When someone asks, “what does your company do?” how do you answer
Do you have a concise explanation — neatly describing your business model — or do you launch into… well, a bit of a jargon-laced spiel?
After all, for large complex businesses with many products/services and many personas, it can seem impossible to share all the important details about your brand in just a few words. Too many words and people start tuning out.
That’s where a well-written brand positioning statement becomes an instant game-changer. In just two to three sentences, you can describe exactly what you offer, to whom, and why others should care.
Let’s make the complicated uncomplicated by learning how to write a knock-your-socks-off-good positioning statement.
- What is a Brand Positioning Statement? ↓
- What’s the Purpose, Anyway? ↓
- The Anatomy of a Great Positioning Statement ↓
- How to Write a Kick-Ass Positioning Statement ↓
- The Ultimate Positioning Statement Template ↓
- Need Help Writing a Kick-Ass Positioning Statement? ↓
What is a Brand Positioning Statement?
When it comes to brand positioning, there are so many confusing terms: from your “elevator speech” and your “value proposition” to your “mission and vision statements.” And those are just a few similar terms: there are many more!
AHHHHH! No wonder you’re not sure what exactly a brand positioning statement is!
Before confusing a positioning statement with other brand-related terms, let’s focus on the phrase at hand:
A brand positioning statement is a brief description of what your brand does, who you do it for, and the unique way you do it — which helps differentiate you from your competitors.
What’s the Purpose of a Brand Positioning Statement, Anyway?
Your employees are the public-facing lifeblood of your organization. They are the ones communicating your message and serving your customers. So if your team isn’t crystal-clear on what you do, who you do it for, and how you do it differently/better than the competition, it can really dilute your brand’s marketing and customer service.
Many are surprised to learn that a brand positioning statement is intended as an INTERNAL resource to share with employees. It’s not something you’ll typically see plastered on most company websites with a big header like a mission statement. It’s a written explanation designed to be shared throughout your internal network so that everyone who works for your brand clearly understands your product/services, who they are intended to help, and how you uniquely serve your audiences’ needs.
Think of it like your brand positioning North Star — it’s a statement your employees can follow to ensure they’re on the right path toward understanding what you do, who you do it for, and why you rock at doing it.
But while a positioning statement is intended as an internal resource, a really good brand positioning statement can function as an external asset too. It’s a concise way to communicate to your audience what your brand does and why you should be remembered — and a handy statement to share with anyone responsible for promoting your company.
The Anatomy of a Great Positioning Statement
A formal definition is fine and dandy, but what the heck does that mean?
A good positioning statement has five important elements. It concisely addresses:
- Your target persona(s): Who is your audience?
- Your persona(s)’ main pain points/needs: What’s their problem? What’s in their way to solving their problem?
- Their ideal outcome or experience: What are you helping them achieve?
- Other competitive alternatives: Who else would they turn to if they didn't have you?
- Your differentiation: How do you do it differently than your competitors?
In our 15+ years of helping companies refine or create useful brand positioning statements, we’ve found that every good statement addresses all five of these points.
This may leave you wondering, “how can I say ALL of that in just two or three sentences?”
Great question. Let’s look at how we did it!
How to Write a Kick-Ass Positioning Statement
The key to any good positioning statement is clarity. A position statement that can’t be understood both internally and externally is not hitting the mark.
Here’s our team’s positioning statement:
Impulse Creative’s Positioning Statement:"To established companies that want to grow intentionally, we are an agency that provides smarter growth strategies so you feel confident. Unlike other agencies, we create smarter ways for your business to grow, gain momentum, and move forward with an operations mindset."
Let’s dissect this bad boy!
|Target persona(s):||To established companies…|
|Their main pain points/needs:||…that want to grow intentionally,…|
|Their ideal outcome or experience:||…we are an agency that provides smarter growth strategies so you feel confident.|
|Other competitive alternatives:||Unlike other agencies…|
|Our differentiation:||…we create smarter ways for your business to grow, gain momentum, and move forward with an operations mindset.|
Isn't it easier to understand after you see it broken down?
Let's examine this breakdown from an employee perspective:
Target persona(s): Every time a new employee reads our positioning statement, they know right away that we work with a wide array of “established” companies (vs. start-ups, which we can help, but aren’t our primary audience).
Their main pain points, needs and ideal outcome or experience: An employee also knows that Impulse helps companies hoping to “grow intentionally” as a business, whether that means scaling in employee size, landing larger accounts, or strategically positioning themselves to evolve in their offerings. It’s purposely open-ended to say we foster growth of all kinds.
Other competitive alternatives: As the employee continues reading, they then understand that we do not position ourselves as exclusively a marketing agency, because we help with so much more than marketing alone. Hence, why we say “agency” without a qualifier.
Our differentiation: Finally, they learn that compared to other agencies, we challenges ourselves to come up with “smarter ways” to help our clients grow — all focused on gaining a forward momentum to continuously improve operations.
As you can see, in just two sentences, we said a lot!
The Ultimate Positioning Statement Template
Ready to take a stab at writing your own? Here’s a short template you can use to craft a radically good positioning statement.
We help _____(your target persona(s))_________
who _____(your personas’ main pain points/needs)________
to _____(their ideal outcome or experience)________.
Unlike ______(other competitive alternatives)________,
our services/products ______(your differentiation)_______.
Examples of Other Positioning Statement Templates
Some folks have slightly different ideas of what a great positioning statement should contain. Like almost anything in marketing, the “perfect” positioning statement template is up for debate…
Instead of talking about your competition specifically, for example, Canto suggests sharing what makes your brand reputable or how you make your customers feel.
If we were to modify Impulse Creative’s positioning statement to follow this format, it might read:
To established companies that want to grow intentionally, we are an agency that provides smarter growth strategies. With over a decade of experience helping businesses gain momentum and move forward with an operations mindset, we help our customers grow with confidence.
Notice that we didn’t compare ourselves to other agencies, yet still talked about the ways we help our clients. Right on! It’s good to know you can showcase your differentiator in a few different ways.
Need Help Writing a Kick-Ass Positioning Statement?
Seeing examples of good brand positioning statements is a different beast entirely from creating one yourself!
If you or your team needs professional assistance writing a powerful positioning statement, Impulse is here to help. Contact us today for brand positioning services!
Feeling like you need a crash course on all things brand positioning? Download our free ebook, The Brand Plan, to get started.