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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