As a business owner, you will be familiar with the need to write various plans, strategies, policies and other types of documentation. Some such examples can be fairly lengthy and weighty pieces of text, and require considerable time and effort to draft.
By contrast, a brand positioning statement should be short - it’s possible to make a single sentence work. It will be contained within a larger marketing plan or branding strategy.
And yet, for your branding and marketing purposes, you may find your brand positioning statement the single most important part of those plans and strategies to write. Even though brief, you may end up spending a surprising amount of time on it, bouncing ideas back and forth, polishing it until it is perfectly captures the essence of your brand ambitions.
What is a brand positioning statement for?
A brand positioning statement can be compared to a mission statement. Both are declarations of intent. If a mission statement sets out your values and core company objectives, a brand positioning statement defines your company, your products or your services in relation to your competition.
In other words, it makes a statement about what your position or niche in the market is. It is therefore common to hear brand positioning statements and unique selling points (USPs) talked about in the same breath.
What should a brand positioning statement include?
There are four key components to a brand positioning statement:
- Defining the target audience
- Defining the market segment the brand operates in
- Defining the USPs or benefits of the brand
- Giving reasons why audiences should trust the brand to deliver.
Another way to think about the purpose of a positioning statement is achieving clarity about your brand - the niche you operate in, who your potential customers are, what is special about your offer and what your key credentials are.
These are all fundamental to marketing and branding. You will often be advised to start a new campaign or rebrand with an appraisal of your brand position statement - does it still capture the core principles of who you are and how you are going to win customer buy-in?
Clarity on these fundamentals helps to achieve consistency of message throughout subsequent strategies and campaigns.
For more information on writing the perfect brand positioning statement check out our other blog.
Why does it have to be so short?
A brand positioning statement needs to be easy to translate into straplines or taglines that are used in actual marketing campaigns.
Think of some famous brand straplines - Apple’s ‘Think different’, Carlsberg’s ‘Probably the best lager in the world’, for example. While these are not complete positioning statements, it is easy to reconstruct most if not all of the four ingredients the actual wording in the marketing strategies will contain.
‘Think different’ may be just two words, but it tells you about the target audience Apple is aiming for (aspirational), the brand benefit and a reason to trust it (innovation). Without clarity and simplicity to start with, it would not be possible to turn the original brand position statements into such striking and evocative straplines.