A positioning statement is not the same thing as a tagline.
A tagline is an external statement aimed to attract an intended customer. A positioning statement is internally facing. It is written to define and inform future marketing initiatives for the team. Consider Harley Davidson‘s positioning statement below. It’s extremely self-aware. The brand knows who it is and who its customer is. It affects all Harley’s marketing decisions, even the brand’s choice of taglines such as “All for Freedom, Freedom for All,” or “American by birth, rebel by choice.” See their positioning statement below and you’ll see just what I mean!
A positioning statement is best created with your team, and shared with new team members. When I begin working with clients, this is one of the first places we begin. A positioning statement becomes a powerful foundation for a marketing strategy that will connect you to your ideal client.
A good positioning statement…
- Is simple, memorable, and tailored to your target market
- Is internally facing. This is for you and your team. You may have several of them if you have a variety of divisions or services within your company
- Is an easily understood picture of your brand that differentiates it from your competition
- Is credible, meaning, is something that you can deliver on. Instead of huge, audacious statements, choose very defined statements about what you do
- Is a position you can “own.” Meaning that you are the only one in your market that does what you do
- Helps you keep marketing decisions consistent
- Leaves room for growth
Here is a template to get you started and below it are positioning statement from IKEA and Harley. And below that is an imaginary positioning statement I created. I chose a profession that is crowded for a reason. I wanted to dig deep and use personal passion for a way to make the brand stand out.
The key here is to have fun with it, but at the same time, realize that positioning statements are serious business.
A sample positioning statement I created for an imaginary company shows how our passions can set us apart. Because brands are first and foremost people, and people have passions, lives and interests, bringing those to the forefront of your story is a great way to find alignment points with your client.
In the case of this fictional photographer, hiking, nature, boots, even hills and weather can be part of their story. This in turn attracts the wedding couple who wants to work with a photographer like this.You can see how visually then you have created a story that can easily be conveyed on Facebook and Instagram, and in ads and e-mails.
Most important — telling your authentic story pre-qualifies you to your ideal clients and vice versa.