Where do you fit in the marketplace? A big part of marketing is understanding the positioning of your brand and your products within the marketplace. Where do you fit? A lot of times entrepreneurs and small business people charge into business with a great idea, but they don’t take the time to answer this question. It isn’t just about what you’re offering but it’s about who you’re offering it to and who your competition is and isn’t.

Business Dictionary defines positioning as “A marketing strategy that aims to make a brand occupy a distinct position, relative to competing brands, in the mind of the customer.” At AMI we do this through the use of brand positioning statements.

What is a brand positioning statement?

In our very first post Charting the Course for Your Ultimate Destination, we introduced the concept of these statements and how they work in your business. It is how you define what your brand offers that is of unique value when compared to their competition. Your brand positioning statement defines that in writing for you and will help you stay focused on your brand and value proposition.

Why do you need a brand positioning statement?

As your business grows every product idea, enhancement and marketing decision needs to align with and support your brand positioning statement. The evaluation process for each idea, enhancement, and marketing decision will rely heavily on this statement. It will be the benchmark by which all strategies, tactics, and opportunities are measured. If they do not support the brand positioning statement, new ones must be pursued.

How do you create a brand positioning statement?

A brand positioning statement is a short paragraph, no more than 4 – 5 sentences, about your brand, the problem it solves, and what makes it unique. This is an internal statement that you use within your company and with any vendor that is working to provide services that represent your brand like your website or social media.

Here are the key questions to answer while creating your statement.

What are you offering?

It may seem basic but the first thing you want to do is clearly define what you are offering. This may seem the simple, but a lot of people get tripped up when they have to put it down on paper.

Take a few minutes and clearly define your product offerings. For example, if you’re offering coaching services on how to build a public speaking business what exactly are you going to be teaching? Are you teaching the mechanics of how to speak in front of a large group? Are you teaching how to sell additional services from the stage? Are you teaching how to find places to speak? Or are you teaching all of these things?

Who is your competition?

Are there other people with a similar experience to you offering a similar product? Where do they exist in the marketplace? Are they low, average or high priced? And how does what they are offering compare to what you are offering. It is a great idea to make sure you understand exactly what else is out there. That is the only way for you to really understand how your product is different.

How is what you offer unique?

The answer to this may be extremely straightforward because you may be offering something different than anyone else is offering. And it may be as basic as you are what makes it unique. But either way, you must define it.

Re-life examples

I have one client whose product completely simplifies a task in a way that no one else has done before. Making a process done by many easy and fun while getting them to the end result faster. That is a unique selling point.

I have another client who takes an approach to a standard product offering that completely transforms the product into something far more meaningful than before. And at the same time, it allows the user to make money off utilizing the product with their clients. That is a unique selling point.

And yet another client that offers similar advice and guidance but does it with their own style and extensive years of experience. She provides her clients with her been there done that philosophies allowing her clients to learn from her successes and failures. That is a unique selling point.

Once you have the answers to these questions you are ready to write your brand positioning statement. And once you have that it will become easier for you to write your messaging, evaluate your ideas, assess opportunities, and stay on course to reach your ultimate destination.

By: Amy Matthews, CEO, AMI LC