It is so often understated as to how important a good positioning statement is to a brand. I always encourage all my clients to not take this exercise lightly and really spend time on this to get it right.
Writing a personal brand positioning statement is as simple as stating WHAT you do and the services you provide, to WHO exactly your target audience is, and HOW you do it in a way that is unique so that your potential clients should choose you over your competitors.
Now if that sounds simple enough, it is definitely not and there are many things to consider in order to write an effective positioning statement, so let examine it more closely to get you off to the right start.
What is a Positioning Statement
Firstly, what is a brand positioning statement? A brand positioning statement is a unique, 1-2 sentence statement that in the simplest, yet most comprehensive way describes the service or product that a brand delivers to a target audience in a way that is unique in the marketplace and thereby differentiating them from their competitors.
In the corporate world, a brand positioning statement is usually only used internally to align employees and all departments to the overall goal of the company and the position that it occupies in the marketplace. It is also used to motivate and inspire employees.
Tesla employees, for example, are inspired by the fact that they are making a difference in the world by helping to advance the transition of the world to more sustainable forms of energy.
Personal brand positioning statements are in turn more effective when shared with an audience so that people are aware of exactly who you are, what you are offering and why they should follow you instead of your competitors.
I’ll use two examples of positioning statements here, one personal and one corporate, to illustrate the difference. It might also come in handy later when you are crafting your own statement.
“Helps thought leaders write great books in just 90 days. 500 satisfied clients so far…” – Mindy Gibbins-Klein
“For creative professionals with an eye for capturing and sharing beauty, Nikon is the digital point and shoot that delivers a window to their world, so they can experience deeper connections through a shared perspective, because of Nikon’s 100-year history of developing new technologies that allow you to capture and share your experiences in their purest form, it’s as if you were there” – Nikon
Now we have an idea of what a brand positioning statement should sound like.
5 Rules for Writing a Personal Brand Positioning Statement
Here are the 5 rules I would consider to be the most important when crafting your positioning statement.
1. Be True
The statement has to be true. If you say you are the best at something or the cheapest or the most experienced, you better be the best (or at least one of the best) or the cheapest or the most experienced.
If your statement is not true then you will eventually be exposed and your audience will stop following you or buying your products/services.
This is also one of my golden rules of the future of marketing (or at least how it should be) – Truth is a good marketing strategy.
2. Be Simple
It has to be simple, to the point and easy to understand. Someone who knows nothing about you or your brand should be able to understand exactly what you offer, to who and how, when they read it for the first time.
Branding & Marketing Power Tip: When in doubt, keep it simple. Simplicity is key to the success of much of what happens in the branding & marketing world today.
3. Speak to Your Target Audience
Your statement has to speak to your target audience when they see it somewhere, so write it for them. If you know exactly who your audience is and how you can solve their problem with your unique offering, you should write your statement in a way that connects with them in the best way possible to convince them that you are the person that can help them.
4. Fill a Unique Space
This is a very important point to consider. This can also be a really tricky one to overcome. If you are in a business and you don’t offer a unique perspective compared to your competitors, you are in trouble and need to change course immediately.
Your statement has to highlight your unique offering or your unique way of solving a particular problem for your target audience.
5. Align All of Your Marketing Efforts
And lastly, all of your marketing efforts need to be aligned with your statement. For example, if you are a nutritionist preaching the gospel of healthy eating, you will not accept a sponsorship from Coca Cola or McDonalds. Just an example.
How To Write Your Personal Brand Positioning Statement
Now that we have the whats and whatnots covered, let’s get to the fun part of how to write your statement. I’ll show you a template for both a personal and corporate positioning statement because I think you can use the corporate template as well to write your personal statement. This is entirely up to what you feel is the best for your brand.
Based on a personal brand positioning model:
- What – describes the service you provide or the product you sell
- Who – describes your target audience
- How – describes your unique approach or offering to set you apart from the competition
I provide/help WHAT to WHO by HOW (unique)
It can also be swapped around however way works best for you.
I provide/help WHO with WHAT by HOW (unique)
“Helps thought leaders (WHO) write great books (WHAT) in just 90 days. (HOW) 500 satisfied clients so far…” – Mindy Gibbins-Klein
Based on a classic corporate brand positioning model:
- Who – describes your target audience
- What – describes your market category
- What (unique) – describes the unique value you add to your audience
- What (benefit) – describes what benefit they can get from you
- Why (because) – describes why they should believe in you
For WHO, YOU are the WHAT that provides WHAT (unique) so they can WHAT (benefit) because WHY
“For creative professionals (WHO) with an eye for capturing and sharing beauty, Nikon is the digital point and shoot (WHAT) that delivers a window to their world (WHAT – unique), so they can experience deeper connections through a shared perspective (WHAT – benefit), because of Nikon’s 100-year history of developing new technologies that allow you to capture and share your experiences in their purest form, it’s as if you were there” (WHY) – Nikon
I truly hope that you found this article helpful as I believe that this is a crucial part of the early brand development stage of anyone starting out. Personal brands often overlook the importance of this, because they don’t really see themselves as a business, but if you are a personal brand remember that you are absolutely a business.
Good luck with writing your personal brand positioning statement and if you have any brand-related questions, remember to use our “Ask Anything” page and I will try to answer all your questions.