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How to Craft a B2B Position Statement That Boosts Your Brand

July 21, 2011  

How important is a well-crafted position statement in today's B2B marketplace? Done correctly, it could be the key to defining who you are—and what differentiates your brand from the competition.

According to Ray Baird, writing at the Branding Business blog, a position statement answers three critical questions: how you define yourself, what makes you special and what unique value or benefits you deliver. He isolates five "metrics" by which to measure a statement's effectiveness.

Your position statement should be:

  • Relevant. "Relevance is about filling a real need or solving a real problem in the marketplace," Baird explains. "That need needn't be real: it can also be a matter of forecast."
  • Deliverable. Make sure you have the "assets, infrastructure and corporate will to make good on your promise of value," he says.
  • Differentiating. Perhaps you are absolutely unique in the marketplace, which makes this one easy. Most B2B marketers, however, offer products and services that others do as well. The challenge, then, is to define how you do it better—more efficiently, cost-effectively or bundled with other benefits.
  • Credible. "Based on past performance and reputation, does the market believe you can do or deliver what you say?" Baird asks. "Are there good reasons to believe your positioning promise?"
  • Inspiring. "Inspiration may 'lean heaviest' on differentiation," Baird notes. "It is always the new thing, the new way, the wholly (or partly) unprecedented that starts the buzz or lights the fire."

Positioning is "the one thing you need to get right and get right first to succeed, to grow, and to flourish," Baird says.

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Comments

  • by Nick Stamoulis Fri Jul 22, 2011 via web

    B2B marketing is often overshadowed by the flashier B2C messaging, but B2B doesn't have to be boring! Branding and positioning are important, but they don't have to sacrifice personality in order to get the point across.

  • by Nicole Klein Fri Jul 22, 2011 via web

    Glad to see Relevance at the top of the list. To take it further, if the goal of your positioning statement is to ultimately shift perception leading to buying preference, segmentation is critical as well. You may have corporate brand positioning, but there are different types of buyers...and different relevant issues.

  • by Alan Mangelsdorf Fri Jul 22, 2011 via web

    Far too often companies seem develop their positioning statement (and the content that flows from it) based only on the adjective-laden descriptions they use for their own products. Positioning has to be based on a better and more honest assessment of a company's products in comparison with the market need, buying preferences and competitive landscape.

    Whether it's positioning or content, I'm a firm believer that there are 5 questions every B2B marketer should consider (as posed by a potential customer): Do you know my business? Do you know my pain? Can you solve it? Can I afford it? Will you be here a year from now?

    We expanded on this theme a little in a recent post on the Think Ahead blog: http://blog.group82.com/2011/04/five-questions-every-b2b-marketer.html

    Hope it's helpful!

  • by Pam Alvord Fri Jul 29, 2011 via web

    Great guidelines. When it comes to #3 and being differentiating, marketers must also force themselves to ban the buzzwords. Quality, integrity, trust, and customer service are just the price of entry for B2B. For any of these to be an effective part of positioning, companies must both do them differently/better and articulate these benefits in fresh, new ways.

    To see and contribute to Kilgannon's marketing buzzwords visit http://bit.ly/B32r

    --pam

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