Your Positioning Statement – the Single Most Important
Sentence In Your Marketing Arsenal
Your company has a Mission Statement, and maybe a Vision Statement,
but do you have a written Positioning Statement? A Positioning
Statement is a one to two sentence statement that conveys what you
do for whom, to uniquely solve an urgent need. Sound easy to develop?
It's not. But it is worth the effort. Writing a Positioning
Statement is a very useful exercise because it requires you to identify,
then articulate in a concise and brief statement your distinct value
to your customer in relation to your competitors.
Think about how this one sentence could help you improve your elevator
pitch, your PowerPoint presentations, sales presentations, and your
website home page. Here's a test -- go to your home page -- does
it quickly and clearly communicate what you do for whom to solve
an urgent problem? If it doesn't, you may be losing customers who
can't quickly find the compelling reason to do business with you.
The Positioning Statement is where you need to begin when planning
the messages in any marketing communications campaign. When you
consistently use Key Messages based on your unique Positioning,
you will effectively build your brand.
Steps to a Winning Positioning and Positioning Statement
- Begin by reviewing your company's Mission and Vision Statements
and keep these in mind throughout the process. Your positioning
statement should bring your vision to life.
- Make a list of your audiences and prioritize them.
- For each customer type, figure out what their urgent needs are.
Don't assume you know what your customers' needs and pains are.
Get out and talk to customers to get an in-depth understanding
of their wants and their needs. Categorize the customer needs
into three categories: Urgent, Important, and Useful.
- Make a matrix with the Urgent and Important Needs of customers
across the top. Down the side, make a list of key features of
your product/service. In each box where there's a match between
a customer need and what you offer, jot down how you solve that
- Make a similar chart for each of your competitors. In addition,
gather information from their website, printed materials and other
sources, how they are positioning themselves and what their key
messages are. Write this all down.
- Now you have all the necessary information to identify your
distinctive positioning. Using your company's matrix, focus on
how you meet the most urgent need, or top two if there's a close
second. In solving those needs, what do that is unique compared
to the competition? Identify the one most compelling reason for
customers to do business with you. It's important to be focused.
- Write a sentence that gives you a distinctive advantage, not
just presents your value as a superlative claim. Keep honing it
until it's clear and feels right. Check it out with some customers
for confirmation that it conveys the compelling reason to do business
As your company responds to the changing needs of the market, and
competitors take new positions, your Positioning Statement will
need to be reviewed for possible adjustments. By keeping in close
contact with your customers on an on-going basis, you'll be able
to stay ahead in the Positioning Game.
By Patti Bond, BluMarble Strategic Marketing
Copyright 2001 BluMarble Strategic Marketing www.BluMarble.com