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How to Write a Positioning Statement

By Erica Olsen


The purpose of writing a positioning statement is to ensure that all of your marketing activities for a customer group are consistent and clear. (And it saves you tons of time in the long run.) Initially, focus on writing a positioning statement that’s only used internally. In the future, you may end up using it for other purposes such as in your marketing collateral. But if you throw that into the mix the first go around, crafting a strategic statement that makes sense may be more difficult. Ready to jump in?

To write your positioning statements, follow these steps:

  1. Select the target customer group you want to focus on.
  2. Develop a list of needs your customer group has that you intend to meet (if not already included in your customer profile).
  3. List your product/service’s benefits that uniquely meet these needs.
  4. Use the lists of customer needs and product/service benefits to finish this sentence: When this customer group thinks of my product or service, I want them to think: ____________________.
  5. Evaluate your positioning statement by making sure it’s simple, clear, and consistent.
  6. Get the word out to everyone by consistently communicating your positioning message in everything your company does for this customer group.

Don’t forget: The customer himself does the real positioning by paying attention and deciding to buy your product/service. What you do have control over is assessing what positions exist in the customer’s mind and then determining which of those you have the best chance of occupying and defending based on your own strengths.

Erica Olsen

Erica Olsen is the COO and a co-founder of OnStrategy. She has developed the format and the user interface for the award-winning OnStrategy on-line strategic management system. In addition, she is the author of Strategic Planning Kit for Dummies, 2nd Edition. Erica has developed and reviewed hundreds of strategic plans for public and private entities across the country and around the world. She is a lecturer at University of Nevada Reno and University of Phoenix. She holds a BA in Communications and an MBA in International Management.

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