Positioning statements encompass the essential and distinctive characteristics or qualities of a brand or product. These statements are typically internal documents used to direct all major decisions about the marketing, production, and operations of a business. A good brand positioning statement has all the starting information needed to bring focus and clarity to a marketing strategy. In fact, all decisions made about the brand should be weighed according to how well it supports the positioning statement.
Tactics on Writing a Superb Brand Positioning Statement
So what’s a positioning statement? Positioning statements clarify what the brand does, what the benefits are, and who it’s targeting in a short, concise explanation. Positioning refers to where your brand fits into your customer’s mindset, and the qualities of your brand that make it unique. Brands can be positioned differently depending on your product. The tag lines used in the following examples are external statements inspired from popular brands that succinctly demonstrate the four approaches to positioning strategies:
A product benefit strategy distinguishes it from the competition in some way. The brand positioning statement of the Dollar Shave Club, for instance, incorporates the two most important benefits of the brand: convenience and cost. From that comes the well-known tag line, “Shave Time, Shave Money.” Another example is the positioning statement of BMW, which was directed at baby boomers, who were college graduates, making money, and looking to buy a performance vehicle that was exhilarating to drive. According to BMW, what makes them unique is that they produce, “The Ultimate Driving Machine.”
Product and User
Another way to position a brand is to accentuate what the product does for the consumer. This product is unique because it offers specific benefits to the customer. An example of this type of positioning is L’Oreal, a business that produces makeup designed to make women feel beautiful. The reason why women choose L’Oreal over other brands is “Because Your Worth It.”
Business Operations that Set It Apart
Brands can be positioned because their business operations set them apart from their competitors. For example, State Farm developed a positioning statement emphasizing its goal of putting community values first and being there when you need them. “Like a Good Neighbor,” is a tag line that worked, and differentiated State Farm from the large, bureaucratic offices of many insurance companies.
Product Positioning Against a Competitor
One of the best examples of a brand positioning strategy aimed at a competitor is Avis, distinguishing itself from Hertz. The following is Avis’s brand positioning statement:
“Avis Car Rental is for business travelers who want express business services from a car rental company that eliminates wait times caused by leisure travelers. Unlike Hertz, Avis Car Rental is the only brand offering express business services because we are focused on meeting the needs of business travelers worldwide.” Tag lines including “Shorter Wait Times” and “We’re No. 2, So We Try Harder” both contain the essence of the positioning statement, different and better than Hertz.
Basic Template for Writing a Positioning Statement
Positioning statements generally contain four sections. A basic template would consist of:
For: [Target Audience – who are you targeting?]
Insert: [Brand name] provides [Point of Differentiation/Benefit] among all other [category or industry in which you are competing] by [Compelling evidence or reasons that your brand will deliver on its promises.]
Positioning statements put it all together for successful marketing efforts. It’s the process of creating and communicating that makes your product unique. A strong brand positioning strategy anchors the brand in the customer’s mind, as something better, needed, or beneficial.