Creating your positioning statement

Before you create a positioning statement, one warning : Don't confuse a position with a positioning statement.

A position (or statement of position) is a cold-hearted, no-nonsense statement of how you are perceived in the minds of prospects. It is your position.

A positioning statement, by contrast, states how you wish to be perceived. It is the core message you want to deliver in every medium, including elevators and airport waiting areas, to influence the perceptions of your service.

Your can establish your positioning statement by answering the following questions :

  • Who: Who are you?
  • What : What business are you in?
  • For whom: What people do you serve?
  • What need: What are the special needs of the people you serve?
  • Against whom : With whom are you competing?
  • What's different: What makes you different form those competitors?
  • So: What's the benefit? What unique benefit does a client derive from your service? 

To illustrate, take Bloomingdale's: 

  • Who: Bloomingdale's
  • What: fashion-focused department stores
  • For Whom : for trend-conscious, upper-middle-class shoppers
  • What need: looking for high-end products.
  • Against whom: other department stores
  • What's different : Bloomingdale's provides unique merchandise in a theatrical setting
  • So : that makes shopping entertaining and fun.

This was Bloomingdale's position for years. Rather than make its "what's different?" couture and high-end fashions (Bergdorf Goodman's niche), or even fashion at all, Bloomingdales positioned itself based on the experience of going there.

You can find other models for creating your positioning statement. None work better than this.

Morale of the story : Ask yourself these seven questions - and have seven good clear answers.