How To Develop The Perfect Brand Positioning Statement.

Share Fb Tw In
How To Develop The Perfect Brand Positioning Statement.

An effective brand positioning statement clearly shows what makes the brand different. Unfortunately, too many companies never take the time to create one strategically. It is one main reason they fail to execute their brand positioning strategy properly. 

This guide will show you how to make a powerful brand positioning statement. You’ll learn proven ways to identify your target audience and analyze competitors. You’ll discover how to highlight your core value proposition. And you’ll get tips for condensing it into a strong brand positioning statement.

Whether you want to improve existing brand positioning statements or start from scratch, this article is for you. Follow our step-by-step instructions and examples to craft brand positioning that cuts through the noise. By crafting a compelling brand positioning statement, you can establish a strong position for your brand in the target market.

Identify The Target Audience

Identifying your target audience is the first step in developing strong brand positioning. Al Ries says, “The key to successful positioning is focusing on the perceptions of the prospect, not the brand perception.”

To craft a positioning statement that genuinely resonates with your audience, you must first understand who you are speaking to and what matters to them. It requires rolling your sleeves and digging into detailed market research and consumer insight.

Companies must adequately define their ideal customer group’s demographic and psychographic profiles. What are their age ranges, income levels, geographic locations, interests, values, and priorities? The more information a company can get, the better. Businesses may use qualitative and quantitative research methods to extract useful information about their target audience. 

Quantitative data from surveys and analytics provides hard facts, while qualitative insights from customer interviews and focus groups. Accurate knowledge about the audience’s behaviors, motivations, and needs can enhance the brand position. Brand positioning statements should speak directly to the outcomes and benefits most valued by the target customers. 

Determine Brand Promise and Value Proposition

After learning about the target audience, the next step is determining the brand promise and value proposition—the heart of your brand positioning. A company’s brand promise encapsulates what the brand stands for and represents. It’s an expression of the core values and identity. For instance, Nike promises athletes it will inspire and innovate to reach the highest potential. 

Businesses may craft their brand promise by asking: what principles guide their brand? What do they believe in? What change do they want to see in the world? Express this briefly in an inspiring internal mission statement. Companies must build their value proposition around the primary benefit they provide to the target customer. 

As marketing guru Philip Kotler said, “The value proposition states the benefits customers can expect from your products and services.” For Volvo, the core benefit is safety.

To shape the value proposition:

  • Identify the customer’s most significant needs, frustrations, and desires. 
  • Determine the top solutions and outcomes the company deliver
  • Refine this into a simple, compelling statement aligned with the brand promise. 

An authentic brand promise and value proposition form the backbone of a good brand positioning statement. They enable businesses to connect with their audience and dominate their niche. 

Perform Competition Analysis

Without competition analysis, crafting a compelling brand positioning statement is nearly impossible. As business theorist Michael Porter said, “Competitive strategy is about being different. It means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value.”

Companies must conduct an in-depth analysis of direct competitors (i.e., companies offering similar products/services to the same target audience) and indirect competitors. They should adequately study their marketing effort, brand personalities, product offerings, pricing, brand strategy, etc. Companies must identify gaps in the market where competition is weaker, and no brand dominates. 

These opportunities will better address the target customer’s needs and frustrations through a differentiated brand experience. Businesses may examine what makes their capabilities, values, and relationships uniquely suited to deliver their core value proposition.

The aim is to find strategic white space where a brand can own a distinct positioning compared to alternatives. Ongoing competitor analysis also enables brands to refine their positioning over time as market dynamics shift. Regularly revisiting the competitive landscape helps ensure their brand positioning continues to resonate and convert with the target audience.

Define The Brand Personality and Story

In addition to rational product benefits, customers also connect with the brands on an emotional human level. It makes defining the brand’s personality and crafting its narrative crucial for positioning success. The brand personality describes the human traits and values embodied by the brand. Is it friendly, innovative, luxurious, or dependable? 

Select descriptors that authentically reflect the culture and align with the target audience’s aspirations. Companies should tell their brand’s origin story and tie it to the mission statement. Customers are interested in learning how the company started and what motivates the company. 

Craft a compelling narrative that connects on a deeper level. Defining a consistent personality and weaving an engaging brand story enables a company to differentiate its positioning further and forge meaningful customer relationships. With rational and emotional elements, the brand positioning has the ingredients to be magnetic.

Create a Positioning Statement

The final step is consolidating your critical insights into a concise, memorable brand positioning statement that will serve as an ongoing guide for your marketing. A good positioning statement should include:

  • The target audience description
  • The primary need or desire a company fulfill
  • Your brand promise and personality
  • The key value and benefits the company provides
  • What sets the brand apart from the competition

Businesses should keep their positioning statement to just 1-3 concise sentences that capture the brand’s essence. This crystallized statement is an internal compass that brings consistent communication clarity, guides decision-making, and aligns culture and experiences.

Crafting a good brand positioning statement involves the following steps:

Follow a Structure

When writing a positioning statement, a company should use a simple fill-in-the-blank structure to streamline the process and ensure it hits all the essential elements. Here is a good brand positioning statement example: 

For (your target audience) (Your brand name) is (your frame of reference or product/service category) That (your critical benefit and differentiator)

Now, let’s break down what each component of the above statement accomplishes. The target audience describes who you serve and want to attract. Get very specific about demographics, behaviors, needs, and desires. The next point, i.e., the brand name, is a quick customer identifier. Use the official brand name, such as SmashBrand, or accepted shorthand, i.e., SB. 

The frame of reference explains your product, service, or category. It provides context. For example, “an athletic apparel company.” Finally, the critical benefit and differentiator convey your unique primary value. It is the heart of your product positioning as well.

This easy-to-follow positioning statement template gives a formula for briefly capturing the brand essence and standout positioning. While the content you fill in will require strategic thinking, the structure gives you a model for putting the pieces together into a cohesive statement.

Highlight Your Differentiators

The main ingredient of an effective positioning statement is emphasizing what makes the brand stand out from the competition. It is the company’s unique value proposition and competitive difference.

When crafting the statement, brands should focus extra on conveying the fundamental ways they deliver values that their competitors don’t. It could be through superior quality, better pricing, higher customization, fast service, or more convenience.

For example, Mercedes Benz’s positioning statement highlights engineering and luxury as differentiators:

“For status-conscious consumers seeking luxury vehicles, Mercedes Benz is an iconic, world-class brand known for superb German engineering, premium interiors, and sophisticated style.”

The goal is to communicate the company’s singular positioning in the marketplace. Avoid vague or generic claims that could apply to any brand. Be specific about the differentiated experience, results, and identity the company provides. 

Keep it short and memorable. Find a way to convey the competitive advantage concisely. It often means deciding on just one or two key differentiators to focus on.

Refine and Finalize

Developing an effective statement takes time and refinement. It’s rare to nail it in the first draft. Businesses may expect to go through multiple iterations to optimize their messaging. A good way is to start by brainstorming a list of possible statements. Draw from the brand research and analysis. 

Eliminate and narrow down the list by dropping options and continuously asking – does this resonate? Is it distinct and memorable? Another good way is to test different versions internally with executives, employees, and friendly customers. It gives a better opportunity to come up with something unique and remarkable. 

Companies may also test their ideas with surveys, focus groups, and A/B messaging. Response from the target audience can be used as a discriminator to optimize the statement. Again, a good statement should be clear and concise and convey its meaning effectively. 

Keep polishing until you have a statement communicating your positioning and unique selling proposition. Run it by key stakeholders and give it one final gut check.

The final statement should pass three tests:

  1. It resonates with our target audience
  2. It aligns with our internal view of the brand
  3. It differentiates us from the competition

Align Your Brand Positioning

After developing a compelling statement, it sure aligns with the entire organization and all brand touchpoints. The positioning must cascade through everything the brand does consistently. Companies must bring key stakeholders on the same page to become coherent voices. 

It should communicate the positioning statement and strategy to employees. The company may conduct training sessions and workshops to ensure that each department can bring the new positioning to life through their work. 

Businesses may weave their positioning consistently throughout the customer journey. Messaging in ads, website copy, sales materials, product packaging, and customer service interactions should all reinforce the same differentiated brand promise.

For example, if your positioning is “easy-to-use technology for mainstream users,” ensure your product design, user interface, tutorials, and support channels prioritize simplicity. The following measures can help align the statement with a brand positioning strategy:

Integrate Across Marketing

  • Feature your positioning statement prominently on your website’s “About” page to anchor other messaging.
  • Ensure website copy in sections like services, products, and company values aligns with and reinforces your positioning.
  • For SEO, incorporate consistent messaging into site headers, page titles, meta descriptions, and image alt text.
  • Design website visuals and graphics to reflect your positioning – i.e., fun illustrations for a playful brand.
  • Create social media profiles and bios that highlight your positioning.
  • Develop a social media content calendar to bring your positioning to life through engaging posts.
  • Use social posts to reinforce what makes your brand different and valuable consistently.
  • To maintain a consistent look, incorporate visual brand assets like logos, colors, and fonts.
  • Feature your differentiators prominently in paid ad copy and creatives.
  • A/B test ad messages and landing pages to optimize for alignment with your positioning.
  • Ensure influencer partnerships and collaborations fit your brand positioning.

Inform Product Development

A strong positioning statement guides the product development process. It is like an internal compass when deciding product design and capabilities. When naming a new product or feature, ensure it reinforces the brand identity and messaging. It should match the tone and style of other product names.  

Companies should prioritize developing features that deliver on the critical customer benefits highlighted in their statement. They must align it with the differentiated value they promise. For example, a software company may design an intuitive, easy-to-use interface if its positioning emphasizes simplicity. 

Make design choices that visually communicate the brand personality and resonate with the target audience’s preferences. Maintain consistent branding in look and feel. Leverage positioning to inform which features are essential versus nice-to-haves. 

Stick to the core customer needs you aim to meet. Conduct user testing to identify gaps between the intended positioning and how target customers experience new products. Refine design accordingly.

Motivate Your Team

A strong positioning statement is essential to create a shared vision among employees, partners, and stakeholders. It can help align your team toward common goals and direction. Share the final positioning statement and strategy with internal marketing, sales, and customer service teams. Explain how it will guide your external market approach.

Educating your staff on effectively communicating your brand identity and key messages is essential. It will help them reinforce your unique selling points when interacting with customers and consistently maintain your brand differentiation.

To achieve this, you should provide specific examples to each department on how they can bring your brand positioning to life through their work. Encourage them to think creatively and inspire them to do their best.

Suppose any changes to priorities, processes, or plans are needed to align activities with your new positioning. In that case, it’s essential to communicate these changes and get buy-in across the organization. It will ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.

Measure and Evolve Your Brand Positioning

After creating a compelling brand positioning statement and strategy, it is necessary to have a benchmark system. Continuous measurements and testing help companies to learn how effective the statement is and when to update it. Companies may use key performance indicators to gauge the effectiveness of the statement. 

  • Use surveys and tools to measure awareness and understanding of your brand and messaging among target audiences. 
  • Gauge if your brand differentiation influences consideration and moves you up the product/service category ranking.
  • Monitor if your positioning drives more site visitors and social engagement.
  • Track if your positioning yields more, higher-quality leads. Look at conversion rates.
  • Tie revenue growth directly to shifts in metrics that indicate positioning effectiveness.

Revisit Positioning as Your Brand Evolves

Brand positioning is not static. As your business grows and evolves, competitors and markets shift, you may need to revisit your positioning statement.

  • Conduct periodic brand audits to assess current customer perceptions. Identify any gaps from your intended positioning.
  • Refresh your positioning analysis every 2-3 years to ensure it resonates and differentiates.
  • Be ready to refine your statement to reflect strategy, priorities, or competitive landscape changes.
  • Test new positioning statements internally and externally before rolling them out.
  • When revising, align messaging and touchpoints to the updated positioning.

Regularly measuring performance and re-evaluating your brand positioning ensures it continues to drive impact even as dynamics change.

Conclusion and Key Takeaways

  • A positioning statement clarifies what your brand stands for and how you meet customer needs better than competitors.
  • Crafting positioning requires an in-depth analysis of your brand, customers, and market landscape.
  • Refine your statement through multiple iterations and testing to optimize resonance and memorability.
  • Align all touchpoints and activities to reinforce consistent messaging about your differentiation.
  • Measure performance indicators to ensure your positioning is driving real-world impact and growth.
  • Revisit positioning periodically to keep it fresh and relevant as dynamics evolve.

Data-Driven Brand Positioning

Is your product packaging failing to connect with consumers? SmashBrand utilizes data-driven strategies to develop distinct positioning that boosts brand recognition. Our research-backed branding process revitalizes packaging to captivate shoppers. Book a time to discuss your project with our team.

The Only Agency To Guarantee A Retail Performance Lift.

discuss a project