What is a brand positioning statement and why does it matter?

A brand’s position is often defined as the conceptual place you want to own in your target consumers’ minds. It differentiates you from your competitors and signals to consumers the value you can add to their lives that others cannot. To craft a truly great positioning statement, you’ll need to clearly and directly answer three basic questions any potential customer will need to know:

  1. What is the unique value you deliver, and for who?
  2. How do you define yourself as compared to your competitors?
  3. What makes you different and better?

Our framework for crafting a brand positioning statement that sticks

There are a variety of ways to articulate your brand positioning. Our favorite method is a simple mad libs-style framework that combines all of the necessary elements into one concise statement:

Target Audience
who want/need...
What are their basics needs or pain points?
What is your main point of difference that answers those needs?
What is their reason to believe you will do it well?

To get started on writing your own, follow the steps below to work through each piece of the statement one-by-one for your product or service.

Step 1: Identify your target audience.

Who will most benefit from your product or service? If you don’t know, make a list of the reasons why anyone might need what you have to offer. What does their life look like before your product, and after? Group these people into audience segments that you can use to dig deeper into their daily activities, and then select your primary audience.

Step 2: Determine your target audience’s basic needs or pain points.

Once you’ve selected your target audience, consider the specific needs and/or pain points of that demographic. What are the big problems you can solve for them? You can use tools like a Value Proposition Canvas or, our favorite, an Empathy Map to understand the full scope of needs you can address for your audience.

Step 3: Clarify your main point of difference vs. your competitors as to how you address those needs.

Now that you know your target audience’s needs, how do you solve them? What benefits do your product or service offer that can answer those needs? You can start by listing out the main attributes or features of your product or service and then further determine the functional or emotional benefits your customers will gain from using it.

Step 4: Give them a reason to believe.

Why are you uniquely qualified to address your target audience’s needs, and how can they be certain you will deliver on your promised benefits? This can be based on historical validation (years of experience), endorsements, claims of technical superiority (performing x% better than competitors), or even your mission statement and brand values (a common goal anyone can get behind).

Step 5: Combine everything into one statement.

Compile all of your responses into the framework, and voila! You’ve crafted your very own brand positioning statement.

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