Forming an effective positioning statement for marketing requires ninja-like simplicity and a focus on the true benefit your company, service, or product brings to your customers. Are you up to the task? In my desire to help clients better communicate their value to potential customers, I want to offer you the following simple formula for creating a positioning statement.
Here is the positioning statement formula:
U (A + B ) = Y
Y = (You) Company Name, Product, or Service
A = Audience
B = Benefit
U = Uniqueness
If math scares you like it does me, don’t worry about the likeness to algebra. I’ll explain how you can take what you already know about your business to form a compelling result from this formula.
Y | Name What You Are Selling
First, are you forming this statement for a company, product, or service? This is important because its hard to sell your company and your service at the same time. You likely need multiple positioning statements for your marketing endeavors, but let’s start with your immediate task—do you need people to trust your company or the specific service you aim to offer? It’s a subtle difference at times, but thinking carefully about your organizational goals and the competitive landscape should show you the answer.
Let’s imagine we are a local contractor and construction company focusing on promoting their high-end remodels. We likely have a short-hand way of referring to what we do such as “high-end projects”, but we want to nail down our label with language that our potential customers would use to find us. How about “Luxurious Kitchen Remodels”? This helps the viewer know exactly what you represent whether your business name makes that clear or not.
A | Define Your Ideal Customer
Audience targeting is one of the many benefits of Digital Marketing today, making it easier to aim your marketing directly at your highest value customers. Whether your customers are defined geographically, psychologically, or culturally, you can define this audience as narrow or wide as you want. The goal is for someone who reads your statement to say “That’s Me!”
Who is in the market for a high-end kitchen remodel? As much as I’d like one myself, let’s imagine that empty-nesters in high-income suburbs are a likely target. Our message can be tightly focused on this audience and even tweaked for different versions of our marketing to reach other demographics as well.
B | Understand the Actual Benefits
Communicating the value of your product can be difficult because the way you see your product or service may be totally different than the way your audience sees your product or service. You must ask not what your product does, but how it impacts your ideal customer. The end result of our fictitious remodel may be more space, but the psychological impact on the customer may be a sense of order, peaces, or fulfillment in their home.
A good way to figure out the perceived benefit of your product or service is to ask your customers. Whether it’s through reviews and testimonials, surveys, focus groups, or a casual chat over coffee, you might be surprised at your true impact on customers and you want to call that out for potential future customers.
U | Discover Your Uniqueness
Once you have completed the above tasks, you may still ask yourself whether what you have makes you stand apart in the market. Chances are that no one else offers your unique blend of A and B, but maybe they do. May you are a dentist or lawyer and you have 30 other lawyers in your town. Maybe your remodel services are trying to cut through the noise of a real estate bubble. At that point, you truly have to reach inward to understand what unique selling point and more importantly, unique character your company brings to the market.
Many companies like to tout their integrity, quality, trustworthiness—but these are what we call “pay-to-play” qualities that customers expect by default from any company they would work with. Can you offer something more? Can you offer fun? Can you offer an experience that no one else can? Can you where a bright Hawaiian shirt (only if you’re a carpet salesman)
What if our construction company included a vacation or lodging package with their services to coordinate with the customer’s needs during the remodel? What if our construction company offered a bring-your-own laborer option to include the homeowner in key moments of the project so you got to help raise your own walls, pour your own foundation, or screen on the last switch-plate? All of these could help the company stand out in the market and appeal to their ideal customers.
Once you discover how your can bring your Audience together with your Benefits, multiply it all with your uniqueness, and there you have it, the value of You and your product to the market. Such a positioning statement gets straight to the point of who you are, what you do, and why your potential customers should care. Without such clarity, you might leave folks asking “so what” as your rattle off your mission statement or values at them.
Give this a try and let us know if you need any help along the way.