The language used in a positioning statement needs to be more than just a stagnant sentence. The power behind positioning lies in its ability to evolve alongside your company—as you roll out new products, hire new team members or reach new market segments. A living, breathing positioning statement is one that is easily adjusted and can be as nimble as your company. It’s not necessarily a bad sign when your company and its positioning are misaligned. It’s usually an indicator of growth or adaptation. It’s your communications team’s job, however, to recognize when the two have drifted apart and compensate by reworking the company’s positioning to better reflect the brand.
The tricky part of repositioning is catching it before it becomes a problem. It’s crucial that your company invests in regular focus groups, market research and surveys to always be aware of how employees and consumers alike perceive your brand.
It’s important to realize that the first few iterations of your positioning statement might not apply to your company’s current market status, especially during periods of high growth. A statement that is meant to encompass your company’s goals, audiences and differentiation in just a sentence or two is not something to take lightly, and certainly not something you can just create once and leave alone. Reevaluating your positioning is a natural part of scaling and should be viewed as an opportunity to re-engage with your stakeholders and refresh your place in the market.
Here are a few questions to help you determine if it might be time to re-examine your positioning.
Has your target audience changed since the last time you updated your positioning?
Does your company still provide the same points of differentiation? Have competitors encroached on those points of differentiation?
Do your products serve a need or fulfill a function that’s different from your positioning statement?
Have your capabilities changed?
Have you moved into new markets?
Asking yourself and your employees these questions will allow you to easily adjust your positioning statement to better serve your company and your clients. Not only does your positioning statement tell the public who you are, but it also acts as a springboard for expansion, branding and growth, with positioning as the solid foundational element.