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How to write a brand positioning statement that fosters retention

Learn what a brand positioning statement is, why it's important, and how to write one.

Positioning your brand is the key to loyalty that drives customer retention. To give your team a clear point of reference when designing a successful marketing campaign, you need to develop a brand positioning statement.

A descriptive and informative yet concise and authoritative brand positioning statement can become the foundation of your retention strategy while improving brand awareness efforts.

What is a brand positioning statement?

A brand positioning statement is a short one or two-sentence paragraph that describes a brand's products or services, communicates its unique value to the audience, and differentiates it from the main competition.

The statement should be simple, memorable, credible, and tailored to your target market. It's not a public-facing element of the marketing strategy. The brand positioning statement helps your internal team improve its marketing efforts.

What to keep in mind when writing an effective brand positioning statement

Creating a brand positioning statement before your design the rest of your brand awareness and retention strategies can help you define the way you speak to your audience. For many companies, a brand positioning statement is the foundation of the entire marketing strategy.

Target audience & their pain points

The brand positioning statement addresses your target audience. To make the desired emotional connection that is the foundation of retention, you need to touch upon the pain points. To do that, you have to identify your potential clients.

Ideally, the brand positioning statement should cater to all segments of your target audience. However, some companies come up with several statements to suit different groups.

Current brand position in the market

To differentiate your brand from the competition, you need to identify its current position in the market. Questions to ask are:

  • In which way is your brand currently relevant to your audience?
  • How is it different from the competition?

To get ideas for this part of the brand positioning statement, you may want to consider running a SWOT analysis.

Brand name

If you haven't done it yet, you need to come up with a descriptive, catchy, and memorable brand name. Once you add it to your brand positioning statement, it becomes a part of your awareness strategy.

What competitors are doing

When analyzing the competition to see where your brand stands in the market, check what they have done with their mission statements and value propositions. You can get inspiration from their work while seeing how you can capitalize on their gaps.

Brand mission

Your brand's mission includes its goals, objectives, and the definition of its purpose in relation to the target audience. A brand's mission statement should be fully aligned with the brand positioning statement.

Product/service category

To understand what makes your business different from the competition, you need to identify your product or service category in relation to the rest of the market. The statement will show why your company is the top choice within that category.

Value proposition

A value proposition is a big part of your brand positioning efforts. Create it before you start working on the statement.  

The value proposition states the value you promise to provide to the audience should they choose to take advantage of your products or services. Besides the value proposition, the brand positioning statement lists the benefits of your offer to the customers.  

Keeping these elements in mind when creating a brand positioning statement can help you ensure brand consistency across the entire marketing strategy.

How to write a brand positioning statement

Once you've researched and defined the above-mentioned elements of the brand positioning statement, you have all you need to start writing it. Here are six principles to steer your approach:

1. Be brief

The brand positioning statement shouldn't be long. Keep the statement around 50 – 60 words and try to fit it into two sentences.

2. Make it simple

Your brand positioning statement should be easy to read. Try to avoid long sentences, jargon, and complex concepts.

3. Stick to your core values

The brand positioning statement should reflect your company's core values. This maintains the consistency of your brand awareness and loyalty efforts. If you don't keep values in mind when creating a statement, you could turn customers away and hurt your retention tactics.

4. Be empathic and address the pain point

The brand mission statement should help you make an emotional connection to the target audience. That's why you need to show understanding of their problem while demonstrating your solution. That's where your knowledge of pain points comes in.

5. Mention the main benefit

While your products and services can have numerous benefits, the statement is too short to fit them all. Choose one main benefit and add it to the statement.

6.Be clear on what makes you unique

Dedicate at least a third of your brand positioning statement to differentiating your brand from the competition. Make sure you are clear about what makes you stand out in your market category.

Don't forget to reevaluate your brand positioning statement!

The brand positioning statement is the foundation of your brand awareness, loyalty, and retention strategies. That's why before making your brand positioning statement public, you need to "check it twice."

Consider asking yourself these questions to evaluate your brand positioning statement:

  • Does it differentiate you from your competitors?
  • Is it flexible?
  • Does it provide room for growth?
  • Does it address your target market?
  • Will it resonate with the target audience?
  • Is it believable and credible?
  • Is it easy to understand?
  • Is it concise?
  • Is it memorable?
  • Can you really make that promise?
  • Will it serve as a foundation of your brand strategy?

Consider showing your brand positioning statement to several people and get their reactions before confirming the final form.

Top 5 positioning statement examples of brands that have nailed it

Well-written brand positioning statements helped some of the biggest brands achieve their marketing and business goals. Let's take a look at successful statements used by widely recognized companies around the globe.

Example #1: Nike

Nike's brand positioning statement includes the following elements of a successful statement:

  • Target audience– athletes in need of high-quality, fashionable athletic wear.
  • Category — athletic wear.
  • Main benefit — top-performing sports apparel and shoes.
  • Differentiation from the competition — most advanced in the athletic apparel industry.

The statement is short, professionally written, and easy to read.

Example #2: Apple

Similar to many other brands, Apple doesn't make its positioning statement public. However, keeping their mission statement, value proposition, and core values in mind, it's possible to understand how their brand positioning strategy works.

The tech giant focuses its branding campaign on emotions. It emphasizes how Apple products make the person feel. The brand statement revolves around innovation, passion, dreams, and experiences as well as the promise to bring "best personal computer products" to people around the world.

Example #3: Starbucks

"To cultured millennials, Starbucks is a premium coffee house that adds an intimate and valuable experience to a consumer's lifestyle by integrating caffeine with a comfortable environment."

This positioning statement addresses:

  • Target audience — cultured millennials.
  • Category — coffee products.
  • Main benefit — intimate and valuable experience.
  • Competition — integration of caffeine and comfortable environment

Starbucks emphasizes intimacy, high quality, and authenticity to cater to a niche market.

Example#4: Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola's brand positioning statement may not be as short as Starbucks'. However, it contains all the elements of the ideal statement, including several benefits (not just the main benefit).

  • Target audience – people who need high-quality beverages.
  • Main benefit — a variety of refreshing options, positive experience.
  • Category — beverages
  • Differentiation from the competition — positive differences in customers' lives and intense focus on customer needs.

This brand positioning statement may seem somewhat "salesy." However, the power words it uses are both inspirational and motivational.  

Example #5: Amazon

Amazon doesn't make its current brand positioning statement public. However, its 2001 statement looked like this.

It addresses the:

  • Target audience — web users who like books.
  • Main benefits — instant access to over 1.1. million books.
  • Category — books.
  • Differentiation from the competition — convenience, low prices, comprehensive selection.

This statement is highly informative yet concise. It gives the internal team a clear understanding of what to base the rest of the marketing strategy on.

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Brand positioning statement FAQs

What are 4 elements of a positioning statement?

The four basic elements of the brand positioning statement are the target audience, category (common category of the market), differentiation from the competition, and payoff (benefits).

What is the difference between a brand positioning statement and a mission statement?

A brand's mission includes the company's goals, objectives, and the definition of its purpose in relation to the target audience. Meanwhile, the brand positioning explains how the company is achieving this purpose, goals, and objectives.

What is the difference between a value proposition and a brand positioning statement?

A value proposition statement focuses on the value that the company offers to the customer. Meanwhile, the brand positioning statement explains how and when this value is provided as well as how it does it better than the competition. The core of the value proposition statement is part of the brand proposition statement.  

What is the key ingredient to a good positioning statement?

The key ingredient of a good positioning statement is consistency. It should be consistent with the brand's mission, values, vision, personality purpose, and goals, giving your internal team a comprehensive point of reference.   

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