How To Write a Positioning Statement (Plus Templates and Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated September 8, 2021 | Published February 25, 2020

Updated September 8, 2021

Published February 25, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Businesses need a guide that keeps all departments aligned. Positioning statements provide a clear direction for all of a company's endeavors. Positioning statements keep everyone in the company working towards the same goals.

In this article, we will explain what a positioning statement is, how to create a positioning statement, describe the differences between positioning statements and value propositions, and provide a positioning statement template with examples.

Related: Core Values: Overview and Examples

What is a positioning statement?

A positioning statement is a short description of how a brand, service or product satisfies a consumer need better than the competition. Positioning statements are also called statements of differentiation or unique selling points (USPs). Your company's positioning statement should guide all departmental decisions to remain true to the brand concept. A positioning statement answers the question, "How do we want to be perceived by the public?"

Positioning statements can also be used to de-position competitors. De-positioning uses your positioning statement to devalue a competitor and remove them from their position.

What's the difference between a positioning statement and a value proposition?

Positioning statements and value propositions share information, but they are created for different audiences and purposes.

A value proposition is a broad, multi-page document that details how and why your product, service or brand is superior to competitors. It is an overview of the company's value and differentiation. Value propositions are shared with external stakeholders, like customers or investors.

A positioning statement is created after the value proposition because it takes the most important elements of the value proposition and highlights them. The positioning statement is a very brief, focused explanation of a product, service or brand's key benefit and primary difference to competitors. Positioning statements are internal documents.

Related: 4 Steps to Building a Brand

How to create a positioning statement

Follow the steps below to write an effective positioning statement:

  1. Identify your target market.

  2. Review your value proposition.

  3. Highlight the key benefit.

  4. Highlight the key difference.

  5. Prepare a template.

  6. Insert your information.

  7. Revise the tone.

1. Identify your target market.

Know exactly who this product, benefit or brand is for. Be clear and specific.

Example: Family Photo is a photography studio writing their first positioning statement. Their target market is young families.

2. Review your value proposition.

Your value proposition should guide your positioning statement. Read through the value proposition and identify the most important information.

Example: Family Photo recently wrote a value proposition. They get it out to identify the key information.

3. Highlight the key benefit.

In your value proposition, highlight the key benefit your brand, service or product provides to customers.

Example: The key benefit that Family Photo provides is an all-inclusive studio setting complete with clothing, props and indoor and outdoor spaces to meet the needs of every customer.

4. Highlight the key difference.

In your value proposition, highlight the key difference your brand, service or product provides to customers as opposed to your competitors.

Example: The key difference between Family Photo and its competitors is the privacy and flexibility of their studio space. Local competitors do not have private, outdoor spaces for photos.

5. Prepare a template.

There are many positioning statement templates to choose from. We have provided a couple in the next section. Select a template to begin forming your positioning statement.

Example: Family Photo selects a template to begin writing their positioning statement:

For [target market] who [statement of need] the [product or service] is a [type of product] that [key benefit]. Unlike [primary competitor], our product [differentiation statement].

6. Insert your information.

Place your information into the positioning statement template.

Example: For [families looking for an all-inclusive, private photo experience], [Family Photo] is a [photography studio] that [provides clothing, props and locations that will keep everyone in the family comfortable]. Unlike [local photography studios], our product is [totally private and customizable].

7. Revise the tone.

Read through your positioning statement draft. You want the tone of the statement to reflect that of your business, so adjust the language as needed to best align with your company. Your positioning statement should uniquely identify your brand and demonstrate your value and the difference between you and your competitors.

Example: Family Photo revises the language in their positioning statement to reflect the tone of their brand:

For families looking for an all-inclusive, private photo experience, Family Photo is a photography studio that provides everything your family needs to feel beautiful and comfortable. Unlike local photography studios, our photography sessions are customizable and completely private.

Related: How to Set Development Goals for Work

Positioning statement templates

Below are two templates you can use to begin drafting your positioning statement:

Template 1

For [target market] who [statement of need] the [product or service] is a [type of product] that [key benefit]. Unlike [primary competitor], our product [differentiation statement].

Template 2

For [target market] the [brand, product or service] is the [differentiation statement] among all [type of product] because [key benefit].

Examples

Here are a few examples of positioning statements:

Example 1: Clothing company

For discerning individuals who want to stand out from the crowd, Durham Designs is a clothing retailer that pays attention to detail. Unlike other clothing stores, our products are all hand-made by local artisans. You can be sure the pieces you select will be just as unique as you are.

Example 2: Gym

For athletes who want professional coaches to guide their workouts, Gymnasium is an athletic facility that matches every client with a certified personal trainer. Unlike other gyms, we make sure that you are working out safely and effectively every time you come in.

Example 3: Grocery store

For consumers who are passionate about the food they feed their families, Local Farms is a grocery store that works with local farmers and food producers to stock our shelves. Unlike big chain supermarkets, you can be sure that our products are local, organic and sustainably grown.

Example 4: Airline

For the discerning flier who yearns for a higher standard in air travel, Gold Air is an airline that provides the services of a private jet without the price tag. Unlike other airlines, we provide a level of comfort and ease that makes air travel a pleasure.

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