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4 Basic Elements of a Positioning Statement


All marketing strategies and tactics need a well-constructed positioning statement to help maintain focus. The positioning statement is for internal use and should not show up in marketing copy. Every brand decision should be judged by how well it supports the positioning statement. These decisions include: brand name, the product or service itself, packaging, advertising, promotions, etc. It’s one of the primary tools for agencies to manage clients and clients to manage agencies.

A positioning statement describes the customer and paints a picture of how you want the market to perceive your brand.

There are four basic elements or components to a positioning statement:

  1. Target Audience – the attitudinal and demographic description of the core prospect. The customers who represents the brand’s most fervent users
  2. Frame of Reference (FOR) – the category in which the brand competes.  Context gives the brand relevance to the customer.
  3. Benefit/Point of Difference (POD) – the most compelling and motivating benefit that the brand can own.
  4. Reason to Believe – the most convincing proof that the brand delivers what it promises.

Template for a Positioning Statement:
For (target audience)(brand name) is the (frame of reference) that delivers (benefit/point of difference) because only (brand name) is reason to believe).

The wording of your positioning statement may vary. But to be effective, it must contain the five main components in brackets above.

Criteria for Evaluating a Positioning Statement

  1.  Is it memorable, motivating, and focused to the core prospect?
  2. Does it provide a clear, distinctive, and meaningful picture of the brand?
  3. Does it differentiate itself from the competition?
  4. Can the brand own it?
  5. Is it credible and believable?
  6. Does it enable growth?
  7. Does it serve as a filter for brand decision making?