How to Write a Brand Positioning Statement + Examples to Steal
In any industry and market, you always need to make yourself stand out. There is always a lot of competition and you need to appear as a powerful and unique brand.
A brand positioning statement is what provides that. It is the foundation to your marketing, and it informs every decision from the services you offer to your advertisement campaigns.
Your brand positioning statement will show what you aspire to become in your industry and guide your creative asset. And it will be your key to success.
Whether if you already have one, or if you are just forming a positioning statement; this article is everything you need to constitute your distinctive and strong brand positioning statement.
What is a Brand Positioning Statement?
A brand positioning statement is simply who you are as a brand. It explains what you do, your targets, and what you promise to customers.
Not a lot of people tend to go places they aren't familiar with unless they have a map. Your brand positioning serves as the guiding map your customers need when they first associate with your brand.
It is a short statement that is not complicated. It shows all of your distinguishing aspects and will make you stand out among others in your industry.
However, it requires a good amount of brainstorming and planning. A brand positioning statement isn't something you can just put together in a few hours.
You need a full comprehension of your industry and where you stand as a brand. It should be a guidance for all your future creative actions and marketing decisions.
What are the types of positioning?
There are three main types of positioning:
Functional positioning provides value to customers, helps them understand the product, and aims to solve their pain points or it helps getting favorable perception from stakeholders.
Symbolic positioning allows businesses with self-image enhancement, creates belongingness & customer loyalty, and social meaningfulness.
- Experiential Position
Lastly, experiential position helps with sensory and cognitive stimulation.
What are the 5 common positioning strategies?
Your brand positioning statement is mostly about what you want to highlight as a brand. It is focused around your unique offerings and properties you're assertive about.
There are five common strategies which businesses base their brand positioning on.
1. Positioning Based on Product Characteristics
With this strategy, you base your positioning statement on a certain feature of your products that is beneficial to your customers.
The automobile industry is a good example for this. Porsche relies on "performance" while Volvo relies on "safety." Each brand's position is their unique product property.
2. Positioning Based on Price
When brands base their positioning on price, they usually try to prove that they have the lowest prices.
This strategy is especially popular amongst supermarket chains. They target price-sensitive customers, who will go for the cheapest option in the market.
This strategy is also used by brands if they find a price gap in their market. Being the only option at a certain price range can become an advantage with sales.
3. Positioning Based on Quality or Luxury
Although prices and high-quality are almost always aligned, positioning based on quality and positioning based on price are two completely different strategies.
Brands that follow positioning bases on quality or luxury, often don't mention their prices. They want to be seen with how durable and good quality their products are, not how expensive.
4. Positioning Based on Product Use or Application
Some products are engineered for specific customer use and brands tend use that as their positioning.
For example, most meal-replacement products (protein shakes, low-calorie bars) are made to be consumer quickly and for people with certain diet goals. Most brands with these products use how filling their product is, or how much energy it gives as their position.
5. Positioning Based on Competition
Brands evaluate their marketplace and competitors closely and use it as the baseline for their position statement.
They might underline they differ from other brands in their industry to show that they are unique.
Or, they might offer similar products to a brand with a large market share and try to convert some of their customers.
What makes a good brand positioning?
Your main goal with your brand positioning statement is to identify your brand's uniqueness. You need to own your brand and highlight what makes you different from competitors.
Here are some best practices that will strengthen your brand positioning:
- Present your vision with aspiration. This is a great way to ensure that you are growing as brand and also that you have a brand positioning with longevity. Your positioning statement won't be so temporary and apply to your brand now and in the future when you evolve into your aspirations.
- Make space for stories and experiences. Brand positioning is very personal, and there is nothing more personal that what you have been through. It is your story and it is unique. Don't be shy to put it out there because it differentiates you and makes you stand out.
- Be different, not complicated. Once again, differentiation is the main goal. However, it shouldn't make your brand positioning statement turn into a mess of words. Avoid using jargon, complex themes, and hard words just to be different. Instead, focus on what you already have as a brand that makes you special.
- Extend your audience. If you want to grow, it is not likely that you plan to stay as a local brand. Address to a global or larger community with your positioning and consider aa wider perspective.
- Keep the balance. You don't want your positioning statement to be mushy, but you don't want it to be heartless as well. Find the balance between emotional and functional differentiators in your brand positioning.
- Completely own at least one point in your statement. Especially in some industries it is really hard to be a fully unique brand, but you should have at least one point that's only yours. This will not only make you stand out but also help you stand firmly.
- Be adjustable to all forms of media. Whether if you are arranging an outdoors activity, creating a TV commercial, giving online ads, or featuring at a hard-copy press; your brand positioning should be able to modify.
How to Write Your Brand Positioning Statement
Writing a brand positioning statement from scratch, or even just improving your old one can be a really hard process. Especially because it needs a lot of profound thinking.
You need to sit down as a team and really spend time on thinking about your brand and your values. The more insight and understanding you have of your industry, audience and goals; the better positioning statement you write.
Here is a seven-step plan that will help you through the challenging process of forming a brand positioning statement:
1. Digest where you come from, where you are, and where you're headed
Understanding your past, present, and future is the key to writing a successful brand positioning statement. The awareness you have about your industry and yourself as a brand, will construct the base to your brand positioning.
Acknowledge the history of your industry. Whether you work in a very old and rooted one, a newly forming one, or a small niche industry; know where you come from.
Each industry has its very own and unique history. Learning yours, will let you understand your customers' perception of and expectations from your industry.
Be well aware of what has happened in your industry so far, so that you know the guidelines which will impact your future marketing team's decisions.
Realize where you currently are. Stop, and look back at your brand. Analyze your progress, your standing and values."
If you don't know where you stand as brand in your market and industry, you cannot express yourself properly with a brand positioning statement.
Identify where you are, what your customers think of you, and what your values are.
Determine where you're headed. Once you know who you are and where you stand, decide on what you want to become and where you want to go to.
Work on your short and long-term goals and targets. Where do you see your brand in the future? Where do you aim to be in your industry? What do you wish to deliver to your customers?
Then, decide how you will get there. Define your strategies that will lead to your targets.
2. Identify your market
Regardless of the size of your market you should be able to identify each of its aspects —from the sellers to the buyers.
You need to become familiar with your market. You want to know who you are going to be selling to and where you will be selling. Know where your products and category is popular.
Find out about your competition. Who is currently dominant in your industry market? Who influences the audience the most?
Being able able to correctly analyze and identify your competitors will help you stand out amongst them. See how you differentiate from them. What makes the audience come to your brand instead of others in the market?
3. Identify your target audience
Who you will be selling to is at least as important as where you will be selling. Your target audience —the group of people you want to reach with your service and products— is a keypoint for your positioning statement, as well as your sales in general.
You need to know who you're working with. Focus your attention to your potential buyers' wants and needs. A really good way of doing this is creating a buyer persona that will help you better comprehend the audience.
Identify the customer pains. Find out what most people struggle with in your market. Look at your competition and what they are offering. See if your the audience is still experiencing issues and what they might be.
4. Determine your brand promise
Your brand promise is the main service you mean to offer your customers and how they will benefit from it. It is what your target audience will gain by becoming one of your company's clients.
While constructing your brand promise you need to go back and think deeper on the customer pains you have identified in the previous step. What are the ways you can tend to those issues your audience is facing?
Make sure that your promise will benefit the customers in a way they haven't experienced before. Let it be unique to your brand. It should solve their problem efficiently and make your brand stand out.
5. Determine how and why you will deliver this promise
You always need to backup your claims. Whatever your brand promise is, you should show evidence that you actually will deliver that promise.
You should show your target audience the reason why you will be providing them all the benefits you promise and how you will be achieving this.
What is your unique way of conveying your solution methods? How is it granting success? Prove them that you have trustworthy methods of your own that guarantees them the key benefits you promise.
6. Put it all together
This is the finalizing, yet perhaps the easiest step of forming a comprehensive brand positioning statement. We will be putting all of our brainstorming and profound thinking together.
There are many formats you can collect all the ideas together, and here is an example formula you can use:
"[Brand name] is a [market] brand that offers [target audience] who face [the customer pains] achieve [brand promise] by [unique solution methods/evidence]."
You may choose to gather all elements of brand positioning exactly like this or with some changes, but in the end you should come up with a statement that sums up all of your brand's unique aspects.
Be careful not to form a long positioning statement that people will get lost in. Remember we want this to be a consulting map for the customers, so make sure that you keep it short and simple.
7. Work until it is perfect
The first draft you make is probably not going to end up becoming your brand positioning statement. It will be something close to that, but it is really hard to reach perfect on your first try.
You should go over your positioning statement to find what doesn't look right. Read it over and over, see if there is anything more to add, or things to take out.
Think back to the purpose of a brand positioning statement and see if yours successfully cover all of that. Ask yourself these questions about your positioning statement to guide you:
- Is it unique? Does it help you differentiate?
- Is it simple, easily understandable, and memorable?
- Is it directed straight at your target audience? Does it motivate them?
- Is it strong enough to stand up to your competitors?
- Does it allow room for change and improvement in the future?
Answer these questions and work on perfecting your brand positioning statement. Make sure that in the end you come up with a statement that is true to your brand and something that you can own.
Some things to keep in mind
This seven-step guide gives you everything you need to form your brand positioning statement. But there are still a few things that you need to keep in mind all throughout the process to make your positioning statement the best possible.
- Reflect your personality. This statement tells everyone who you are and what you do. So, it should truly reflect your personality and identity. It should be sincere and honest.
- Make it catchy and powerful. Your positioning statement is how you express yourself to the core audience and the rest of the market. It should make you appear as a strong brand and it should make a place in people's minds.
- Let it become a guideline for your future marketing decisions. This is the statement that tells everything about your brand. It should be true to you, but you should be true to it as well. This means that your brand positioning statement should be guiding your future decisions. Whatever you do as a brand should support your positioning and not contradict with it.
Examples Of Brand Positioning Statement
So far, we have covered what a brand positioning statement is and how you can form yours. Let's see it in a few examples to let the idea of a good positioning statement become more tangible.
Coca-Cola Brand Positioning Statement
Let's start off with a very widely known brand. You have most likely seen many Coca-Cola ads and are familiar with its marketing slogans and catchy phrases.
Here is what Coca-Cola's brand positioning statement looks like:
"For individuals looking for high-quality beverages, Coca-Cola offers a wide range of the most refreshing options — each creates a positive experience for customers when they enjoy a Coca-Cola brand drink. Unlike other beverage options, Coca-Cola products inspire happiness and make a positive difference in customers' lives, and the brand is intensely focused on the needs of consumers and customers."
Amazon Brand Positioning Statement
Amazon, yet another well-known brand, is one of the most successful e-commerce websites. This is what their positioning statement looks like:
"For consumers who want to purchase a wide range of products online with quick delivery, Amazon provides a one-stop online shopping site. Amazon sets itself apart from other online retailers with its customer obsession, passion for innovation, and commitment to operational excellence."
Beautycounter Brand Positioning Statement
Beautycounter is a cosmetics brand that promises safe beauty products. Here is how they express themselves with a brand positioning statement:
Image via Beautycounter
"One by one, we are leading a movement to a future where all beauty is clean beauty. We are powered by people, and our collective mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone. Formulate, advocate, and educate—that’s our motto for creating products that truly perform while holding ourselves to unparalleled standards of safety. Why? It’s really this simple: beauty should be good for you."
Walt Disney World Brand Positioning Statement
Walt Disney World has managed to brand itself so well, that it doesn't even need to do it anymore. Every one of their marketing decisions connect back to their positioning statement.
Image via Walt Disney World
Here is how that looks like:
"For the young and young-at-heart, Walt Disney World is the theme park that best delivers on an immersive and magical experience because Walt Disney World, and only Walt Disney World, connects you to the characters and worlds you most desire."
McDonald's Brand Positioning Statement
McDonald's has been around for so long an has worked with a strong brand positioning statement that led them to success.
Image via McDonald's
"For individuals looking for a quick-service restaurant with an exceptional customer experience, McDonald's is a leader in the fast food industry, with its friendly service and consistency across thousands of convenient locations. McDonald's' dedication to improving operations and customer satisfaction sets it apart from other fast food restaurants."
You need a brand positioning statement to properly express your brand, ideals, and benefits your offer. It is a distinctive statement that sets you apart from others in your market and guides your company's creative marketing choices.
It is super important if you want to be differentiated and become prominent. It is a consulting map for people telling who you are, what you do, what you offer, and how you deliver them.
Constituting a brand positioning statement can be hard since it needs a lot of time, effort, and thinking. You need insight and understanding of your industry and yourself as a brand.
A seven-step plan that will help you achieve that:
- Digest where you come from, where you are, and where you're headed
- Identify your market
- Identify your target audience
- Determine your brand promise
- Determine how and why you will deliver this promise
- Put it all together
- Work until it is perfect
Follow this plan which is guiding you through the process of forming a powerful brand positioning statement. Keep in mind that a brand positioning should be reflecting your brand's personality, should be unique, and will become a guiding force for your marketing decisions.
How much time should I spend on forming a brand positioning statement?
As I have said before, a positioning statement is not something to throw together quickly. It requires a lot of insight and profound thinking. You might want to gather a team from your company and spend a few days on brainstorming and figuring out the elements of a brand positioning statement. It is also very personal, so how long this process will take changes a lot from brand to brand. The key is not to rush it.
Can I reposition my brand later?
Of course. It is not a rock solid statement that you are stuck with forever. You can always work on it and improve it. However if you are starting from scratch make sure that the positioning statement you form is something that you can stick to through the course of your brand's life. The statement you make should allow room for improvement, but also be something that you can adhere to.
Why is brand positioning statement so important for differentiation?
Marketing has become an area where nearly everything has been done more than many times. It is really hard to find ways to bring your brand forward. Your brand positioning statement is something that is solely yours. So, regardless of your marketing strategies it will make you stand out because it is your **very own and unique expression of your brand.
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