your competitors.
- Differentiator: A differentiator is a quality that sets your brand apart from your market competition. You’ll need to decide what differentiates your service or product from others like it and gives you the competitive advantage in your market segment. Your brand’s points of differentiation should be accurate, provable, and valuable to your target customers.
4 Tips for Crafting a Positioning Statement
You can effectively craft a positioning statement by applying some simple and direct methods:
- Keep it short and simple. Your positioning statement should be able to deliver your brand identity and its frame of reference in simple, clear, and direct terms that are fresh and memorable for the target audience.
- Deliver your differentiators. Your target audience should immediately understand what sets your new product apart from your competition.
- Be honest. Give your target audience a reason to believe in your brand, be credible in your brand promise, and make sure your product can live up to it.
- Use it to make adjustments. When crafting a position statement, note whether its contents align with your messaging and marketing strategy, then make the necessary adjustments.
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