Marketing: How to Write a Positioning Strategy - dummies

Marketing: How to Write a Positioning Strategy

By Alexander Hiam

Your first and foremost marketing strategy is to get clear on what the consumer values most. After that, work to position your product in relation to that. For example, if bank customers say in a survey that they’re desperate for better interest rates, then a bank’s advertising can focus on a special, high-interest rate introductory offer.

To refine your positioning strategy and make sure it gets incorporated into all your marketing communications, you need to write down a positioning statement. Fortunately, writing a positioning statement is pretty easy. Just follow these two simple steps:

  1. Answer the following questions:

    • What type of customer do you target?

    • What attribute does the customer value most?

    • What do you do for that customer with respect to that attribute?

    • How do you fulfill your customer’s wants and needs?

    • Why do you do it better than the competition?

  2. Fill in the following with your own words:

    • Our product offers the following benefit (which the customer values):

    • To the following customers (describe target segment):

    • Our product is better than competitors in the following manner:

    • We can prove we’re the best because of (provide evidence/differences):

Here are some of the common approaches for a positioning strategy:

  • You may position against a competitor. “Our interest rates are lower than XYZ Bank’s.” (This tactic is a natural in a mature product category, where the competitive strategy applies.)

  • You may emphasize a distinctive benefit. “The only peanut butter with no harmful trans fats.”

  • You can affiliate yourself with something the customer values. “The toothpaste most often recommended by dentists.” (Doing so allows some of the virtues of this other thing to rub off on your brand.)

    A celebrity endorser, an image of a happy family playing on the beach, a richly appointed manor house set in beautiful gardens, a friendly giant: All have been used to position products favorably in consumers’ minds.

Write your positioning strategy in big print and post it above your desk to make sure you stay focused on its execution. Handing out copies of it to your ad agency, distributor, publicist, salespeople, and anyone else who works on or in your marketing program also pays off.