Learning how to write a brand positioning statement isn’t hard, but it will take some time on your part. First, research examples and competitor positioning. Next, identify your core customer, create an overarching goal, figure out what sets your brand apart, and list the pain points your brand solves. Finally, write your statement. To make it easier, download our template and follow the steps below—you’ll have a compelling statement written in no time.
Brand Positioning Statement Template
Brand positioning helps you grow brand presence by appealing to your ideal customer, explaining what sets your brand apart, and setting customer expectations. This might sound complicated, so the best approach is to break it down into bite-sized pieces. To get started, download our brand positioning template, and use it as you follow the steps below.
To use the template in Google Workspace, save it as a copy to your drive. To use the checklist with Microsoft Word or another app, download it to your device or cloud drive first.
1. Research Examples
Most major brands (and many small businesses) have statements that outline the brand’s goal, core customer, and unique selling proposition and the pain points the brand resolves. Some are published outright as part of a brand’s marketing, while others leave the positioning to be inferred.
Research examples from brands you know and use to get a clear understanding of the key components to include as well as ideas and inspiration. For more guidance, take a look at some examples of brand positioning statements.
One very effective brand statement comes from Crate & Barrel, a furniture and home goods provider. It is fewer than 20 words and succinctly explains the Crate & Barrel philosophy:
Take a look at each part of this statement. It immediately states a goal (to inspire) and identifies the core Crate & Barrel customers (“people with a modern mindset”). It then mentions its differentiator as the ability to help people (“create timeless homes and lives with beauty and purpose”), which alleviates the customer’s pain point (a life lacking in beauty and purpose).
Crate & Barrel’s statement is powerful not just because of what it says, but also because of what it doesn’t say. The implications of this statement are that other brands cater to individuals stuck in the past who sell products that are dated and without purpose. When you look at Crate & Barrel’s advertising, you can see this brand positioning statement all over it.
2. Identify the Positioning of Your Top Competitors
The next step is to pinpoint the positioning of your top competitors to see what sets your brand apart and to identify gaps in the marketplace. Research those companies to identify their messaging and how they are attempting to attract customers. This allows you to discern their brand positioning so that you can better differentiate your company in the steps that follow.
To help you understand how your competitors are positioning their brands, answer these questions:
- What is the main message they are trying to convey?
- What types of imagery are they using?
- Who is the main customer they are targeting?
- How do they differentiate their brand?
- What is the pain point they alleviate?
- What types of advertising and marketing are they doing, and where, and how well is it conveying their message?
- Are there any holes in their messaging?
- What marketplace gaps exist or where is coverage thin?
Armed with the answers to these questions, you now understand the competitive landscape and can begin to craft your own brand positioning strategy. Remember these questions, though, because you’ll answer most of them about your own business as you write your statement.
3. Analyze Your Core Customers & Create Personas
You can’t differentiate or fully understand the pain points your business resolves without outlining the types of customers you most want to attract. While your business may be open to the public, chances are that your “best” customers share some traits in common. This could be anything from locale to personal or professional interests, age range, lifestyle, and so on.
So the next step in how to write a brand positioning statement involves creating customer personas for your ideal customers. These are descriptions that reflect common traits of the customers or clients who are the best match for your business and offer the means to make your business profitable. In other words, your business is right for them and vice versa (win-win!).
A customer persona identifies certain characteristics of your customers and will lead you to messages that connect with those customers on deeper levels. You can create more than one customer persona, and many companies use several. Use this table below to create customer personas for each of your ideal customer types:
Professions / Job Titles
Goals When Purchasing a Solution
Messaging / Value Proposition
If you are targeting more than one customer type, create a persona for each. This will later help you with crafting advertising and marketing messages that land with your potential customers.
4. Craft a Summary Persona
Review the customer personas you created—chances are you see some similarities. Maybe they are all from a similar socioeconomic background or live in the same geographic area. No matter the common traits they share, your next step is to describe your ideal customer in a way that is succinct and that customers can connect or self-identify with.
Take a look at the Crate & Barrel example again, which starts with a clear goal of (inspiring) a summary persona: people with a modern mindset:
People with a modern mindset, such as “people who value modern design in furnishings and decor,” is the summary persona for Crate & Barrel. Let’s compare a company like fast-casual chain SONIC for contrast. Its tagline is “America’s Drive-in,” and its inferred value proposition is an appeal to “the good old days” of drive-in restaurants, diners, and mid-century appeal. As such, its summary persona might be “nostalgic American diners.”
5. Create an Overarching Goal From Your Mission & Vision
Your vision statement outlines the ultimate goal of what your business will achieve by carrying out its mission, while your mission statement outlines what your business does to pursue the vision (and often who it serves). Both can be instrumental in terms of developing your brand’s position, and your brand and mission and vision statements should all be in tight harmony.
Take a look at your vision and mission statements to create an overarching goal that can be summarized in just a few words. This will be the first part of your statement. For example, in the Crate & Barrel example above, the goal was to “inspire…”
As another example, consider Rumble Coffee’s mission statement. It reads, “Creating a sustainable future for coffee.” It’s easy to surmise from this example that its goal might be to “provide a sustainable coffee experience…”
6. List Points of Differentiation (That Matter to Your Customer)
At the heart of brand positioning is how your brand is different from (or significantly better than) other solutions your customer can get. Your statement should give a nod to a differentiator that matters to the customer represented in your summary persona. Given, your next step is to list the ways your products, services, or brand are different from the competition.
It could be an obvious difference, like a unique offering or cost advantage. But it could also be less obvious, such as the way your product or service is delivered, your customer support, and your inputs or ingredients. Either way, it must be something that is relevant and compelling to your core customers.
Let’s take another example that does this well: Chipotle. “Food with integrity” is its tagline, which is further explained in both text and imagery. We can conclude from this that Chipotle’s core customer values fresh, healthy ingredients and that not all Chipotle’s rivals deliver this.
7. Describe the Pain Points Your Company Alleviates
The final part of crafting your statement involves clearly outlining the problem your business solves. You need to tell your customers what your products and services can do for them—or, more expressly, what problem they will solve with your products or services.
In Crate & Barrel’s example, it’s clear cut and simple. Customers of the company are empowered to “create timeless homes and lives with beauty and purpose.” This is how Crate & Barrel alleviates a customer’s pain, which is simply living a life that is dated and that the customer perceives as lacking as far as beauty or purpose.
While this may seem to be a lofty goal for a furniture and household goods company, many people identify their home as an extension of themselves. For Crate & Barrel customers, their pain of living a humdrum life in a boring house is alleviated with contemporary furnishings and home goods.
8. Write Your Positioning Statement
You’ve now completed each part of how to write a brand positioning statement—you need to put everything together. Consider the following formula before writing it all out:
Goal + Persona summary + Differentiator = Alleviated pain point
For example, a deck building company statement might be, “We build spacious decks where homeowners who appreciate the outdoors can enjoy their yard in peace.” It outlines the company’s differentiated (“spacious”) goal (building decks), its customers (“homeowners who appreciate the outdoors”), and the pain point it alleviates (not being able to enjoy their yard in peace).
Best Practices for Writing Brand Positioning Statements
Brand positioning statements are generally succinct, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some best practices to follow. Below are some of the most important dos and don’ts when writing a statement to position your brand in the marketplace.
|Do write an affirmative statement that differentiates your brand
|Don’t write what your company is not
|Do focus solely on your company’s position
|Don’t include direct references to competitors
|Do ensure harmony between your mission, vision, and branding statements
|Don’t repeat your company’s vision or mission
|Do be succinct
|Don’t be generic or vague
Benefits of Brand Positioning
There are many benefits to developing a clear position for your brand. Among these are focused, cost-effective marketing and advertising efforts, a clearer message to your customers, and the ability to connect with customers on a deeper, more personal level. One study by Razorfish even found that 53% of customers expect small businesses (not just big ones) to instill purpose behind their brand:
- With focused marketing efforts, you’re targeting a specific audience with a specific message. This helps you avoid a scatter-shot approach to marketing, where your efforts are trying to do too many things at once. Focusing your attention on a brand positioning statement avoids this and supports brand consistency—and branding statistics show this can increase revenue by up to 20%.
- The message you send to customers is just as important as the customers you’re focusing on. With a good brand positioning statement, you can shape your advertising and marketing to address the group of people in your target region who are most likely to become customers. This maximizes your marketing dollars and allows you to gain deeper market penetration.
- By addressing customers with a focused message that resonates with them, you are forging an emotional connection with potential buyers. Buyers with such connections are more likely to become customers than those without them. A Salesforce study found that 62% of customers connect emotionally with their favorite brands, setting the basis for repeat business, referrals, and long-term loyalty.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the components of a brand positioning statement?
The four components of a brand position statement are the company’s brand goal, its core customer, its point of differentiation, and the pain point the brand alleviates for the customer. When combined, these elements make a compelling case for who the brand is best for and why a customer should choose it over competing solutions.
What’s an example of a brand positioning statement?
Here’s a brand positioning statement example from Alaska Airlines: “We are creating an airline people love. Each day, we’re guided by our core values of our own safety, do the right thing, be kindhearted, deliver performance, and be remarkable at work and in our communities. Alaska Airlines also fosters a diverse and inclusive culture and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.”
What’s the difference between a brand positioning statement & a unique selling proposition?
Brand positioning outlines the brand’s place among the competition. It underscores how the brand stands out. Meanwhile, a unique selling proposition is the most important differentiator between the brand and its competitors. For example, a branding statement for a furniture company might include references to comfort or style, whereas its unique selling proposition could be its location or a specific brand or line that none of its competitors have.
Brand positioning is key to optimizing your marketing. Following the steps above, you can craft the perfect statement for your small business. It should be concise and explain exactly the value you bring to your customers. If you need help with your branding efforts, though, you can turn to Straight North. It has experts for creating branding for your company and offers affordable services to meet virtually any budget.