Much has been written about formal positioning statements, what they are for, what they should contain and how to write them. Yet despite this, I am consistently amazed at the number of products that are launched and marketed without a positioning statement ever being thought of.
Now in many respects, the wording of the statement itself is of little consequence – it is merely a tool used to help with branding and guide marketing communications efforts and should never be released to the general public. However, such statements are an invaluable tool to align the sales, marketing, support and product development teams and can save hours of discussion during messaging and article review processes.
A good positioning statement makes it clear whom the customer is and what the problem is they need to solve.
A great positioning statement also captures information about the product or service offering, the key benefit(s), competitive forces and products and the key differentiator(s) in a clear, concise and usable manner.
Positioning statements should be purely factual and devoid of emotion, superlatives, and aspiration. And they should never be grandiose.
While capturing all this information is great to help inform those creating content about the product / service, perhaps the most powerful aspect of creating a positioning statement is bringing together a cross-functional team to develop the statement.
The most successful discussions I have been involved with pulled all those together that would be in charge of creating / reviewing content – with representatives from product management, product development, sales and marketing all present and contributing.
To create truly insightful marketing programmes, all basic assumptions about the customer and their needs should be challenged during this process.
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