What Is A Positioning Statement?
A positioning statement is a small but powerful piece of a company’s marketing collateral. It is a one or two sentence statement defining the company’s approach to their reputation in one or more markets. It defines how the company perceives itself and interacts with a product, service, or company. These can be products or services that the company offers or those of other companies. The positioning statement, while small, wields a lot of power to define corporate policy and set branding initiatives. It has a lot of bang for its buck. Position statements are usually refined by corporate, but an individual or sole proprietor might write their own position statement as well. They are the piece of corporate identity that regulates interaction style.
How Does a Company Make a Positioning Statement?
A good position statement talks about how the company or proprietor approaches their relationship with a product, service, or company. For example, a large corporate headquarters might have the position statement similar to this:
“Goliath Consulting serves our clientele with grace and integrity.”
The position here is that Goliath Consulting is an ethical company with certain requirements for their interaction. To some, that may sound like a given. But in the large world of business, there is a huge variety of corporate identities. People do not always view the same ideas about what “ethical business” or “professional services” might be. So, a good position statement is also specific and doesn’t leave too much to the imagination. It is descriptive, has some concrete basis, and recognizes the who, what, and why of the situation.
What Impact Does a Position Statement Have?
Position statements naturally define businesses and help shape the core identity while they recognize identity. Thus, position statements are naturally a bit narrower than a global brand campaign or initiative. A position statement is also decidedly not an ethics code. To start out on a position statement, a company might identify major decision makers within its core structure. The position statement would rely on their leadership, rather than being a call to action to the entire employee infrastructure. It would not be solely dependent upon the customer service team, for example, for execution. A position statement ultimately defines how things get done at a company, rather than what gets done.
What Is The Difference Between a Position Statement and a Mission Statement?
A good position statement should be direct, formal, and to the point. It should not have a lot of jargon or come across as overtly friendly. Rather, it should voice the core principles behind decision making at the company without becoming a mission statement.
In contrast, a mission statement is a call to action that everyone at the company could potentially participate in to some extent. It is an action list of “To Dos” at the company. The position statement defines how those things get done and sometimes why. It defines attitude and sometimes corporate relations with other members of the company in nature, rather than in definition. For example, Goliath’s position statement doesn’t explicitly list gracious things employees need to do for each other at the company or why. It is clear, however, that a gracious attitude is needed for success at Goliath from the position statement. However, it defines the nature of some of the employee interactions, or the company’s approach toward its internal relations, at Goliath by default.