What makes your brand stand out? What unique offerings does your business provide? Why should a customer choose your product or service over all of the others on the market? These are questions that you need to answer when creating a brand positioning statement.
Brand positioning is how you want your customers to see your company in relation to its competitors. It’s not about what you want, it’s about what the customer wants and how you can provide it better than anyone else.
In this blog post, we will discuss how to create a brand positioning statement and how to involve AI and customer insights in the process. We’ll also provide examples of how some well-known brands have successfully positioned themselves in the marketplace.
What Is Brand Positioning?
Brand positioning is the process of creating an image or identity in the customer’s mind about your company, product, or service. This can be done through marketing campaigns, advertising, public relations, and other communications.
Note that brand positioning is entirely about your customer’s perception of your brand.
What Is a Brand Positioning Statement?
A brand positioning statement is the leading force of a business’s marketing efforts and has a mission to create the brand’s identity in the audience’s perception.
In a nutshell, it is a powerful, concise declaration that determines how the brand is looking to be perceived by its customers.
Creating a brand positioning statement is not about what you want or how you see your company. It’s important to understand how customers perceive your brand first before crafting a position statement.
The word “positioning” refers to your brand’s position in the market.
So, before creating your brand positioning statement, you must bear in mind your main competitors and how your brand stands in relation to theirs.
Sometimes the distinctions are obvious, but other times they’re more subtle. Finding your unique offering is a crucial step to building and nurturing a strong brand image that will attract new customers.
Now that we’ve broken down the meaning of “brand positioning” we can see that there are two vital elements at play:
- Your customers’ perspective of your brand.
- Your position in the market in relation to your competitors.
The brand positioning statement is important because it provides:
- Clarity to define exactly who’s the brand and what’s its mission.
- Direction to guide marketing efforts and product development.
- Competitive advantage to highlight what differentiates the brand from its competitors.
- Consistency across marketing initiatives and communication to craft a coherent brand image.
- An emotional connection with the audience to build trust and loyalty.
Brand positioning statement vs. mission statement vs. slogan
A mission statement is a general declaration of the business’s main purpose and core values. Usually, it responds to questions like “Why does the business exist?” and “What does it want to achieve via its activity”.
The difference between a mission statement and a brand positioning statement is that the latter focuses on the company’s positioning in the market. The mission statement refers to its broader mission and sometimes it also contains social responsibility factors.
Here is an example of a mission statement:
Apple’s mission is “to bring the best user experience to its customers through its innovative hardware, software, and services”.
The slogan or tagline is a short and interesting phrase that accompanies the logo of a brand. Or could be the catchy title of a marketing campaign. It’s a memorable, brief statement carefully crafted to impress the audience. And is part of the brand identity.
The tagline is narrower in purpose in comparison with the brand positioning statement.
An example of a memorable tagline that is actually known worldwide is Nike’s “Just do it”.
Brand Positioning Statement Elements
Crafting a memorable and compelling brand positioning statement is not an easy task.
Consequently, it is essential to take into consideration several elements that create the identity and the direction of the brand. And determine how your brand is perceived by the market.
The essential elements of a brand positioning statement are:
Target Audience and Customer Insights
Identifying the ideal customer is the foundation of a powerful brand positioning statement. Because your message should speak to a particular group of persons who are most likely to become your customers.
Review your customers’ demographics, behaviour, psychographics and other insights to know better your target client.
Answer the following questions:
- Who are your ideal customers?
- What are their pain points and needs?
- What problems can you help them solve?
- Where are they to be found online?
For example, social media channels and review sites are brimming with freely accessible data from your customers and your competitors’ customers.
This content is organically generated and unlike surveys, they’re not biased by how the question is worded. Instead, they offer an accurate representation of how customers feel.
To get a clear understanding of who your clients are, and how customers perceive your brand and those of your competitors, you need to read and analyse customer reviews at scale. This can be done manually, but it’s very time-consuming, impractical, and subject to human bias.
With the help of AI, you can analyse thousands of reviews and Tweets within minutes.
Consumer sentiment by topic
Symanto’s sentiment analysis technology uses the most advanced natural language processing (NLP) technology to read and analyse customer reviews, social media posts, and comments.
Our technology can accurately identify customer sentiment by topic. Unlike other, more basic models, Symanto’s NLP tech can understand the context of the customer’s review or Tweet.
For example, if a customer gives a negative review to a competitor that mentions “poor service,” our technology can understand that this is likely referring to the company’s customer service rather than, say, the quality of their product.
It can also differentiate between multiple topics in the same sentence, for example, “I love the product but the service was terrible.”
In this way, you can get a very granular understanding of how customers feel about various aspects of your brand and those of your competitors.
After processing the data, our technology presents its findings in the form of intuitive data visualisations. So that you can easily compare different topics and identify where your brand excels as well as customer pain points.
Symanto Psychographics is one of our unique proprietary technologies.
Using NLP, Symanto Psychographics can read between the lines of reviews and comments to identify the key personality traits of the author. For example, whether they’re more likely to be emotionally or analytically driven.
You can use these insights to build a psychographic profile of your customer base as well as that of your competitors, and identify whether you appeal to a specific niche of customers.
The results can reveal an interesting perspective on your position within the market.
In a Symanto case study comparing food delivery companies, we found, for example, that both Grubhub and DoorDash attracted customers with high emotionality, while Uber Eats attracted a more rationally-minded consumer base.
These insights give you a better understanding of your direct competitors and how you can refine your messaging and your brand position statement to target your ideal customer profile more effectively.
An effective brand positioning involves a deep understanding of the competition.
Execute a detailed competitive analysis to identify and analyse your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. To determine what sets your brand apart and how you can differentiate your business.
Find answers to questions like:
- What unique advantages or offerings have your competitors?
- What are the competitors’ main messages?
- How you can use your strengths to gain an edge over the competition?
Social media posts, comments and online reviews are an ideal source of data on your competitors.
Symanto enables you to run a like-for-like analysis of multiple competitors within minutes. Our dashboard is designed to make it easy to compare customer sentiment and customer profiling.
Take a look at this chart from a report comparing popular streaming services:
As you can see, this data visualisation enables you to get a clear understanding of similarities and differences in the customer psychographics of the three brands.
For example, we can see here that Prime Video streamers are rationally driven, while Disney+ streamers by comparison are more emotionally driven.
Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Your USP is the secret sauce that makes your brand unique and eventually irresistible. It’s that “something” that makes customers choose you over the competitors.
The USP should be concise, compelling, and clear. It should be related to the element or aspect that sets your brand apart and is meaningful for your audience. Your unique selling proposition may be related to innovation, product quality, convenience, price, etc.
Core Brand Values and Attributes
These elements form the DNA of your business. Practically, you should clearly define the principles and values your brand is built on and how you want to be perceived by your target audience.
Take into consideration attributes like:
Brand Promise and Benefits
The brand promise is the commitment you make in front of your customers and it’s the guarantee that you will deliver what you have promised.
Your products and/or services should be the expression of this promise. And the benefits of this promise should be obvious and clear.
Find answers to the following questions:
- What are the tangible benefits of our products from our client’s point of view?
- What value brings our product into their lives?
An eloquent example is FexEx’s brand promise “The World on Time”. They want to highlight their commitment to timely and trustworthy delivery.
Brand Personality and Tone
Each brand should have its own voice and build its own personality style in communication. Plus, these set the tone of your business interaction with its audience.
The tone you choose should be aligned with your values and the preferences of your audience. It can be serious, professional, authoritative, friendly, playful, etc.
For instance, a clothes brand that targets a young audience may choose an informal and playful tone while a luxury jewellery brand may choose an elegant and sophisticated tone.
How to Write a Brand Positioning Statement
Crafting a compelling positioning statement is a strategic task that involves creativity and careful consideration. It is one of the main pillars that guide how your brand will be perceived by the audience and contributes to the brand’s health.
The process of creating a brand positioning statement includes the following steps:
Research and analysis
- Conduct detailed research on your audience, competitors and industry.
- Research and determine customer pain points, their preferences and major market trends.
- Analyse how your competitors position themselves and identify their messaging strategies.
Define your Unique Selling Proposition
- Identify the differentiation elements of your brand, and what makes it stand out from the crowd.
- List your brand’s strengths, be it the quality of the product or service, the price, innovative elements, etc.
- Find the best answer to the question “Why should clients prefer our product/service?
Determine the attributes and values that characterise your brand
- Outline as clearly as possible the main values and attributes that express your brand.
- Consider the emotional impact that your brand should have on its audience.
Create a convincing brand promise
- Phrase it in such a manner that customers clearly and immediately understand what to expect when choosing your brand.
- The promise should reverberate the offered value and benefits provided.
- Keep it simple, make it actionable, and avoid ambiguity.
Craft your brand positioning statement
- Be aware that your positioning statement should speak to the hearts of your ideal audience.
- Choose words and messages that address their desires, pain points and aspirations.
- Declare how your brand will solve these pain points and answer their preferences.
Keep it simple, short and memorable
- Conciseness is important. The brand positioning statement should be as easy to remember and succinct as possible.
- Use simple and clear language. Avoid complex words or jargon.
- Try to identify a suitable phrase that your audience will recall easily.
Brand positioning template
Here’s a template you can use to create your brand positioning statement:
For [your target audience] who want [customer need], [your brand] is a [name of industry] brand that offers [an offering or unique selling point] so that [benefits of your product or service].
Brand Positioning Statement Examples
Let’s review some famous brand positioning examples that provide highly valuable insights into the benefits of a strong brand positioning statement.
Positioning statement: “For quality beverage seekers, Coca-Cola offers a wide range of the most refreshing options. Each creates a great 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.”
Explanation: Coca-Cola counts on emotional connection and associates its products with happiness while targeting a global audience no matter their age.
Positioning statement: “For urban professionals and students, Starbucks offers a welcoming environment and the finest coffee”.
Explanation: Starbucks targets coffee drinkers who appreciate the top quality of their preferred drink enjoyed in a cosy atmosphere.
Brand Positioning Statement: “For upscale American families, Volvo is the family automobile that offers maximum safety.”
Explanation: Volvo emphasises its engagement to provide safe cars and positions itself as the safest option for families with an upper level of revenue.
Positioning statement: “For families and children, Disney provides enchanting entertainment”.
Explanation: Disney positions itself as a great source of entertainment for kids and their families.
Brand positioning statement: “For discerning drivers who seek luxury and performance, BMW is the ultimate driving machine”
Explanation: BMW’s statement highlights its product’s major strengths performance and luxury in line with their audience options.
Successful brand positioning statement analysis:
Apple’s positioning statement: “For creative individuals who seek innovative technology solutions, Apple provides beautifully designed and user-friendly products”.
Analysis: This statement clearly reflects the brand’s core values of innovation, aesthetics and easy usage. The target segment of clients is creative persons interested in high tech.
A winning statement that was the force behind the fulminant success of Apple over the years.
Nike positioning statement: “For physically active consumers who want to perform beyond their expectations, Nike is an athletic footwear and apparel brand that offers the latest in sports design. So that customers are supported and inspired to push beyond the impossible and reach their personal best.”
Analysis: This is a positioning of a market leader and fuelled Nike’s dominance in the athletic apparel industry. It accentuates the quality and performance and caters to the sportive persons looking to push their boundaries.
Based on this statement, today the brand is universally known as the synonym of athletic excellence.
Positioning Statement Examples of Brands That Encountered Difficulties
Tropicana from PepsiCo
Brand positioning challenge: Tropicana tried to change its position and redefine its brand as a premium one, shifting the positioning from its traditional and approachable image.
Issues encountered: The way they chose to reposition generated confusion among their loyal audience. Moreover, the radical change in messaging and packaging caused a decrease in sales and consumers moving away from the brand.
Tropicana’s case shows why it is paramount to take into consideration your current brand identity and the potential impact of comprehensive modification of positioning.
New Coke from Coca-Cola
Brand positioning challenge: Coca-Cola made an attempt to reposition its main product as “New Coke”, only to discover its loyal customer base shows a strong preference for the traditional formula.
Issues encountered: The New Coke ended up as a failure because the company ignored the emotional connection clients had with the brand. Operating major changes on a beloved product can hurt heavily the loyal consumers.
It’s essential to keep what clients love in your product when looking to introduce innovations.
Brand positioning challenge: Gap’s logo redesign and rebranding in 2010 was a major failure, as its audience responded promptly with negative sentiment.
Issues encountered: Gap’s situation reveals the risks of renouncing a well-known and familiar brand identity without having a strong motivation. Loyal customers had a strong preference for the existing logo and the impulsive change confused them.
This is another case that highlights the importance of avoiding radical shifts in positioning.
Mistakes to Avoid When Creating a Brand Positioning Statement
- Lack of clarity. This is one of the most common pitfalls when writing a brand positioning statement. Coming up with a vague, unclear and out-of-focus declaration.
- Failing to adapt to an evolving market. Being agile and evolving with the market is a must if you want your brand to keep its relevance. Adjust your products and services to the customers’ changing preferences, to the competitive environment, emerging trends and market transformations.
- Skipping on customers’ feedback and perceptions. Ignoring your clients’ opinions can hurt your brand more than you think. Listening to your audience and respecting its expectations is a major pillar in refining your brand, products and services.
- Overpromising and underdelivering. It’s essential to avoid setting unrealistic expectations and failing to deliver what your brand promised, as this damages your reputation rapidly. Aim for authenticity and honesty when crafting your positioning.
- Bypassing internal communication. Sometimes companies make the mistake of not effectively communicating the brand positioning statement with their internal teams. Facts that can lead to confusion and lack of consistency.
Consider the above examples and tips when crafting your positioning statement. And use it in such a way that it performs as a strategic asset for your brand and not a liability.
If you’re ready to start using AI to understand your customers and create a brand positioning statement that will give clear direction to your marketing efforts, schedule a call with us today. We’ll be happy to show you how our technology can help you achieve your marketing goals.