Everyone knows that successful businesses clearly and effectively position themselves in the market in a way that attracts customers to their door. But how do you actually create an effective positioning statement for your business?
First, let’s consider what positioning is – it’s the way consumers think about your business and your brand. It’s nothing more or less than the piece of their brain that you occupy. It’s not something you own – its something they own – you can only attempt to influence it.
A positioning statement then is an internal device that should help you focus everything you do as a business. From a marketing view, it is the internal statement from which all external taglines and communications are developed.
The core characteristics of an effective positioning statement are:
- Single-minded and focused
- Benefit-orientated (customer benefit, not your benefit)
- Accurate and true
- Important to your market
- Highlights competitive advantage
Developing a positioning statement that captures the above is hard. If it were easy everyone would have a good positioning statement. But the more time you spend developing and refining your positioning statement, the easier and more effective every marketing activity you do from that point on will be.
Here are some tips on how you can develop an effective positioning statement:
- Understand your target audience. This is critical. Be specific and narrow in your thinking, focusing only on those people who are most likely to want what you offer. Consider all their geographic, demographic and psychographic attributes.
- Identify that one most important benefit your customer will receive when they buy and use your product of service, ideally one that is not currently being met by a competitor.
- Develop a draft benefit-orientated positioning statement for your product or service based on the target audience need and the benefit pay off of your product or service.
- Rate your draft statement against the checklist above. Does it score more than 4 out of 5 for each characteristic? If not, continue to refine and develop your statement until you have something that scores highly against each point.
Next time we will look at taglines – which are closely related to positioning statements and are the external result of the hard work done here to establish a position for your business.