Positioning Statement

What is a Positioning Statement?

A positioning statement defines how a brand or product uniquely occupies a specific place in the minds of target customers relative to competing offerings. It is a succinct description that identifies the brand’s or product’s target market, value proposition, and product differentiation.

Marketing and sales teams use positioning statements to communicate the distinct benefits and value their product or service delivers, and why it’s the best choice for the target audience. They also serve as the North Star for a company’s branding strategy, guiding everything from messaging and content creation to product development and pricing.

Positioning statements are different from mission statements. When considering your business’s “what, why, and how,” your mission statement answers why your company does what it does — it shapes your company culture and clarifies the core values driving it. Your positioning statement describes what you do and how you do it.


  • Brand positioning statement
  • Marketing positioning statement
  • Product positioning statement

The Purpose of a Positioning Statement in Branding

A well-crafted positioning statement articulates your brand’s promise, the specific benefits your product delivers, and why it’s the preferred choice for your target audience. It acts as a guide for all branding and marketing efforts, ensuring consistency across all touchpoints with customers.

By focusing on the unique benefits and value your brand provides, you can:

  • Stand out among competitors offering similar products or services
  • Attract and retain the right customers who align with your brand values and messaging
  • Communicate product value in a way that’s easy for customers to understand and remember
  • Create a strong brand identity and maintain consistency in all branding efforts

In addition, the research and deliberation involved in creating your positioning statement will force you to look critically at your product and customer base. As a result, you yourself will get a better picture of where you fall in the market, who your audience is, and how you can communicate with them.

Key Components of a Positioning Statement

A positioning statement has four main elements: your target audience, frame of reference, brand promise, and reason to believe.

Target Audience

Your target audience is the specific group of consumers to whom your product or service is aimed. You might refer to it as your ideal customer profile (ICP).

More than likely, you have multiple types of customers who use your product, within your target audience. Customer segmentation helps you further refine your targeting by dividing your customers into groups with similar characteristics.

  • Demographics (for B2C companies)
  • Firmographics (for B2B companies)
  • Geographic location
  • Psychographic traits (personality, values, interests)
  • User behavior
  • Needs and preferences

You’ll probably change your marketing strategies based on which group of potential customers you’re selling to. Your positioning statement, however, should encompass how your product satisfies the needs of all these customers.

Frame of Reference

Frame of reference (FOR) is the category in which the product or service competes. Examples include:

  • Mobile phones
  • Internet service providers
  • Cloud storage solutions
  • Social media management tools

This element of the positioning statement is crucial, as it clarifies where your product or service fits within the market. It also gives context to your target customers, as they’re familiar with the category and likely have experience with similar ones.

Brand Promise

The brand promise is what you commit to delivering to your target audience. It’s typically a benefit or solution that sets your product apart from competitors and resonates with your customers on an emotional level.

To craft an effective brand promise, ask yourself:

  • What is the primary benefit of our product or service?
  • Why should customers choose our product over competitors’ offerings?
  • How does our product solve a problem for our customers?
  • What makes our product unique in the market?

Your product probably has dozens of attributes that make it great. Your brand promise, though, is the most compelling benefit or advantage that makes the product or service unique. It’s the one thing your brand does best, that customers also want, that your competitors don’t do.

Reason to Believe

The reason to believe (RTB) is the evidence or support that backs up your brand promise. It literally answers the question, “Why should customers believe what you’re promising?”

Here are some examples of RTB:

  • Customer testimonials
  • Product reviews
  • Statistics or data that support your product’s effectiveness
  • Industry awards or recognition
  • Unique features or technology that sets your product apart from competitors

Your reason to believe is what builds customer trust. It’s a way to prove your brand promise is true, not just something you say to sell more products.

Examples of Effective Positioning Statements

All good positioning statements follow the above structure in a clear and concise manner. In practice, it sounds something like this:

“To {Target Audience} your brand is the {Frame of Reference} that is the {Brand Promise} because {Reason to Believe}.”

Here’s a look at a few companies that nailed their positioning statements:


“We’ve gone from connecting rides on 4 wheels to 2 wheels to 18-wheel freight deliveries. From takeout meals to daily essentials to prescription drugs to just about anything you need at any time and earning your way. From drivers with background checks to real-time verification, safety is a top priority every single day.”

Uber faces a unique challenge: its audience consists of riders, drivers, and partners (restaurants for Uber Eats). It’s also competing with multiple forms of transportation and delivery services. Its brand promise, however, is the same across all these areas: convenience and safety.

Uber’s reason to believe lies in its technology and strict safety measures. The company even alludes to the ethical benefit of reducing barriers to prescription drugs for people without cars to add another layer of emotional appeal.


“We champion continual progress for athletes and sport by taking action to help athletes reach their potential. Every job at NIKE, Inc. is grounded in a team-first mindset, cultivating a culture of innovation and a shared purpose to leave an enduring impact.”

Nike proves its commitment to community by mentioning every job at the company adopts a “team-first mindset.” As such a large and ubiquitous brand, it’s important for Nike to connect with its customers on a personal level and exemplify the values all the members of its diverse customer base are looking for.

Salesforce Trailhead

When you purchase a Salesforce solution, you’re not just purchasing a CRM platform, you’ll be part of an inclusive community of over 10 million innovators and game changers we call Trailblazers. With Trailhead’s free online learning, it’s possible to learn the skills you need to help your business and/or career thrive.

Salesforce uses Trailhead to further differentiate itself from other SaaS CRM providers. This positioning statement highlights Salesforce’s community and free online learning platform. The company builds credibility by dropping the number of users they have, emphasizing that joining Salesforce means becoming part of a large and innovative community.


“Gong transforms revenue organizations by harnessing customer interactions to increase business efficiency, improve decision-making and accelerate revenue growth. The Revenue Intelligence platform uses proprietary AI technology to enable teams to capture every customer interaction, understand and act on all customer interactions in a single, integrated platform. More than 4,000 companies around the world rely on Gong to support their go-to-market strategies and grow revenue efficiently.”

Gong’s positioning statement speaks directly to its target audience (revenue operations). And it highlights the unique benefits of its solution: improved efficiency, decision-making, and revenue growth.

The reason to believe is backed by impressive numbers — over 4,000 companies globally — and a clear description of how their AI technology sets them apart in the market.

How to Create a Strong Positioning Statement

1. Research your market.

The first step in creating a strong positioning statement is understanding the market you’re selling into. You’ll need to look into:

  • Your competitors
  • Their brand promises and reason to believe
  • What they do well
  • Who they serve
  • How you’re different

Create a competitor map. Divide it into four quadrants (based on two criteria, each with opposite ends of the spectrum) and plot where your competitors fall. They can be any criteria specific to your industry.

For example:

  • High/low quality, high//low price
  • Modern/traditional, digital/physical
  • High touch/low touch, services/products

Plot where you sit on the map and compare where your competition falls.

2. Define your ICP.

Your ideal customer profile (ICP) is the description of your target audience that you’ll use to guide your marketing and sales efforts.

Start by making a list of your best customers. Then, talk to some of them to find common characteristics and document it.

3. Uncover customer pain points.

Pain points are the specific problems your customers experience that your product or service solves.

There are several types of pain points, but they mostly fall into one of four categories:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Financial
  • Logistical

Use customer interviews and surveys to understand the challenges they face anad find trends in their responses.

4. Identify your unique selling proposition (USP).

This is what sets you apart from competitors. While there are several reasons to do business with you, this is the one thing that…

  • Solves your customer’s most critical pain point or addresses a major concern of theirs
  • Accomplishes something your competition doesn’t
  • Aligns with your brand promise

Create a list of your selling points and narrow it down to the one that meets all three criteria above.

5. Find compelling proof of your USP.

Since positioning statements are rather short, you don’t need extensive proof of your claims. You only need one statistic or fact that reinforces your authority to say what you’re saying.

This could be:

  • Number of customers you’ve served
  • Positive ratings or reviews you’ve received
  • Endorsement or partnership with a reputable organization
  • Data-backed success stories or case studies
  • Statistics showing the impact of your solution

6. Put it all together.

Once you’re clear on your ICP, pain points, and unique selling proposition with supporting facts, you’re ready to put it all together. Writing the actual statement requires creativity and clarity.

It should be:

  • Short and simple
  • Customer-focused
  • Unique to your brand

For example:

“Voted one of G2’s Top 50 Best Sales Products for 2023, DealHub empowers Sales and Finance organizations with an end-to-end quote-to-revenue automation solution that drives sales processes forward at speed.”

The 7 Criteria of a Good Positioning Statement

When your internal team finishes crafting your positioning statement, ask yourself these six questions to ensure it’s a good one:

  • Is it specific? It should explicitly mention who your product or service is for, what it does, and why that matters to the customer.
  • Is it clear and concise? Avoid using jargon that is unclear to those who are not familiar with your solution. And don’t publish word salad.
  • Does it emphasize unique benefits? If someone else in your space can do exactly what you are, you’ve failed to answer, “Why you?”.
  • Does your audience care about those benefits? The buyer needs to have an interest in pursuing the promised benefits.
  • Is it memorable? The best statements elicit an emotional response from the customer (or, at the very least, makes them feel a certain way).
  • Is it believable? This is where the supporting facts and proof come in. Don’t make claims you can’t back up. Also consider whether your “proof” sounds believable to the average person.
  • Is it aligned with your brand messaging? As you run new marketing campaigns and update your brand, you’ll need to revisit your positioning statement to make sure it still aligns.

People Also Ask

What is the difference between a value proposition and a positioning statement?

A value proposition explains why a customer should choose your product or service, highlighting the unique value and benefits. A positioning statement, on the other hand, defines how your brand or product fits into the market and distinguishes itself from competitors, focusing on the perception you want to create in the target market’s mind.

What are the 3 P’s of positioning?

The 3 P’s of positioning are price, place, and promotion. Price involves setting a cost that reflects the product’s perceived value and competitive stance. Place concerns the distribution channels and locations where the product is sold. Promotion covers the communication tactics used to inform and persuade potential customers about the product’s features and benefits.

What are the three elements of a positioning statement target audience?

The three elements of a positioning statement’s target audience typically include identifying the specific group of consumers the brand aims to serve, understanding their unique needs and challenges, and recognizing the benefits they seek in a product or service.