Writing A Brand Positioning Statement: 5 Essential Steps
Branding is a complex process that requires you to go through several phases of defining how you want to present yourself on the market.
Your brand is your presentation to potential customers, partners, and even your competitors, who are fighting you for the same piece of the market.
This is why you have to make all the pieces of your branding strategy fit together. That includes writing a winning brand positioning statement.
If you’re not sure what a brand positioning statement is, why you need it, or how to write it - we’ve got you covered.
The guide below breaks down all the information you need to understand the value of a professionally written brand positioning statement and the 5 essential steps to do it.
Here’s what you need to know 💁🏻♀️
Brand Positioning Statement: Definition & Impact 🧐
Before we dig any deeper into the process of writing a great brand positioning statement, it would be best to define it and try and understand it better.
By definition, a brand positioning statement is:
- A brief overview of what your brand stands for, what products and services you offer, to whom, and on which market.
This is a brief definition that summarizes the main idea behind a brand positioning statement. We could elaborate on it and say that it also covers:
- What makes a brand unique
- What target market needs it satisfies
- The vision behind the brand
As you can see, your brand positioning statement is there to help you present your brand as something unique on the market and show that it offers something no one else from your competitors has.
But, what makes it so crucial for a brand? What impact does it have on the brand’s overall success?
A professionally written brand positioning statement is vital for a brand because it impacts all the other significant points in their business strategy and contributes to their business success.
Here’s what a brilliant brand positioning statement helps you do:
- Show what you strive to become
Your brand positioning statement is not just written to reflect the current state your brand's in. It's also there to show the values and goals you strive to achieve in the future.
A brand needs to show a tendency for improvement, growth, and becoming better for their target customers.
- Make a promise
You want your customers to trust you and become loyal members of your brand's family.
This is impossible without giving them something to hold on to.
The brand positioning statement you write should also serve as a promise to your customers - something you commit to delivering.
This way, you'll show brand credibility, and this will positively influence current and potential customers.
You want to be able to separate yourself from your biggest competitors. Showing you’re unique and offer something specific will further motivate people to choose you over another similar brand. But be careful not to confuse branding with marketing.
That means that a brand positioning statement can impact buyers purchasing decisions and help you improve your sales.
As you can see, the impact of a strong brand positioning statement can be highly beneficial if you know how to use it for your advance.
What To Avoid When Creating A Brand Positioning Statement 💁🏾
Writing a convincing and compelling brand positioning statement is far from an easy task.
Marketers and business owners often make a lot of mistakes that can cost them their business success.
Luckily, we’ll make sure you don’t make those same mistakes.
Here’s what you have to avoid when writing a brand positioning statement to make sure it’s 100% unique, successful, and memorable.
1. Confusing It With Brand Mission Or Vision 👀
The first mistake you need to avoid is confusing a brand positioning statement with the brand mission or vision statement.
These are entirely different things, although they should go hand in hand.
However, a mission and a vision express what the future brand should look like and what are the social, moral, or business principles the business respects.
2. Focusing On Selling Rather Than Helping 🙅🏽
Your target audience doesn't want to feel like just another customer you're trying to sell your products or services to. On the contrary, they want to feel respected and understood.
This is why your brand positioning statement needs to address their actual pain points and show how it can help them improve their life quality or solve their problems.
It needs to speak their language and be designed for evoking real people’s emotions.
Make it more personal than advertising to boost its positive impact.
3. Not Including Specific Information 🖌
You can't allow your target audience to assume anything. There's no room for assumptions.
You need to make things clear and ensure they understand exactly who you are and what you're trying to do.
Therefore, include specific and precise information that explains who you are and what you do without any ambiguities.
4. Being Overly Enthusiastic 👋🏼
You don't want your brand positioning statement to sound like a fairy tale or a cheap detergent commercial.
Being overly enthusiastic and aspirational will do your brand no good.
Instead, focus on real people, realistic goals, and honest promises.
This will show you're not just another brand trying to sell, but a brand that cares for its consumers and works on meeting their needs.
Avoid making these common mistakes to make sure your brand positioning statement is meaningful and shows the true value of your brand.
Best BPS Examples 🗒
This all sounds a bit confusing in theory, so we'll take a look at the current brand's brand positioning statements that are the perfect example of what we just covered.
Here are some of the most professionally written and most effective brand positioning statements we love.
“For serious athletes, Nike gives confidence that provides the perfect shoe for every sport.”
“For the young and young-at-heart, Walt Disney World is the theme park that best delivers on an immersive and magical experience because Walt Disney World, and only Walt Disney World, connects you to the characters and worlds you most desire.”
“Pepsi is for people who want great tasting soda, and it offers a unique cola flavor that is great for all different types of occasions. Pepsi stands out by being a youthful, forward-thinking company that has been around for many years.”
“For individuals who want the best personal computer or mobile device, Apple leads the technology industry with the most innovative products. Apple emphasizes technological research and advancement and takes an innovative approach to business best practices — it considers the impact our products and processes have on its customers and the planet.”
“To frequent business travelers seeking to fly experience with high comfort and convenience, Emirates is the perfect luxurious airline because it provides non-stop flights, quality service, and modern entertainment system.”
“For consumers who want to purchase a wide range of products online with quick delivery, Amazon provides a one-stop online shopping site. Amazon sets itself apart from other online retailers with its customer obsession, passion for innovation, and commitment to operational excellence.”
“For individuals looking for high-quality beverages, Coca-Cola offers a wide range of the most refreshing options — each creates a positive experience for customers when they enjoy a Coca-Cola brand drink. Unlike other beverage options, Coca-Cola products inspire happiness and make a positive difference in customers' lives, and the brand is intensely focused on the needs of consumers and customers.”
“Slack is the collaboration hub that brings the right people, information, and tools together to get work done. From Fortune 100 companies to corner markets, millions of people around the world use Slack to connect their teams, unify their systems, and drive their business forward.”
These brand positioning statements show the importance, impact, and true value of sending a clear message to your target audience.
5 Essential Steps For Writing A Brand Positioning Statement 👏🏼
Now that we’ve got all the preparation steps behind us, it’s time to discuss the writing methods for creating your brand positioning statement.
We’ve prepared a list of 5 essential steps to help you write it like a true professional.
Let’s break down the steps you need to take.
1. Understand The History Of Your Industry 👏🏼
The industry your brand’s in has been there years before your brand even saw the light of day. And, this is something you need to acknowledge and use.
Understanding the history of your industry means understanding:
- Why it appeared in the first place
- What it meant for consumers before
- How it changed over time
- What it means to them today
Understanding all this will help you better understand your position in the market and how your brand contributes to what the industry is all about.
You need to be aware that you're a part of a much bigger picture and use this when writing your brand positioning statement.
2. Define Your Target Audience 👩🏻🦰 👨🏾🦱
It should go without saying that your brand positioning statement should be speaking directly to your target audience.
But, if you don't have a clear idea of who they are, you can't expect your brand positioning statement to work.
This is why you should define your target audience carefully and use that definition to write a better brand positioning statement. Here’s what you need to specify:
- Demographics (age, sex, education, social status, background, etc.)
- Pain points and problems they’re facing
- Online habits and behavior
- Shopping habits
- Content preferences
The more you know about your audience, the better you can understand what they expect from you as a brand and what you can offer them.
Therefore, use all the research, data, studies, and calculations to determine exactly how your audience thinks.
If your target audience is segmented, you’ll still find things that all those groups have in common and use them in your statement.
This will help you make sure all members of your target audience, regardless of the group they’re in, understand and value your brand positioning statement.
3. Choose The Right Adjectives 💯
The language and vocabulary you choose to craft your brand positioning statement can make a world of difference for your target audience.
Using just one word that’s off can make your entire statement feel weak, fake, or dishonest.
You also don't want to sound overly poetic, dramatic, or to praise your brand unrealistically. Simply put, you have to choose your words carefully.
The one place where you want to be especially careful is choosing your adjectives. Adjectives can easily throw you off and lead you to make a mistake.
Here's what to avoid when selecting your adjectives:
Passionate, enthusiastic, dynamic, bold
Brilliant, outstanding, unique, exceptional
- Vague or empty adjectives
Superior, excelling, reliable
Adjectives such as these can be heard so often that they’ve lost their initial meaning.
Instead of using these and similar ones, try adjectives with a specific purpose and carry a strong message.
Here are the adjectives we’ve found in the brand positioning statements of the brands we’ve covered above:
- Young and young-at-heart
- Great tasting
These adjectives help the brands send a clear message and make the brand positioning statement more believable and relatable.
So, think twice before you choose an adjective for your brand positioning statement, and be sure to think about the true meaning of the words you carefully select to include.
4. Research How Others Perceive You 🕵🏽♂️
When you're positioning yourself on the market, you can't only consider what you want to say and how you want others to see you.
You also need to investigate what beliefs or emotions people already associate closely with your brand.
That means that you have to research how others perceive you.
You can use various methods to gather this information:
- Invite people to do surveys
- Create pop-up questionnaires
- Do social media listening
- Read forums, groups, and public discussions
- Keep track of every mention of your brand
Researching how others perceive you will help you to define your current brand position and see if it needs to be changed or improved in any way.
You’ll then decide what specific message can strengthen these beliefs or change them, if necessary.
Explore how others think and feel about your brand and use it to improve your brand positioning statement.
5. Clarify And Proofread 📝
Once you’ve applied all the steps we’ve covered above, it’s time for the final revision of your work.
You want to make sure you got the brand positioning statement just right, and it’s the best possible message you can send to potential customers or consumers.
There are two stages of this process:
Let’s discuss each one.
Clarification is a stage that makes sure your message is clear and easy to understand. If it’s too complex, vague, or unclear, you’ll fail to impress.
This is why you need to ask yourself these questions:
- Is there any more straightforward way of saying this?
- Are there any redundant words I could simply get rid of?
- Can people of all ages and education levels understand what I’m saying?
Answering these questions will help you rewrite and change your brand positioning statement until it's perfectly fit for your audience and your brand image.
Don't skip this step since it'll make a massive difference in the impression you're making.
Proofreading is the final touch. You need to be sure there’s nothing wrong with your brand positioning statement. You should leave this stage to someone else- a professional or a colleague you trust.
This is to avoid being biased or confused by trying to judge the words you’ve written.
For instance, PapersOwl has writing experts who can help you with any type of writing or proofreading, including proofreading your brand positioning statement.
Proofread to ensure:
- There are no typos or spelling mistakes
- There are no grammar mistakes
- Sentence structure is just right
As a professional brand, you shouldn’t offer anything less than perfection. Proofread and edit if necessary to finalize your brand positioning statement and ensure it shows you're reliable and impeccable in every aspect.
Writing a brand positioning statement requires you first to understand what it is and why it's essential.
You need to research your competitors, target audience, and market to know what to aim for.
Finally, you have to see the writing tricks that will ensure your brand positioning statement is compelling and memorable.
Hopefully, the guide we’ve shared above will help you nail all aspects of writing a brand positioning statement.
Use our tips and guiding points to create and write a brand positioning statement that sets your brand apart from your biggest competitors and gives you the advantage you need.
This article was written by Jessica Fender. Jessica is a copywriter and blogger at GetGoodGrade with a background in marketing and sales. She enjoys sharing her experience with like-minded professionals who aim to provide customers with high-quality services.