A market positioning statement is an internal tool you use to describe how you want your target market to perceive or think of your product brand. The statement serves as a “guidepost” for all of your marketing decisions and activities to align. It helps you to stay focused on the value that your product is designed to deliver to customers.
A market positioning statement is simple and customized for the target market; it should be memorable; it’s your vision of your product brand, which needs to deliver on the promise that the statement makes; it emphasizes competitive differentiation – in other words, how it’s unique in the marketplace in a certain way. What sets your product apart in the marketplace? You can evaluate each marketing decision up against it to ensure consistency and alignment, so you are communicating a consistent message to potential customers.
You are affected by product positioning every day. When you think of BMW or the Ritz Carlton, what do you think of? Luxury. When you think of Costco or Motel 6, what do you think of? Low cost. Those reputations of those brands are the way you and other consumers perceive those brands. These brand identities did not develop by accident or by luck. They were developed and cultivated intentionally, starting with a market positioning statement that enabled those companies to ensure the consistency that is needed to form such a clear identity in the marketplace.
How to write a statement
The following is a standard template that you can use to create your own market position statement. You do not need to follow it exactly, but at least have the main elements in your statement.
For [your target market] who [target market need], [your brand name] provides [main benefit that differentiates your offering from competitors] because [reason why target market should believe your differentiation statement.]
Let’s look at a real-world example. Below is a statement that Amazon created in 2001.
For World Wide Web users who enjoy books, Amazon.com is a retail bookseller that provides instant access to over 1.1 million books. Unlike traditional book retailers, Amazon provides a combination of extraordinary convenience, low prices and comprehensive selection.
Of course, Amazon’s market positioning statement expanded hugely over the past two decades, but you can see how having such focus enabled Amazon to develop as a unified brand, giving it the strength to expand years later.
With a strong market positioning statement, you could set up your startup to carve out a unique position in the minds of customers who will think of your company and your products first and foremost when they want to solve the problem that you have addressed with your offering. Your success in the marketplace will not develop by accident or luck. Be intentional.