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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

  1. 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.
  2. Make a list of your audiences and prioritize them.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 need.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 with you.

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 831-476-6804

                                      
 

 

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