Writing a successful brand positioning statement

Our protocol for brand building and positioning

The prescription phase is the second stage of Smith & Jones’ process for brand building and  positioning of healthcare organizations. Drawing on the insights of our diagnosis phase (what makes a brand different, desirable, relevant and worthy of the audience’s consideration), our next step is to write a competitive brand positioning statement.


A successful competitive positioning statement is part corporate mission statement and part emotional promise, distilled down to an engaging and memorable idea. It’s a brand promise that sets one brand apart from others in the competitive set. It’s not what you do or who you serve, (otherwise all healthcare brands would be commodities that “deliver healthcare to sick people”or “keep people healthy”), it’s how you do it differently or better.

So what’s that nugget of truth that makes your healthcare brand more desirable than your competition? This is what you want your positioning statement to communicate.

Your brand positioning statement should be:

  • Concise, a short explanation of why you’re the best at what you do;
  • Distinguishing, so it sets you apart from other brands;
  • Honest, believable and deliverable so you can live up to your promise every day;
  • Relevant to your audiences’ interests and emotional needs;
  • Memorable, so people think of you when they need healthcare.

Formulas for brand positioning

Some organizations use a formula to structure the key ideas in the positioning statement. Here are a few simple templates that can be applied:

  1. (One Word or Phrase that Conveys Your Point of Difference)
  2. (Your Business Name)+(What You’re Best At)+(Why)
  3. To (Audience), (Brand Name) is (Best At)(Service Offered) in the (Market or Category) because (Reasons).
  4. (Brand Name) helps solve (Common Problem) by (Unique Solution)

Sometimes a formula is appropriate and very useful to define specific audiences or market segments of your competitive position. However, a brand positioning statement should be more emotional, lyrical or inspirational than a rigid structure permits. Use your instincts to create a positioning statement that accurately captures the mission and personality of the brand.

Stand out from the crowd

Don’t be afraid to write a position statement that’s very different from what your competitors are saying – in fact strive to be different. If you’re not distinguishing yourself as the best or only choice for a specific emotional reason, then you’re just selling unremarkable features and benefits. Stake your claim and prove your superiority. And finally, remember that inspiring positioning statements lead to inspiring brands.

The next post in this series explains how to use a Healthy Brand Board™ to define and communicate your brand personality. To learn more, download the white paper, The How-To Guide for Brand Building, or read these other posts in this series:

Understanding the value of a clearly defined healthcare brand

22 Questions to map your brand universe