How to Write Your Best Brand Positioning Statement

A brand positioning statement is a summary of the marketing objectives of a business. It is based on the idea that, to be successful, a brand must find and occupy a unique spot in the marketplace. And we’re going to show you how to write one that speaks to yours!

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Beyond the commodity offered, marketing plays a special role in carving out the market, shaping brand perception, and influencing customer behavior. Therefore, to maintain this position, marketing efforts must be directed along a specific course. A brand positioning statement acts as a peg or reference point to which marketing connects back.

Why Have a Brand Positioning Statement?

This is different from the mission and vision statements firstly because it is inward-facing. The brand positioning statement is not necessarily meant to be shared outside the organization. It is rather an internal guide for the teams to align their efforts.

Secondly, the content differs. While the mission statement is concerned with the objectives of the business, the brand positioning statement is about the brand. And as the vision shows where the business needs to be in the future, the brand positioning statement shows what the brand needs to be now.

Brands that have a brand positioning statement have a leg up on competing brands that lack one. Although no two successful brands can have the same statement, not having one means that marketing goals are not grounded and likely disconnected. This can lead to loss of potential market share and dissipation of resources that are improperly directed.

Having a brand positioning statement also makes you a formidable competitor among your peers who have their own statements. The better your marketing strategy follows the direction pointed out in the brand positioning statement, the more qualified you are to serve the market.

However, something else is requisite: The brand positioning statement being like a map, the final challenge must be determined by the accuracy of the map. So, how do you write a winning brand positioning statement, unfazed by the competition and accurate to your brand’s specific needs?

How to Write Your Brand Positioning Statement

Like any piece of business information, your brand positioning statement should have a clear message and audience. And the message you want to send to the marketing team is, “This is us, this is who we serve, and this is how we do it.” Note that this does not suggest that only you as the business owner or marketing lead can write the message. Far from it, you will notice that much of the process depends on collaboration with others, especially in the marketing department.

Before you craft your message, take some time to survey the landscape. Use competitive intelligence to discover your direct competitors, what they are offering to the target market, and easiest points of entry i.e. gaps that need filling – like maybe helping travelers make the most of their credit card miles:

travel-conversation-clusters

Through social listening, you will see what matters to your target consumer. Ideally, this process of writing your brand positioning statement comes after you have, through other processes, developed your product and determined your target market.

Let us then unpack the message to see what goes into the statement:

1. Identify Your Target Audience

Your brand positioning statement should make clear who your ideal customer is. A team member reading it should immediately be able to make out your industry, product category, and target demographic.

In case your product or service spans more than one category, you can write the statement in two ways. One, you may decide to focus on your more or most valuable target audience. In this case, your marketing team will understand that this is the target and build everything else on that. For instance, an enterprise software company may safely have a brand positioning statement focused on large enterprise teams while remaining open to smaller agency functions.

Two, you may use language that appeals to both, or specifically to one, of your target categories. You are sure to find at least one common attribute among your targets if your product truly serves them all. For instance, a restaurant may target several demographics that are all connected by the feeling of togetherness that is evoked when people share meals. Or shared worries around travel plans:

shared-worries-about-travel-plans

2. Communicate an Enticing Value Proposition

By now, you know what your customers stand to gain by using your product. It may be a feature purposefully built into the product or you may have discovered, through consumer intelligence, what is most appealing about your offering. Every member of your marketing team should know what sets your business apart and there is no better place to put it than on the brand positioning statement.

Your unique value proposition describes the main benefit to your customers that they can’t get from any other business. It can be a powerful source of motivation by giving your team confidence in the potential of the brand; not to mention, it makes the offering much easier to sell.

Be sure to refer to your audience identification to message out in ways that resonate.

3. Understand & Uphold Brand Perception

Brand perception refers to the impression that your consumers have of the organization. Depending on their experience up to this point, it may be desirable or undesirable. You can find this out through customer surveys, and focus groups – but if you want the most accurate intel, you’ll need to scour the social web – or use a tool that can aggregate that intel for you:

capture-intel-from-the-social-web

If you find that your brand perception is desirable, you can incorporate insight surfaced into your brand positioning statement, if it’s not already there. On the other hand, if you discover there are undesirable impressions of your brand floating around, you need to caution your team about this and get to the bottom of the disconnect – as building a good reputation requires repairing fighting a poor one.

4. Establish Credibility

Your employees are more likely to succeed at building the brand if they can stand by the brand positioning statement. It needs to be believable, not aspirational without action. One way to establish credibility in your statement is by highlighting the age of the organization. Awareness of the company’s longevity can significantly boost brand confidence, particularly when it has a history of following through on its promises.

Another way is by highlighting the size of the existing clientele or number of customers served. Use assertive, non-ambiguous terms that clearly community the strength of your intended message. You don’t want to tell your marketing teams that they are going to sell ‘an interesting opportunity to expand operations,’ but a ‘powerful platform that will revolutionize organizations by surfacing game changing competitive insight.’ Do not assume that the words you use don’t matter just because it is an internal document.

5. Maintain Ongoing Consumer Relations

If you’re not consistently monitoring consumer conversation around your industry, your brand and your competitors – now is the time to start. And forums are a great place to do it. Researching “travel” we quickly surface top subreddits where consumers unabashedly share experiences, needs and interests – and it’s free to any brand willing to spend time listening.

travel-subreddits

From this insight, after analyzing it for key themes, emotions and passion – brands can engage and ask questions. And without selling a thing, when this is done correctly, brand awareness skyrockets as brand positioning is strengthened.

Examples of Good Brand Positioning Statements

A brand positioning statement is primarily meant for internal eyes only. It is supposed to keep the marketing strategy in line. Therefore, revealing it might also tip off competitors on a brand’s marketing strategy. However, marketing inevitably reveals some aspects of the brand positioning statement. The following examples from some of the most popular brands can help us understand the thinking behind their various marketing activities as well as know how to write good brand positioning statements for our own teams:

  • The Walt Disney Company shows strong industry leadership: “From humble beginnings as a cartoon studio in the 1920s to its preeminent name in the entertainment industry today, Disney proudly continues its legacy of creating world-class stories and experiences for every member of the family.”
  • Amazon is guided by four principles: Customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, Earth’s best employer, and Earth’s safest place to work.”
  • McDonald’s shares its deeper drive: “Every day, all around the globe, we put people, processes and practices into place to make quality food, more responsible sourcing choices, a stronger community and a better planet.”
  • Salesforce commits to relationships: “From the start, Salesforce has sought to change the world for the better through technology that builds stronger relationships.”
  • Imperva is straight-forward: “We protect customers from cyber-attacks through all stages of their digital transformation.”

The brand positioning statement is just one or two lines summarizing a big idea. We suggest that you have an official document beyond that to go into detail about your brand identity, your offering, and your target market. When a team member reads the brand positioning statement, let it conjure up the whole idea behind it.

NetBase Quid helps you gather the research you need to support your brand positioning statement through social listening, competitive intelligence, sentiment analysis, and more. Our AI-powered platform finds the information you need quickly, allows you to integrate other sources for analysis using our Intelligence Connector, and presents the results in a clean dashboard that will get your team inspired. Seeing is believing – reach out for a demo today and we’ll show you just what we mean.

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