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Common Questions and Answers
Building an excellent product is great but not enough to sell. Businesses must know how to market their products and tell audiences why they should choose their brand.
Successful brands can differentiate their products and services from other competitors, in addition to occupying the mind space of their target market.
Your logo may be an essential visual element in representing your brand, but positioning is critical to connecting with your target audiences to develop brand recognition.
It’s the key driver behind the compelling and consistent messaging that will help you get your customers’ attention and drive sales.
Before you create messages for your audience, define what it is you want them to remember, and that’s where your positioning statement comes into play.
A positioning statement outlines how your product or service fills a consumer’s need in the market, which sets your business apart from the rest.
It describes the benefits and attributes that are unique to your brand and is also how you want your customers to perceive your business.
Unlike a mission statement or tagline, the positioning statement is only used as an internal tool among teams to align marketing efforts and brand communication.
This marketing positioning statement is never meant for public knowledge as it contains your brand’s differentiated value.
With all this talk about unique value and differentiation, it can be easy to confuse positioning statement and value proposition.
While both are key elements in a brand marketing strategy, both mean different things.
The value proposition describes the unique benefits or “value” that sets a product or service apart from competitors.
For example, longer durability, better tasting, or craftsmanship is the unique value proposition that a brand can offer depending on the industry.
Positioning statements use value propositions but paint a bigger picture of how the brand fits within an industry category. Apart from value, it identifies the primary customers, their pain points, and why someone needs your product or service.
By constructing a positioning statement, your company is developing a consistent brand positioning strategy that will help shape how your customers feel about you.
To help you better understand what a position statement is in marketing, let’s take a few minutes to go through a simple exercise.
If you are still unsure what the positioning in marketing your brand is, this positioning statement format can be a good starting point.
You need to identify three elements: target market, product’s value proposition, and how it can solve your customer’s pain point compared to your competitors.
Next, it’s just as simple as filling in the blank.
For reference, here is an example of a product positioning using Prime Hydration, a beverage company in the United Kingdom.
(description of your product or service)
(emotional benefit or promise)
(value proposition and reasons to believe )
– Naturally flavoured beverage with 10% coconut water
– Contains BCCA for muscle recovery
Once you complete the table, you should have a good idea about your brand’s positioning strategy — telling you how you can connect with the customer, speak to their problem, and exactly how your product or service is going to help them.
Writing a positioning statement involves a lot of research and mind work, but it can be drawn out into six simple steps:
Your target audience is the potential buyers looking for your product or service.
Having a clear picture of your buyer persona, including their age, gender, location, income, and interests, is important to help segment marketing efforts and positioning.
Next, discover your customers’ pain points. Understanding the problems your prospects are facing will let you start thinking about how to position your product or service as a potential solution.
Lead with empathy and talk to your customers to identify them.
Now imagine your customer’s experience after solving the problem. What do they feel, and what visual results can your product deliver?
This element is important to tailor your product pitch as the right solution and market it in an engaging and appealing way.
Every business has competition, and you need to know the top players to determine your brand position in the market.
When researching competitors, don’t stop with companies offering similar goods and services but also include companies targeting the same market audience with alternative solutions.
Crafting a positioning statement means creating an effective differentiation strategy.
Because it is only when standing out from your competitors that it becomes easy to get a foothold in the mind space of your target audience.
Keep it clear and concise. The best positioning statements are brief but comprehensive and can guide the necessary decisions to be made in marketing strategies.
More significantly, it is a living document and should always be updated as your business grows and evolves.
How do you write a position statement? Sometimes it takes a little inspiration, so here are the top 10 positioning statements from iconic brands that need no introduction:
“Authentic coffee, great experience, and quick delivery.”
Why it works: Customer-centric approach
Starbucks originally began with Authentic Coffee as its brand positioning but has continuously evolved in response to customers’ demands and preferences.
Nowadays, Starbucks is more than about brewing great coffee but also about creating the great atmosphere and experience that coffee drinkers are looking for.
“The only stylish car that can go from 0 to 100 in 3 seconds without a drop of oil.”
Why it works: Fostering brand loyalty
A positioning statement example that is engaging and interesting for audiences, Tesla’s use of good figurative language captures attention immediately.
Not only has the company added a fresh, stylish perspective to electric cars, but the statement also hints that their cars are fast and do not use oil.
This builds a positive brand image that people will love to subscribe to.
“Our vision is to be the earth’s most customer-centric company, to build a place where people can find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”
Why it works: Unique value proposition
One of the best examples of positioning in marketing is Amazon, which captures and delivers unique selling points when transitioning from selling books to becoming an eCommerce platform.
Customers want peace of mind when buying, and Amazon can consistently offer a positive experience and product diversification for buyers to find everything they need online.
Now, you simply cannot mention online shopping without Amazon.
“Produce affordable, safe, and high-quality nutrition for everyone, regardless of their income level, taking advantage of our long-standing presence around the world.”
Why it works: Communicates brand core value
Targeting a wide potential audience, Nestle ties it all together with the company’s core values.
This is an example of a brand positioning statement for companies creating many brands for all types of consumers, regardless of age, gender, or income level.
“For local and international travellers, Airbnb is the only booking website that connects you to unique experiences worldwide because we offer the largest selection, most diverse, top-rated and personalised places to stay.”
Why it works: Targeting a differentiated niche and segment
Connecting the community to travellers, Airbnb has focused on a particular need and creating a whole new sharing economy in the tourism industry.
Promising unique travel experiences with locals, Airbnb has set itself as a unique product that is different from hotels or travel agencies.
“For athletes in need of high-quality, fashionable athletic wear, Nike provides customers with top-performing sports apparel and shoes made of the highest quality materials.”
Why it works: Covering all the attributes of a position statement
Though words like ‘quality’ are often overused, Nike’s brand statement is effective as it removes ambiguity.
In a single sentence, it covers all the main attributes of a position statement in marketing by describing who (athletes), what (Nike), why (top performance), and how (through high-quality materials).
“For the young and young-at-heart, Walt Disney World is the theme park that best delivers an immersive and magical experience because Walt Disney World, and only Walt Disney World, connects you to the characters and worlds you most desire.”
Why it works: Clear measure for brand perception
Well-known as the happiest place on earth, Disney’s theme parks are successful with their clear description of their target market and how they want their customers to perceive and experience their brand.
Creating a magical experience as a unique selling proposition, Disneyland skillfully branded itself to be the place where dreams come true.
“Unlocking the potential of human creativity – by allowing a million creative artists to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by it.”
Why it works: Understanding the music streaming landscape and needs
Spotify has positioned itself uniquely in the music streaming landscape, combating music piracy and considering the two major market segments: creative artists and listeners.
With a free subscription tier, Spotify has made legal streaming more accessible and created a culture where new generations pay for music again.
“Slack is the collaboration hub that brings together the right people, information, and tools to get work done. From Fortune 100 companies to corner markets, millions worldwide use Slack to connect their teams, unify their systems, and drive their business forward.”
Why it works: Clarity on core benefit and target audience.
Slack’s position statement serves as a great guideline for internal teams.
Reminding the team about the product’s core benefit in helping businesses get work done and creating marketing messages targeting audiences from small to large enterprises.
“To bring the best user experience to its customers through its innovative hardware, software, and services. We believe that we are on the face of the earth to make great products and that’s not changing.”
Why it works: Focus on product impact that builds customer trust
Apple focuses on their product value emphasising technological innovation and delivering the best customer experience, which creates a strong sense of brand identity that many of its users trust and subscribe to.
Ultimately, your positioning statement is a tool that should help carve a brand perception among your target market.
So explore different niches, and come up with multiple position statements before deciding on one. When evaluating your position statement, here are qualifying questions to ask:
Most importantly, is it believable, and can it be executed?
Successful brand positioning can only happen when your position statement effectively guides your internal team to build consistent customer experiences with your brand.
About the author
Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour. She is passionate about sharing stories with the hope to make a difference in people’s lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.