7 Minute Read

Make your Mark(et) Positioning Statement

By Maren Hogan

No matter what you do, where you do it and how unique you think your business model, you need a positioning statement.

A positioning statement is a concise description of your target market as well as a compelling picture of how you want that market to perceive your brand. Though it may read like something from your promotional materials, your positioning statement is an internal tool. Every product and marketing decision you make regarding your brand has to align with and support your positioning statement. A good positioning statement is a guidepost for your marketing efforts. It helps you maintain focus on your brand and its value proposition while you work on market strategy and tactics.

  • If your business were a movie, this would be the tagline.
  • If your business were a book, this would be the title.
  • If your business were an album, this would be the hit single.
  • If your business were a…well, you get it.

So how do you make a great positioning statement. By getting out of your own way.

Make an awesome positioning statement with these easy-to-follow tips: Click To Tweet

It needs to be easy, easy to remember and based on a buyer persona.

Companies who exceed lead and revenue goals are over twice as likely to create buyer personas than companies who miss these goals. This means you cannot come up with an entire paragraph filled with jargon that only you and your fellow photographers will understand. Your prospect doesn’t care one little bit what kind of camera you use and your exclusive overprinting process. They care if you make them look beautiful and feel special and they get their prints on time for a great price. Write for your prospect.

It states how you are different.

Think back to our movie analogy. In a trailer, you always hear “In a world where…” and the gravelly voiced older gentleman tells you just how the hero of the story is about to upend his or her world. Make yourself the hero. How do you do anything differently than your competition? If you don’t know, you better figure it out fast. Oh, and make it simple to understand. In a world of sepia-toned canvas prints….

Get real and tell the truth.

Only 50% of employees report believing their operations and internal support delivers their services in a way that reflects their brand promise. Dur, you can’t just say how you’re different and make all kinds of promises. You have to deliver on those promises. Maybe you’re the one and only photog who can get senior pictures back in three weeks. Maybe you are the only portrait maker who can make babies pooping down their dad’s arms look cute. Whatever it is, deliver on it, or it’s not really a brand promise. It’s just like, a brand lie.

Own it.

I could say I am the best speaker in the HR Tech space and maybe some people would believe it (people who do not get out very much). But that’s not true, I cannot own that. Instead, we capitalize on something only I can do, which is execute. Lots of other firms can execute but on a drastically longer timetable than ours. I can own this. What can you own?

It’s scalable as you grow. A great marketing positioning statement will guide you as you evaluate future opportunities and revenue channels. For example, if you take incredible senior pictures, your market position statement could be:

For high school pictures, Photogs Inc is the best senior portrait location because it helps capture that moment between childhood and adulthood better than all other photographers.

If and when you are approached to do weddings or large events, you can look at your market positioning statement and see if that’s a great market for you to capture. According to your above statement, the answer is no. Not because it’s not a good option but because it’s not consistent with the brand you’ve established. So consider all these things when building your market positioning statement.

Here’s a basic template for writing a positioning statement:

  • Who is my target market?
  • Write your primary buyer persona:
  • What is my point of differentiation?

Who or what might be my competition? For our photographer, this could be other portrait studios, photographers and anyone with an iPhone (for budget shoppers).

What is the reason for people to believe? This is a statement providing compelling evidence and reasons why customers in your target market can have confidence in your differentiation claims.

For [insert Target Market], the [insert Brand] is the [insert Point of Differentiation] among all [insert Frame of Reference] because [insert Reason to Believe].

Example of a Great Positioning Statement

The following positioning statement was used by Amazon.com in 2001, when it sold books almost exclusively:

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.com provides a combination of extraordinary convenience, low prices, and comprehensive selection.

Learn more about marketing with these stats!