How to write a positioning statement (plus examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 13 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Companies require a roadmap to keep all departments on the same page. Positioning statements give all the initiatives of a business a clear direction and ensure that everyone in the organisation is working towards the same objectives. Understanding what this statement is allows you to develop your business skills and understanding. In this article, we go through what this type of statement is, how to write one with examples and templates and the differences and similarities between value propositions and these statements.

What is a positioning statement?

A positioning statement is something that every brand has, regardless of how big or small it is. If it doesn't have one, it might be looking to develop one. Brief explanations of a service or product and how it meets the demands of the target market make up these statements. This statement isn't for the public but for internal use.

Brand management, business choices and creative assets may all benefit from it. A powerful statement places the brand in relation to its competitors. The ability to develop an ideal statement requires a thorough understanding of the market category and competitors within it.

Why is it important?

To succeed in business, you want to have a powerful brand. A business understands what sets it apart, distinguishes it from the competition, what it provides that no one else does, who it can assist and what issues it can address. This statement isn't the same as a business' elevator pitch. Instead, it serves as guidance on how to sell the company.

Having this statement prevents misinterpretations of the brand and encourages a renewed interest in the service or product. A brand's objective and unique selling features may be understood within only a few lines, putting it ahead of the competitors and forming an individual brand identity. It's important to make decisions regarding the brand based on this statement to ensure that brand values continue to grow and expand.

What's the difference between value propositions and positioning statements?

The content in value propositions and these kinds of statements are similar but companies write them for distinct audiences and reasons. A value proposition is a statement that explains why goods, services or business is better than the competition. It's a summary of the company's worth and uniqueness. External stakeholders, like consumers or investors, get informed about value propositions.

Since it highlights the most critical parts of the value proposition, companies write these statements after the value proposition. This statement is a succinct, concise description of goods, services or a brand's principal advantage and differentiation from rivals. Internal papers contain these types of statements.

What to consider for a successful statement

There are a few things a company might want to know before making the right statement. If the business owner can't condense what the brand offers and who it serves into a few phrases, they likely want to go back and determine this. These are four elements that go into creating the ideal statement:

  • Who are you aiming to attract as a target market?

  • What is the industry category? Who are the most serious rivals? Why is your brand superior?

  • What do you offer that no one else does? What is your one-of-a-kind product or service? What advantages do you provide to customers?

  • How can you back up your statements with evidence? How can you demonstrate that you can keep your word?

These questions invite people to think about a brand in a certain way that can highlight its uniqueness but also show where it can improve.

How to write your positioning statement

To create a successful statement, follow the steps below:

1. Determine who the target market is

Determine the target audience of this item, service or brand. Make the point clear and detailed. For example, Family Photo is a photographic business that's drafting its first statement, with young families being their target market.

2. Examine the value proposition again

The value proposition guides the statement. Look over the value proposition and highlight the most critical details. For example, Family Photo is a photography studio that just created a value proposition. They take things out to figure out what's important.

3. Emphasise the most important advantage

Highlight the primary advantage of the business, services or items given to clients in the value proposition. Try to focus on one specific thing as opposed to a general statement. For example, Family Photo offers an all-inclusive studio setup that includes attire and props.

4. Emphasise the main difference

Highlight the primary distinction the company, services or items offer customers over the competition in the value proposition. You may want to consider a certain competitor during this stage. For example, the privacy and adaptability of Family Photo's studio facility set them apart from their competition.

5. Make a template for the company and fill it out

There are several statement templates from which a company can select the most appropriate one. Fill out the template with the company's data. For example, Family Photo tailored a template for the statement and gave it to several employees to fill out after discussing the previous steps as a group.

6. Make any necessary changes to the tone

Go over the statement version again. You want the tone and style of the statement to match the tone of the business, so it's important to make any necessary changes to the text. The statement clearly defines the brand, explains its value and demonstrates how a company differs from its competition.

Related: What is employer branding and why is it important?

What does a template look like?

Writing a statement like this becomes a straightforward job once you have the four elements. Simply add the components at the appropriate times and you've got yourself a perfect statement:

[Brand name] delivers [primary advantage that sets you apart in the industry] for [target audience] who [show requirements of target market] because [proof you can carry out the promise].

This is an example from a handbook. Fill in the blanks, then modify to the best of your ability. Change it up to make it more consistent with the brand. You could even call out your rivals by promising something they don't offer. The statement suffices if you mention your four elements.

Related: What is a purpose statement? (And how to write one)

Examples of positioning statements

Read on for five key examples of statements for different types of businesses:

1. A clothing manufacturer

Durham Designs is a clothing company that pays careful attention to individuals who wish to think out of the box. Unlike other apparel businesses, they only sell items that local craft workers have handcrafted. So, customers can be confident that the pieces they choose are as one-of-a-kind as they are.

2. A gym

Gymnasium is a sports facility. It pairs each customer with a qualified personal trainer, such as for athletes who seek expert trainers to oversee their training. Unlike other gyms, they ensure that every time their customers come in, they're exercising safely and productively.

3. A supermarket

Local Farms is a food store. It collaborates with farmers and food suppliers to stock the shelves for customers who are enthusiastic about the food they feed their families. Unlike big-box stores, customers can be certain that their items are fresh, organic and environmentally friendly.

4. A technology company

Big Tech leads the technology business with the most advanced designs for anyone looking for the best personal smartphone or computer. Big Tech prioritises technical innovation and employs an innovative approach to corporate best practices. It considers the impact of its goods and operations on consumers and the environment.

5. A fast-food franchise

Yummy, with its courteous service and reliability across many handy locations, is a leading brand in the fast-food market. This is especially the case for those searching for a fast-food chain with an amazing customer experience. Yummy stands out from other fast-food joints because of its commitment to improving operations and customer experience.

Related: How to write a personal vision statement (with examples)

Top tips on writing your statement

Read on below for some of the top tips on writing a successful statement:

  • Keep it simple: Avoid jargon and unfamiliar phrases. Business lingo can be appealing, but not everyone may understand those terms.

  • Keep it brief: It's best to focus on the most important points to hook the reader. Save the lengthy backstory for the 'About' page.

  • Prepare: Before releasing the statement, do the homework and prepare. You don't want to lose sight of the competitive edge because the competition distracted you.

  • Highlight selling points: Don't be afraid to express it if you feel that your company provides something that no one else does. Customers and staff may not be aware of what distinguishes you from the competition, so let them know.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Related:

  • How to create a positioning map successfully in 8 steps

  • What is strategic positioning? (With tips and benefits)


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