Picture this: You're preparing to launch your new product. You've likely spent countless hours, days, weeks, months, even years determining what sets the product apart from the competition and developing your brand identity.

But how can you ensure your marketing efforts are aligned with the brand?


Your positioning impacts all aspects of your branding and how your market sees you — it influences everything your business presents and shares about your product and brand to your target audience. Your internal teams benefit greatly from effective positioning, too — it helps sales reps, marketers, and service and support teams create more delightful and on-brand experiences for customers.

When consumers visit your company website, view an ad, or check out your Twitter page, each piece of content should clearly communicate the business' core values and brand.

Free Resource: 10 Positioning Statement Templates [Download Now]

Positioning statements are used to describe how your product or service fills a need of your target market or persona. They're a must-have for any positioning strategy because they create a clear vision for your brand.

What is the purpose of a positioning statement?

The positioning statement conveys the value proposition to the brand's ideal customers. It also frames the brand's identity, purpose, and distinguishing features within the context of the buyer’s experience.

To craft your positioning statement, you'll need to get crystal clear on these aspects of your business:

  • Who you serve
  • What you offer them
  • How you offer it
  • Why you do what you do
  • How this compares to what's already out there

Featured Resource

10 Positioning Statement Templates

Fill out the form to access free positioning statement templates.

Positioning Statement vs. Mission Statement

Your mission identifies the goals or objectives of the brand and can be a valuable part of positioning as a whole.

Unlike a mission statement, a positioning statement is not public-facing. At its core, your business’s positioning statement summarizes the value that your brand, products, and services bring to the target market. When considering the “what, why, and how” of your business, the mission statement is the “why” and the positioning statement is the “what.” (If you’re curious about what the “how” might be, here it is.)

Value Proposition vs. Positioning Statement

The value proposition and positioning statement are both key elements in a business' marketing strategy, however, there are differences between these two. A value proposition describes what sets your product or service apart from competitors. It gives an overview of the benefits a product or service provides.

A positioning statement is broader and it’s created after you've developed your business' value proposition. It also identifies the primary customer benefits — why someone needs your product or service.

The Core Elements of Strategic Market Positioning

As mentioned earlier in the article, if you want to craft your positioning statement, you must first have a good understanding of your positioning as a whole. This includes defining the following core elements:

  • Target market
  • Market category
  • Customer pains
  • Brand promise
  • Brand identity and values
  • Mission

Target Audience

Your target audience is the "who" aspect of your positioning. Simply defined, it's the group of consumers you're targeting with your product or services.

They say that "the riches are in the niches," which comes down to the idea that, even if anyone can use your product or service, you should still be targeting specific buyers to maintain the integrity and differentiation within your brand.

One of the best ways to define a solid target audience is by creating a buyer persona — also known as your ideal customer.

Product Positioning

Product positioning should lead with the benefits of the product rather than the features of it. A smart way to do this is to imagine your customer’s life before and after using your solution. Then, tell the story of what happens to them when they make that decision — that’s the benefit you’ll include in your product positioning.

Market Category

A market is comprised of buyers and sellers. A category defines a specific segment of that market. Market categories can be as broad as “grocery store” and as niche as “vegetarian health food store.” Market categories usually start out broad and get more niche as the businesses occupying that market expand their product and service offerings to the consumers in the market.

Whether your market category is developed or you're part of an emerging or niche market, you'll need to define who the buyers are in the space, where they're searching for goods and services, and who currently has their attention. You'll want to define what your competition offers and how you can position your brand apart from those competitors.

Customer Pains

Customer pains are the problems or issues your target audience is experiencing that could be solved with products or services available in your market category. Your product or service should aim to address customer pains and provide a solution.

Brand Promise

Your brand promise is ultimately what the target audience or buyer persona stands to gain from using your product or service; it's what success looks like to them if their pain or problem is resolved.

Brand Identity

Brand identity is the personality of your business and includes both visible factors (such as logo design) and invisible ones (such as values or voice). Brand identity is one aspect of strategic market positioning that will set you apart from competitors and help you gain recognition from your target audience.


Values guide how your business makes decisions within the context of your brand. They create the culture of your organization and leave a favorable impression on your target audience. They are the intangible methods with which you execute your mission and vision.


Your mission is the "why you do it" aspect of your brand. It encompasses your organization's goals, objectives, and approach.

Once you have a solid understanding of your target market, brand identity, and positioning, you can begin crafting the positioning statement.

Before you get started writing your positioning statement, make sure you've developed your business' value proposition. You'll want to identify your target audience and their pain points before describing how your product or service can be the best solution for those challenges.

What's the promise your brand provides customers? And how will your business deliver on that promise? This is the time to identify aspects of your product or service that are the primary differentiators from the competition.

Once you have a clear vision of the value your offering provides, it's time to create the positioning statement.

When writing and evaluating your positioning statement, keep the following tips in mind:

1. Create a vision board.

Positioning statements are written documents. Since they don’t include images, video, or other visuals, it can be challenging to communicate what your business is, who it serves, and why that matters in just a few sentences.

To bypass the initial blank page syndrome, create a vision board instead. This works because in a recent study, researchers at Columbia University found that emotional response is linked to the visual characteristics of an image. To leverage this response, look for images that represent your customer in the environment where they need your product or service the most. Notice the emotions in the images, who is around your ideal customer in the image, and what they’re doing in the image to solve the problem.

Creating a vision board that represents your target audience when they need your product the most can help make your positioning statement come to life.

2. Make it brief.

Your brand’s positioning statement should be concise and to the point. Aim for no more than three to five sentences, if possible.

3. Make it unique and memorable.

This statement should be unique to your company and the problems you aim to solve. When crafting your positioning statement, be sure to emphasize the distinctive qualities of your brand.

4. Remain true to your business’ core values.

The positioning statement isn’t the time to get fancy and pitch a new angle for the business. Your brand’s positioning statement should accurately reflect the core values of your business.

5. Include what the brand delivers to consumers.

Who does your company serve? How does your company serve this group? Succinctly state who your customer is and how you will help them in your positioning statement.

6. Differentiate your business from the competition.

An effective positioning statement should articulate what differentiates a brand from its competition. Highlight your company’s unique qualities and how those qualities help serve your customers.

7. Keep it simple.

In almost any circumstance, your team should be able to align key business decisions with your brand’s positioning statement due to it’s simple and easy-to-understand nature.

8. Consult a colleague.

Once you’ve written your positioning statement, your eyes might deceive you. After spending several hours perfecting every word, you’ll think what you’ve written is wonderful, when in reality it’s full of jargon, acronyms, and features that aren’t clear to someone outside of your company. Just because positioning statements aren’t public-facing doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be easy to understand. Investors, new hires, and external agencies who work closely with your businesses will need to use this document, too.

To jargon-proof your positioning statement, have a colleague who is unrated to your business review the statement for you and give feedback. They’ll make meaningful observations that you may have overlooked.

The template above can be used to help you form a positioning statement for your startup or small business. Add the details of your target market, company, and the main points that make your product or service stand out from competitors. You can also download 10 more position statement templates for free below. 


Download Now: 10 Free Positioning Statement Prompts

Each business is unique, and it's alright if your statement doesn't fit the template exactly, but be sure to include the main points below:

  • A description of the target market.
  • A description of the target market needs.
  • How your business will meet their needs.
  • What differentiates your product or service from the competition.
  • Why consumers in your target market should believe your brand's claims.

Positioning Statement Examples

Since positioning statements are meant to be kept from the public eye, you’ll rarely find one floating around the internet. Using the template we shared earlier, we’ve crafted a few example statements for recognizable brands using the information we know about them as consumers (or employees!) Below are examples of positioning statements of well-known brands to give you a feel for how to create one for your business.

1. HubSpot

HubSpot sample positioning statementHubSpot Positioning Statement:

Since 2006, HubSpot has been on a mission to make the world more inbound. Today, over 100,000 total customers in more than 100 countries use HubSpot's award-winning software, services, and support to transform the way they attract, engage, and delight customers. Comprised of HubSpot's CRM, Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, and Service Hub, HubSpot gives companies the tools they need to Grow Better.

2. Coca-Cola

coca cola brand positioning graphic that includes the slogan "taste the feeling" with a woman drinking a bottle of coca cola

Coca-Cola Positioning Statement:

For individuals looking for high-quality beverages, Coca-Cola offers a wide range of the most refreshing options — each creates a positive experience for customers when they enjoy a Coca-Cola brand drink. Unlike other beverage options, Coca-Cola products inspire happiness and make a positive difference in customers' lives, and the brand is intensely focused on the needs of consumers and customers.

3. White Dog Distilling

white dog distilling's location

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White Dog Distilling Positioning Statement:

White Dog Distilling was founded in 2016 by the husband/wife team of Carlo and Alecia Catucci based on passion, spirit, and the journey from grain to glass. Bolstered by Carlo's background in physics and Alecia's culinary and product development experience, they set forth with one goal in mind: to produce high-quality distilled spirits that could appeal to both novice spirit drinkers and longtime aficionados alike.

4. Alaska Airlines

alaska airlines plane

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Alaska Airlines Positioning Statement:

We are creating an airline people love. Each day, we are guided by our core values of “own safety”, “do the right thing”, “be kind-hearted”, “deliver performance”, and “be remarkable at work and in our communities.” Alaska Airlines also fosters a diverse and inclusive culture and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

5. Organic Bath Co.

organic bath co.'s products: soap and sanitizer

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Organic Bath Co. Positioning Statement:

We are creating an airline people love. Each day, we are guided by our core values of “own safety”, “do the right thing”, “be kind-hearted”, “deliver performance”, and “be remarkable at work and in our communities.” Alaska Airlines also fosters a diverse and inclusive culture and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

6. Amazon

Amazon branding shows an advertisement where a man receives an Amazon package

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Amazon Positioning Statement:

For consumers who want to purchase a wide range of products online with quick delivery, Amazon provides a one-stop online shopping site. Amazon sets itself apart from other online retailers with its customer obsession, passion for innovation, and commitment to operational excellence.


impact's homepage that says: "Hi! We're IMPACT And everything we do is to help you and your organization succeed."

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IMPACT's Positioning Statement:

At IMPACT, we have revolutionized the way inbound marketing is done and taught to businesses by reimagining the agency-client relationship through the ground-breaking principles of They Ask, You Answer.

Instead of creating a cycle of dependency, wherein our clients are reliant upon us to move the needle and get results, we empower all of the companies we work with to take ownership of their digital sales and marketing. Instead of fishing for you, we'll "teach you how to fish" and feast on remarkable results for a lifetime.

With a wide range of consulting services — content marketing, video sales and marketing, HubSpot, website strategy and design, and more —find out how we can help you achieve incredible results by becoming the most trusted voice in your space.

8. Beautycounter

beauty counter brand position graphic that includes beautycounter's clean promise
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Beautycounter Positioning Statement:

One by one, we are leading a movement to a future where all beauty is clean beauty. We are powered by people, and our collective mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone. Formulate, advocate, and educate—that’s our motto for creating products that truly perform while holding ourselves to unparalleled standards of safety. Why? It’s really this simple: beauty should be good for you.

9. Nike

nike brand graphic that says "you can take the superhero out of her costume, but you can never take away her superpowers" along with slogan "just do it"

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Nike Positioning Statement:

For athletes in need of high-quality, fashionable athletic wear, Nike provides customers with top-performing sports apparel and shoes made of the highest quality materials. Its products are the most advanced in the athletic apparel industry because of Nike's commitment to innovation and investment in the latest technologies.

10. Thrive Market

thrive market products including mayo, truffle, apple cider vinegar
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Thrive Market Positioning Statement:

Thrive Market is an online, membership-based market making the highest quality, healthy and sustainable products available for every budget, lifestyle, and geography.

11. Apple


apple logo

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Apple Positioning Statement:

For individuals who want the best personal computer or mobile device, Apple leads the technology industry with the most innovative products. Apple emphasizes technological research and advancement and takes an innovative approach to business best practices — it considers the impact our products and processes have on its customers and the planet.

12. McDonald's

mcdonalds billboard that reads "stuck in a jam? There's light at the end of the tunnel" next to golden arches sign

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McDonald's Positioning Statement:

For individuals looking for a quick-service restaurant with an exceptional customer experience, McDonald's is a leader in the fast food industry, with its friendly service and consistency across thousands of convenient locations. McDonald's' dedication to improving operations and customer satisfaction sets it apart from other fast food restaurants.

Craft a Positioning Statement for Your Business

Identify and segment your target audience to ensure your positioning is accurate and effective for your unique personas. Once your positioning statement (or statements) are fully developed, you’ll be well on your way to marketing your business and developing a consistent message across all platforms.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in August 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Originally published Mar 25, 2021 2:30:00 PM, updated August 25 2021