What Is a Positioning Statement?
How Does a Positioning Statement Help My Startup?
Positioning is part of the broader marketing strategy which includes three basic decision levels, namely segmentation, targeting and positioning, sometimes known as the S-T-P approach:
Segmentation: refers to the process of dividing a broad consumer or business market, normally consisting of existing and potential customers, into sub-groups of consumers (known as segments)
Targeting: refers to the selection of a segment or segments that will become the focus of special attention (known as target markets).
Positioning: refers to an overall strategy that "aims to make a brand occupy a distinct position, relative to competing brands, in the mind of the customer".
In general terms, there are three broad types of positioning: functional, symbolic, and experiential position. Functional positions resolve problems, provide benefits to customers, or get favorable perception by investors (stock profile) and lenders.
Symbolic positions address self-image enhancement, ego identification, belongingness and social meaningfulness, and affective fulfillment. Experiential positions provide sensory and cognitive stimulation.
Positioning Statement Development
Both theorists and practitioners argue that the positioning statement should be written in a format that includes an identification of the target market, the market need, the product name and category, the key benefit delivered and the basis of the product's differentiation from any competing alternatives.
A basic template for writing positioning statements is as follows: "For (target customer) who (statement of the need or opportunity), the (product name) is a (product category) that (statement of key benefit – that is, compelling reason to buy). Unlike (primary competitive alternative), our product (statement of primary differentiation)."
An annotated example of how this positioning statement might be translated for a specific application appears in the text-box that follows.
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