Positioning your company for growth

By November 20, 2008 March 19th, 2015 Marketing Communications

Let’s start with the basics of any marketing communications program — positioning. Many companies overlook this crucial first step, but positioning is the key to creating a successful marketing communications program.

The goal is to define your company’s unique position in each market you compete in. A clear-cut positioning strategy sets the stage for all marketing communications, and gives you a foundation for your company’s branding strategy.

What is a positioning statement?
A positioning statement is a one or two-sentence statement that clearly and succinctly explains how your product (or company) differs from your competition.

A positioning statement should:

  • Be customer and benefit-oriented.
  • Ensure delivery of a consistent product message and the best product message.
  • Prevent your competition from positioning your product to their advantage.
  • Define your prime prospects by their concerns, goals, and needs, as concretely and personally as possible.
  • Establish your point of difference, i.e., the one critical factor that wins sales for your product over your competitor’s.
  • Become your declared “position,” your most repeated message to the world.
  • Positioning should occur on many different levels, starting with your company overall, continuing into each of its markets, extending into each product line, and then finally affecting your products and product marketing.

How to position your company and products
Here are some questions to consider when developing a positioning statement:

  • Who is the target market?
  • Who is the user, and who is the buyer?
  • What is the product category?
  • What are your customers buying from you, and how would you describe your business?
  • What is the most important reason people buy your product?
  • What makes your company better than its competition?
  • To quickly develop your own positioning statement, fill in the blanks in this statement:

“For people who [describe the target users], [insert your company or brand name] is the company/brand of [describe your competitive set] that provides [tell the benefit that makes you different and better].”

Target users are those customers who share common needs, and demographic characteristics. The competitive set may be as simple as a product category, but should always be worded in the same way customers describe that category. The benefit that makes you better is the one point of difference you want most closely associated with your product or brand.

Your positioning statement should tell your audience the following about your company:

  • Business philosophy
  • Product benefits
  • Why you’re better than the competition

A positioning statement is a good first step, but to do it properly you should do a thorough evaluation of all the players in your industry, the products they offer and their benefits. Once you have a positioning statement you feel is on target, sit down with the relevant people in your company and get their input. Your company’s position is something all the key players of your company should agree on to ensure the success of your marketing communications program.