Brand positioning statements are a critical tool for helping companies crystallize how they think about and express their brand promise. Until it’s put into a precisely-worded statement, brand positioning may represent an unclear idea that’s open to interpretation by different stakeholders. But what is a brand positioning statement? By understanding what this means and learning how to craft your own, you can apply the necessary discipline to the positioning process and achieve better business outcomes as a result. To facilitate this, we’ve provided some brand positioning statement examples below to illustrate how different brands articulate and live out their brand positioning.
In the 1970s, Al Ries and Jack Trout developed the idea of creating a position for a company or product in the mind of its customer, giving rise to what’s now known as a brand positioning statement. Some companies refer to their brand positioning statement as the “single source of truth.” This truth should form the conceptual core for everything a company says and does.
While brand positioning statements are not meant as marketing copy or taglines and should not be repeated everywhere word for word, they form the foundational idea from which these communications flow. Indeed, if every message comes from the same conceptual core – based on the values and expressed promise of the brand positioning statement – and connects to audiences in relevant ways, it will represent a differentiated promise whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
A brand positioning statement is a clear, concise expression of what differentiates a company or institution in its market or industry. To be truly effective, the statement should be comprised of one or two sentences that define:
Typically, “who the company is” and “what it does” are descriptive but not especially emotive or unique. However, “why it matters” is the critical element of positioning, as this explains why people should care that a brand exists. Unfortunately, many companies or brands focus on defining what they do rather than why they are different. For instance, top-tier research institutions often tout the same proof points (e.g. Nobel Prizes, major discoveries, and notable alumni) without differentiating themselves through a unique perspective or promise. Absent such critical information, why should someone choose one brand or product over another? And who would really care if there were one fewer such brands in the world?
While you may understand brand positioning statements in theory, seeing examples of brand positioning statements is a good way to understand what they look like in practice. Provided below are brand positioning statement examples from well-known companies and institutions to make them less abstract and enable you to better develop your own.
Now that you have a better sense of what brand positioning statements are and have several brand positioning statement examples to use as models, you can tackle this job for your own business. While the statements are concise, don’t be fooled that writing them is necessarily simple. In addition, not only do all key stakeholders need to agree on the brand positioning statement, your organization as a whole must embrace and translate its core tenets into their strategies and actions. Creating a brand positioning statement may seem to some like a one-day writing assignment for a marketing committee, but smart companies don’t make that mistake. By adopting a disciplined approach to branding positioning strategy and developing a clear and differentiated brand positioning statement, you’ll be far better equipped to outmaneuver the competition and succeed in the marketplace.