A brand positioning statement expresses insight into the goals and perceptions of a target group of customers. The reason a brand positioning statement is developed is to ensure that throughout the company, there is a single shared vision for the brand which guides the tactical thinking of the organization. Therefore, once the organization develops its brand positioning statement, it should be distributed throughout the company as well as to its partners.
While the brand positioning statement is shared with the business’s partners, it is not intended to be read by consumers. What consumers see instead are the results of the positioning statement – the brand’s channels of distribution, communications, design and pricing.
Although formats vary, the basic components of a brand positioning statement include:
1. The characteristics of the targeted customers such as demographics and psychographics.
2. Identification of the situations in which the brand might be used.
3. Why the brand is superior to its competitors and alternatives.
4. Reasons to believe in the brand.
Below are two examples of how a positioning statement can place the same product, Cheerier Exterior Paint, a fictitious Southwestern paint company, in a very different light simply by how it is positioned.
Example 1 (Targets the professional painter)
The professional painter who purchases paint as the main product s/he uses to make a living cannot afford to have bubbling or fading paint after s/he completes his/her job . Cheerier Exterior Paint promises to help professional painters achieve the goal of providing a reliable, longer lasting product than other brands. It is able to achieve this because Cheerier Exterior Paint is specially formulated to withstand the harsh sunshine and heat of the Southwest and is backed by a 15 year warranty against bubbling and fading.
Example 2 (Targets the Do-It-Yourselfer)
The Do-It-Yourself painter takes pride in his/her work, demanding the same results as any professional painter. Do-It-Yourselfers choose Cheerier Exterior Paint because it is the brand that is specially formulated for, and chosen by, professional painters who depend upon this product to make their living. That’s why Do-It-Yourselfers in the Southwest, who are looking to only do it themselves once in this decade, choose Cheerier Exterior Paint, backed by a 15 year warranty against bubbling and fading.
As you can see, a brand should take the time to thoughtfully create its brand positioning statement so that the company’s vision for the brand is clear both inside and outside the company.