Writing a brand positioning statement is a big task. In a relatively short statement, you have to define your brand and product, who it’s for, what it does, and what makes it better than all the rest. It’s a lot to ask of those few short sentences – and of the marketer who has to write them!
So, why not learn from the best?
By researching the positioning statements of the world’s most successful brands, you can see how it’s done. Let us take you through everything a good positioning statement needs, and some examples of the best positioning statements currently out there.
What is a Brand Positioning Statement?
A brand positioning statement helps you to establish your niche in the market. It answers the following questions:
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- What are your core values?
The aim is to gain your own, unique spot in the market.
Think of it like an elevator pitch to your customer base. A short, powerful statement that tells customers what makes you different, and why they should work with you rather than your competitors.
How is a Brand Positioning Statement Different from a Mission Statement?
Mission statements and brand positioning statements are similar, but they have different purposes within a wider reputation management strategy.
A mission statement tells people why your brand does what it does. It’s used to shape a company’s culture and to clarify the values that drive it.
A positioning statement tells people how your brand or product is different from competitors. It’s used to differentiate your brand and carve out your place in the market.
Often, mission statements will cover an entire brand or company, while a positioning statement will cover a single product. Brands with multiple products may group multiple positioning statements under their overarching mission statement.
For example, Google’s mission statement is “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”
However, each of its major products has its own positioning statements. For example, this is the positioning statement for Google phones: “Google’s Android phones offer users free access to Google Maps and provide navigation and communication”
What Makes a Good Brand Positioning Statement?
A good brand positioning statement has four main parts. Let’s explain by building a short positioning statement below for a marketing agency:
- An address to the target audience. For example, “The world’s top brands and agencies come to…”
- The brand name. “Global Brand Collective”
- A frame of reference that places the brand within its market category. “…to build quality marketing strategy and drive traffic to their websites.”
- A strong, punchy explanation of the brand’s USP. “Global Brand Collective guarantees results in double-quick time, through dedicated work and awesome customer service.”
The ideal brand positioning statement combines all of these elements in a clear, concise, and punchy way.
If that sounds like a lot, you’re not wrong! It can be tough to come up with a good positioning statement. So, to help you out, we’ve compiled a list of some of the very best brand positioning statements, along with an explanation of what makes them great:
“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”
Why it’s good
This statement focuses on customer experience over the actual beverages. It presents the brand as a caring entity, dedicated to the happiness of its customer base and (by extension) of humanity as a whole.
Is it a bit of an ambitious vision for a fizzy drink? Sure. Is it a bit of a dubious statement given Coca-Cola’s questionable ethical history? Also sure. But it’s a strong, confident and cleverly-worded statement that works well to reassure customers that Coca-Cola really cares about them.
“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.”
Why it’s good
Amazon’s positioning statement does not beat around the bush. It clearly sets out exactly who Amazon is for (online shoppers), why they should choose Amazon (quick delivery, wide range of products, one-stop shopping site), and what sets Amazon apart (passion for innovation, commitment to operational excellence, ‘customer obsession’).
“For athletes in need of high-quality, fashionable athletic wear, Nike provides customers with top-performing sports apparel and shoes made of the highest quality materials. Its products are the most advanced in the athletic apparel industry because of Nike’s commitment to innovation and investment in the latest technologies.”
Why it’s good
A sportswear brand like Nike has to tread a fine line when addressing their customer base. On the one hand, they want to showcase the athletic nature of their products. On the other, they don’t want to exclude anyone by saying that only athletes (or even what kind of athlete) should wear their stuff. This is particularly important for a brand like Nike, which has made inclusivity a major part of its brand identity.
Nike walks this line very neatly. They state that their products are for athletes, but don’t define what makes an athlete. They quickly move on to focus on the quality of their products, and their continuing investment in innovation. The takeaway is that Nike makes high-quality, advanced sportswear that anyone can use.
“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.”
Why it’s good
Apple’s positioning statement manages to cram a lot into a relatively short space. In two sentences, Apple tells the market that they make ‘the best’ computers and mobile devices, that they are an innovative, cutting-edge tech brand, and that their business is driven by both social and environmental ethics.
It’s an appealing, authoritative statement that cements Apple’s position as a premier consumer tech brand.
“For individuals looking for a quick-service restaurant with an exceptional customer experience, McDonalds is a leader in the fast-food industry, with its friendly service and consistency across thousands of convenient locations. McDonald’s dedication to improving operations and customer satisfaction sets it apart from other fast-food restaurants.”
Why it’s good
Unusually for a restaurant, McDonalds doesn’t focus on the quality of its food in its positioning statement. The brand knows that its appeal is in its speed, convenience, and consistency: you can find a McDonalds pretty much anywhere in the world and, when you step through those doors, you know exactly what you’re going to get.
McDonalds’ positioning statement plays to these strengths while emphasising other aspects, like its focus on friendly customer service and customer satisfaction. It’s a no-nonsense statement that explains exactly why McDonalds is so successful.
Build a Brand Positioning Statement that Converts
Building a brand positioning statement isn’t always easy. But it’s worth taking the time to do it well. The right positioning statement can be a huge help in carving out your market niche, and pulling in prospects that convert.
The world’s biggest brands have successfully used brand positioning statements to cement their places in the market. With the right positioning statement, you could help your own brand to scale, and build your customer base.
Niamh provides expert insights on topics relating to business, tech and productivity. She’s passionate about supporting leaders and the next generation of entrepreneurs in their journey and finding the latest hacks and strategies to improve efficiencies along the way.
Connect with Niamh on Twitter: @NiamhOTweets