Positioning Statement

The classic Positioning Statement big brands use.

Looks like gobbledygook, doesn’t it? What you are looking at is what is called a Positioning Statement. It’s how big brands start with developing and and maintaining the Brand Strategy and turning that strategy into sales.

On INDIEpIpE we’ve adapted the essential basics of it to help you sell more music and we’ll guide you through creating your own positioning statement step by step. But it’s useful to know what it is before you start on yours.

In business courses you learn that the Positioning Statement is this:
For [Target Market], [Brand Name] is the [Frame of Reference] that delivers [Point of Differentiation] because [Reason to Believe].

Sometimes they switch up the order of things and make slightly different sentences, but all positioning statements from all successful brands have the same five elements:

  • The Target Market, the people who are going to buy the brand’s offering – its product or service
  • The Brand – which you will find out is probably not what you think a brand is at all
  • The Point of Differentiation, the thing that makes the brand’s offering different from and more attractive to the target audience than other similar products or services. (This is sometimes called the Unique Selling Proposition)
  • The Frame of Reference, which is kind of the category that the product or service and its competitors falls into – except some brands fall into a bunch of different categories. We’ll get to that.
  • The Reason to Believe, which is just that, why should anyone believe what the brand says.

The Business Faculty of Cornell University says this about a Positioning statement:

A good positioning statement is a guidepost for your marketing efforts. It helps you maintain focus on your brand and its value proposition while you work on market strategy and tactics.

If you were the Marketing Manager for some soap suds, you might find this fascinating reading. But you’re a musician. So let’s put this into more musical terms and ideas.

If you were writing a song, your positioning statement is the underpinning of the whole thing – the chord structure and time signature. The melody and everything else has to work with it, and build on it.

And since you are musician and not the Marketing Manager for some soap suds, the template they use of a positioning statement they use isn’t going to work for you. For one thing, music isn’t a ‘product’ or a ‘service’. Music is an experience.

For another thing, they live in a world where they have to beat up the competition to get market share. Put simply, if you buy their soap suds, that means you are not buying their competitors soap suds. But that is not true of music. People who buy your music can buy and listen to all kinds of music without it hurting you. It might even help you.

The INDIEpIpE positioning statement template is jigged around to reflect the unique aspects of marketing music. It’s called your Brand Theme.

I’m calling this your Brand Theme because In music terms, the theme is the basis of the entire composition, which sums up the role of a positioning statement pretty well.

Oddly enough, marekting people actually use musical terms when talking about this. One of their tried and true cliches comes from them knowing they are more successful when ‘everyone sings off the same song sheet’ – the positioning statement. So your Brand Theme is the songsheet that everyone can follow.

Let’s take a look at how your Brand Theme comes together and how it is going to help you.

»» NEXT: Building your brand theme
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Some suggested books about Positioning