There’s a good chance that your brand positioning statement–if you have one penned already–is somewhat weak, average, or unmemorable. Maybe a combination of all three. Since it follows an easy, fill-in-the-blank boiler template that could also substitute as a Mad Libs exercise, many companies wind up with statements on the generic, safe side. It probably looks something like this:
For (target customer) who (has this need or opportunity), our product is a (product category) that (statement of key benefit here).
Generic certainly doesn’t pave the way to success. Neither does greed or fear. Many companies want to be the be-all, end-all “we’ll solve everything” for customers and this tactic can be equally dangerous. (If you haven’t yet, learn about unique selling propositions.)
So let’s take a look at some tips that will help you write a kick-ass positioning statement. More than likely, taking a deeper look at your motivations and goals will give you an even better understanding of what you want to do.
Know Thyself to Know Thy Brand Positioning
Cult Branding states that there are four essential elements of a best-in-class positioning statement:
What is a concise summary of the attitudinal and demographic description of the target group of customers your brand is attempting to appeal to and attract?
What category is your brand competing in and in what context does your brand have relevance to your customers?
What is the most compelling (emotional/rational) benefit to your target customers that your brand can own relative to your competition?
Reason to Believe
What is the most compelling evidence that your brand delivers on its brand promise?
In addition, Miles Herndon suggests several more brand positioning statement questions you should be asking:
- Can we really stake claim to this position? Does someone else provide this value to this market better than we do? How can we adjust our target market or offerings to better position ourselves?
- Does this leave room for future growth? Can we change one element to attack new verticals or would we need to rewrite the entire positioning statement?
- How comfortable is the rest of the company with this position? Are we comfortable being the low cost provider, or would we rather be a luxury good? Does this positioning statement match your brand’s essence?
Answer these questions, they say, and you’re on your way writing a great statement. But, we say…not quite yet. You’re actually on your way to getting a really good, developed understanding of your company’s ideological foundation, which is crucial for your success. But it’s not enough to stop here.
Let Your Positioning Statement Reflect Your Team
Entrepreneur advises that you “embody your personality,” saying “you and your team are the biggest differentiator between your shop and the other one offering the same services and benefits. If you are a quirky bunch, your position statement should be quirky too. Or if you are bold and fun, the copy on your site’s services page should not read like a textbook.”
Appeal to the Emotions of Your Audience
Buzzforce says it’s important for brand positioning statements to incorporate an emotional appeal, as studies have shown that we make decisions from our emotions. Incorporate this into your brand positioning statement, and it will feel as though these emotions are as ingrained as the company as you are.
Consider Changing Your Brand Positioning Statement Over Time
While a brand’s positioning should be designed to be fairly enduring, a brand positioning can (and often should change) over time to reflect changes in the marketplace, including new competitors, new technological advances and new benefits sought. Check in every year to see if it still holds up/is current.
Take a Risk
What if, instead of aiming for a large group of customers…you cater to a very small but loyal set? Make space for your brand in an unconventional way to get people talking.