Marketing Basics: Position Statement
Many of the posts on our blog these days focus on web design and social media. But none of these tools will be very effective without a comprehensive strategy to pull them together. And at the core of your strategy should be a simple market position statement. This statement defines the unique niche your business will serve and the key benefits you provide for that niche.
What do you want to be known for? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is your target customer and what is their problem? What solutions do you offer them?
- Which features and benefits of my product/service are most important to customers?
- Which of these do I do extremely well?
- What sets me apart from my competition?
- What makes you special?
Look at your business through the eyes of your customers:
- How do they define what you do?
- Why do they choose to do business with you or one of your competitors?
- Is it your quality, price, service, unique product, variety, location, return policy, hours of operation, convenience or packaging which makes your offer most appealing?
For Roundpeg, a big part of who we are and what makes us unique is our emphasis on educating our customers. Lots of companies build websites. We train our clients how to maintain them for the long run. We offer free monthly workshops to help them stay on top of the latest trends.
Remember that your market position should describe the benefits you provide specifically for your target customer. What you do well, better or different from your competitors. Be sure the things you focus on are actually important to your target audience. We work with a real estate company with a team of full-time agents. As full-time professionals, they can provide a higher level of service to their clients. Unfortunately, most consumers don’t know the difference. So executing this branding will take additional effort in the messaging to explain the difference.
Your market position is also an emotional statement. It it not just what you want existing and potential customers to think of when they hear your name, but how they feel about you. The impression you are hoping to create should be captured in a clear concise statement which describes your target customer, the primary benefit they are seeking, and how the benefit will be delivered.
In classic marketing strategy this statement is referred to as a position statement or brand position. The position statement describes your target customer in enough detail so you can picture that individual or company clearly. The more specific the description, the easier it is to create marketing material which grabs the attention of the potential customer. The position statement talks about the primary or differentiating benefit the customer is seeking. Customers have many needs, but how does your product offering or service meet their most important need?
“Positioning” is about creating an impression of your company in the mind of the consumer. This statement forms the foundation of the messages you will use in your marketing programs.
A market position statement contains the following elements:
- Description of the target customer
- Benefits sought by the target customer
- Brand name and product category
- Unique solution
Here are several sample position statements to give you an idea of how they are written:
The brand manager for a deodorant soap such as Irish Spring® might describe the product this way:
For the active young man who wants to smell fresh and clean after a strenuous workout, Irish Spring® is the brand of soap which provides the best odor protection.
An advertising agency targeting budget-conscious startup companies might describe their position this way:
For the startup company with revenue under $100,000which wants to appear larger and more established, On Target Marketing is the marketing agency which provides the most creative promotions at an affordable price.
A heating and air-conditioning manufacturer used the following statement as the foundation of their marketing:
For the middle-American consumer seeking reliable heating and cooling, our brand provides simple, worry-free comfort from someone they trust.
And one of my favorite examples, from the Ritz Carlton Hotel:
Ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.
In just seven words they have captured the essence of who they serve, what they do, and how they treat their customers.
One final thought, the position statement is not advertising copy. It is an internal definition of who your company serves, and what you provide.
What is your position statement? How do you describe who you are and what you do?