Taglines & Positioning Statements: Do You Know the Difference?

Two of the most commonly misunderstood marketing concepts are Taglines and Positioning Statements. Even with a plethora of information at our fingertips, some companies, and even some marketing professionals, are still confused by these concepts, what they mean and how to develop each.

A positioning statement is nothing more than a sentence or series of sentences that describes the benefit of what you are selling (your product or service) to those you want to buy it (your target market), while also explaining how you are different from others around you (your competitors).

A tagline is the memorable or catchy phrase, visual, or character that delivers your core advertising message and, when used effectively, should immediately be associated with your brand.  Also known as a slogan, think “Just Do It” or “Got Milk?” These are both examples of creative and well developed taglines.

One reason that these two concepts are easily confused is that the positioning statement is typically used as a basis for developing a tagline; however, separate time and effort should be taken to develop each of these components individually.

To get you started in the right direction, here is a list of questions you can use as a guide when developing your positioning statement:

– Who is your company?

– What industry are you in / what is your business?

– Who is your target market?

-What are the needs / wants of your target market?

-What unique benefit can your product give to your target market / Why should they buy yours and not your competitor’s product?

-Who are your competitors?

While answering these questions may seem easy, beware. It’s very common for companies to make mistakes by skipping over some of the vital components. If you fail to define your target market properly, give the market a reason to buy your product, or find benefits that set you apart from your competition, you will end up with a positioning statement that does little to no good for your company. Take the time to do it right and fully develop your positioning statement.

After you have a positioning statement that fully defines your company, start brainstorming on your tagline. Once you have a couple of options you like, put them to the test! Does your tagline meet the following criteria?

  • Is it easy to remember? To you and to your target market?
  • Is it original?
  • Does it make a positive statement about your company/product?

A well developed positioning statement and tagline will strengthen and reinforce your brand, help communicate what you do, and cement your name in the minds of your current and potential customers. Take your time and make sure you get it right.

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