How to Write Your Positioning Statement Reviewed by Momizat on . Revising Your Firm’s Brand As a new decade begins, you may consider the state of your firm’s overall brand and if there are any needed changes. When you conduct Revising Your Firm’s Brand As a new decade begins, you may consider the state of your firm’s overall brand and if there are any needed changes. When you conduct Rating: 0
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How to Write Your Positioning Statement

Revising Your Firm’s Brand

As a new decade begins, you may consider the state of your firm’s overall brand and if there are any needed changes. When you conduct such an exercise, one of the first elements to consider revising is your firm’s positioning statement. In this article, we will review the five steps to writing an effective positioning statement which can be a strong foundation for your brand.

As a new decade begins, you may consider the state of your firm’s overall brand and if there are any needed changes. When you conduct such an exercise, one of the first elements to consider revising is your firm’s positioning statement. In this article, we will review the five steps to writing an effective positioning statement which can be a strong foundation for your brand.

More marketing tips like these can be found in Hinge’s How-To Guides from Hinge University, our online learning platform.

What is a Positioning Statement?

A positioning statement is a succinct, carefully articulated expression of your brand. It is both honest, describing who you are today, and aspirational, speaking to the firm you want to become.

Your positioning statement ought to be a practical internal guide you can refer to when you need to articulate what your firm stands for. It is not a mission or vision statement, which is often shared visibly on your firm’s website. While you may occasionally use some of the language it contains in public, it is not intended to be quoted verbatim on your website or in any other public-facing communications.

A top-notch positioning statement should consist of four to six sentences and should accomplish the following goals:

  • Describe both who you are today and who you want to become
  • Identify what you do and (if appropriate) for whom
  • Emphasize your strongest differentiator up front
  • Convey your firm’s chief benefits and secondary differentiators
  • Do all of this in simple, engaging, non-technical language

How to Write a Positioning Statement

Step 1. Begin at the Beginning

In order to start crafting a positioning statement, you need to begin with the first sentence. Try one of these openings: “At [Your Company Name], we…” or “[Your Company Name], a [description of what you do] for [your key audience, if any], is…”

Your first sentence should also contain your primary differentiator. For example, “At Newco, we help multi-location restaurant owners grow their businesses faster and more effectively.”

Step 2. Build Out the Middle

The next two to four sentences should tell your firm’s story—how you are different, what problems your firm solves, and why you are relevant to clients. You cannot go wrong writing simple declarative sentences that start with “we” or “our.” Introduce a little variety by starting sentences with transition words, such as “In fact…” “And…” and “But…” These words keep your voice conversational and flowing.

When writing the positioning statement, keep the language simple—remember, some audiences will not understand industry jargon. Here is how these details play out in the middle section of our accounting firm example: “How? We combine the expertise and reliability of a CPA firm with real-time financial and operational reporting—all tailored to the restaurant industry. Our experience and technology give clients strategic insight beyond their finances, giving restaurant owners the tools they need to achieve higher profits and greater growth.”

Step 3. Write the Concluding Sentence

The final sentence is often the toughest to write because it needs to accomplish two things: 1) Reprise your firm’s key differentiator or benefit, and 2) Provide a fitting close to the statement. Ideally, it will have an inspirational quality, almost like a tagline.

Here is the concluding sentence to our example: “When you’re looking to expand your operations or increase the profitability of existing locations, Newco gives chain restaurants the power to feed their bottom line.”

Step 4. Evaluate Your Positioning Statement

Once you have drafted your positioning statement, read it aloud. Does it sound natural and flowing? Are all the key messages in place? Is the order right? In the end, is the positioning statement inspirational? If you answer “No” to any of these questions, go back and rework the language until you feel good about it.

Here are two valid positioning statements from the same set of differentiators:

Option One: “We Feed Restaurant Growth at Newco, we help multi-location restaurant owners grow their businesses faster and more effectively. How? We combine the expertise and reliability of a CPA firm with real-time financial and operational reporting—all tailored to the restaurant industry. Our experience and technology give clients strategic insight beyond their finances, giving restaurant owners the tools they need to achieve higher profits and greater growth. When you’re looking to expand your operations or increase the profitability of existing locations, Newco gives chain restaurants the power to feed their bottom line.”

Option Two: “Real-Time Tools for Growing Restaurants In today’s hyper-competitive restaurant industry, owners need real-time insight to react to a fast-changing marketplace. That’s why Newco offers more than accounting and strategic services, we give owners data-driven tools to build more nimble and efficient businesses. From state-of-the-art financial and operational reporting software to the expert accounting and consulting of a CPA firm, Newco puts control back in owners’ hands—so you can outmaneuver the competition and take your restaurant further, faster.”

Step 5. Present the Positioning Statement

When presenting your positioning statements to your team for the first time, read it aloud first without showing the words. When people hear the statement, they are better able to imagine what it would be like for a client or prospect to receive a similar message. Next, reveal the statement and walk through it line by line. Remind people that adding more detail and length is not going to make the statement more powerful.

A positioning statement is your brand stripped down to its essentials. If you have the differentiators right at the beginning, this should be more an exercise in word choice and prioritizing than re-engineering.

For more ideas and guidance on practical marketing techniques to implement at your firm, be sure to check out our Quick Start Kits and How-To Guides on this and many other marketing and branding topics at Hinge University.


Lee W. Frederiksen, PhD, is Managing Partner at Hinge, the leading branding and marketing firm for the professional services. Hinge conducts groundbreaking research into high-growth firms and offers a complete suite of services for firms that want to become more visible and grow.

Dr. Frederiksen can be contacted at (703) 391-8870 or by e-mail to LFrederiksen@hingemarketing.com.

The National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA) supports the users of business and intangible asset valuation services and financial forensic services, including damages determinations of all kinds and fraud detection and prevention, by training and certifying financial professionals in these disciplines.

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