Is Your Positioning Statement Confusing Your Customers?

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Does your company follow a broad or narrow strategy in regards to your positioning statement?

The difference between a broad and narrow strategy is vast. Both strategies are good and neither is better than the other as long as you know which strategy you are implementing.

If you are implementing a broad positioning statement for your brand, make sure the statement doesn’t confuse your customers about your offerings. In addition, if you follow the narrow approach, reexamine your product offerings to make sure they are concentrated like a laser beam.

What is a broad positioning statement and what is narrow?

A broad positioning statement can be defined as being encompassing enough to enable your company to add new products without the need to create a new positioning statement every two months.

A narrow positioning statement is a very narrow approach. In a sense, your company is the “specialist” within your chosen niche.

Here are a few examples of broad positioning statements:

#1: “Professional money management services for discerning investors”

#2: “Elegant home furnishings at affordable prices”

#3: “Low cost vitamins for active seniors”

Let’s take a closer look into each positioning statement:

#1: This statement would allow the company to offer a wide variety of money management services including equity and debt money management, high net worth concierge services, bill paying services, etc.

However, by using this positioning statement it would be unwise for the company to offer the ability for its clients to buy car insurance services directly. Of course, adequate car insurance is a vital part of a comprehensive strategy, but the company focuses on money management for investors, not insurance. It would be better if the company offered a referral service to other companies offering car insurance.

#2: This positioning statement is broad enough to allow the company to include all aspects of home furnishings including oak tables, teak chairs, leather couches, etc. However, if the company also offered refrigerators and microwaves, it may confuse its customers with these unrelated products.

#3: A good positioning statement for active seniors in need of low cost vitamins. However, if the company also offered exercise tapes, magazine subscriptions, etc. they would run the risk of offering unrelated product lines in relation to their positioning statement.

Here are a few examples of narrow positioning statements:

#1: “Equity strategies for low risk investors”

#2: “Oak furniture for every room in your house”

#3: “Vitamin drinks for weekend athletes”

#1: This is a very good line for a company that offers strategies to investors looking for low risk equity investments. These could include covered call strategies, dividend reinvestment strategies, low alpha stocks, etc.

However, if the company also offered debt management strategies they would completely lose any credibility with equity investors.

#2: The company is using a positioning statement that indicates it only sells oak furniture. If you want oak, you can get from this company. If they offered teak furniture, they would confuse everyone.

#3: If you’re a weekend athlete, you can get your vitamin drinks directly from this company. If you are a senior looking to supplement your diet with fruit-based dietary supplement capsules, go to another company.

When creating a positioning statement, make sure it will adequately describe your company and your product line. In addition, review your product line every 6 months to make sure your line hasn’t strayed from your current positioning statement.

If a disconnect has occurred, you need to decide if you want to eliminate a few of your “unrelated” products to bring your line back in synergy with your statement, or update your positioning statement to match your newly expanded line.

Comments

  1. You can’t say exactly what confuses customers. Too many aspects

  2. Great points. I love the broad vs narrow approach.