Brand Positioning Statement

[The Stategic 6-Step Formula]

What is a brand positioning statement?

Well the name makes is clear doesn’t it?

It’s a statement about the position of a brand right?

Well yes, but then why is the brand positioning statement so misunderstood?

Like a school handyman, this guy seems to get called in to do almost every job in the branding area.

So let’s dissect it, break it down, lay it bare and clear it up so you can use this important branding element in the way it’s intended.

Strategically developed to do a very specific job.

What is a brand positioning statement?

Well the name makes is clear doesn’t it?

It’s a statement about the position of a brand right?

Well yes, but then why is the brand positioning statement so misunderstood?

Like a school handyman, this guy seems to get called in to do almost every job in the branding area.

So let’s dissect it, break it down, lay it bare and clear it up so you can use this important branding element in the way it’s intended.

Strategically developed to do a very specific job.

Brand Positioning Statement[The Video Breakdown]

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What is a brand positioning statement?

So let’s start off by getting the obvious misconceptions out of the way.

It’s not a vision statement.
That’s part of the internal brand and represents the brands’ aspirations and what the future brand looks like.

It’s not the mission statement.
That’s also part of the internal brand and represents the brand’s commitment.

It’s not a tagline.
That’s a customer facing distilled message, which encapsulates the differentiator.

It’s not a USP (Unique Selling Proposition). 
That’s an internal outline, which focuses only on the differentiator.

It’s not a Value Proposition.
A value proposition focuses on the functional and emotional benefits of the experience.

It’s not an Elevator Pitch. 
The elevator pitch is a collection of punchy sentences that summarises the brand and is designed as an engaging conversation starter.

So… now that we know what a brand positioning statement isn’t, what is it?

The last four of the above (the Tagline, the Value Proposition, the USP and the Elevator Pitch) all attempt to:

Summarise what the brand does though the summaries have different jobs and are intended for different stakeholders.

(“Stakeholders” is just a fancy word for anyone with an interest in the brand including customers, employees or shareholders)

The Positioning Statement is not intended to be “customer-facing” statement, which means customers shouldn’t see it.

It’s designed as an internal document to provide clarity of position to the brands leadership team (from the CEO to the customer service reps).

Its job is to provide clarity and direction for all brand representatives (especially the decision makers) around:

Who it helps

What it helps with

The outcome or experience

The competitive alternative

The point of difference

The “Competitive Alternative” is the unique identifier of the positioning statement as it aims to identify its position in comparison to the alternative.

This clarity in direction guides the brand with the end goal of establishing a position in the mind of the brands’ customers.

So the brand positioning statement has the job of guiding the brand into the mind of the audience.

Execute the brand positioning process first

The brand positioning statement is not a development process in-and-of-itself.

It’s not simply a statement that you throw together over a cup of coffee.

This statement is essentially a mapped plan to get to a specific destination.

But like all plans, you need to consider a few things.

If careful time and attention is not taken to understand the terrain, the conditions and the overall direction, you’ll either end up in a place you don’t want to be, or you’ll end up in a heap not far from your starting point.

The brand positioning strategy is the result of the careful and strategic development of the overall brand positioning strategy.

The positioning strategy itself is where the real plan is developed while the brand positioning statement is simply a distillation of that plan.

So before you get your pen and pad out to put together the positioning statement for your brand, you have a bit of work to do.

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What are the elements of a brand positioning strategy?

The positioning strategy brings together three core elements, which are

The Audience

The Competitors

The Differentiator

Each one of these is a detailed process, which requires careful analysis and creative thinking.

The Audience

Before you decide what your brand will do you must first understand who your audience is and what they want. The better you understand your audience, specifically their problems, the better you’ll be able to position your brand.

The Competitors

Your audience already has plenty of options in the