Writing a Company Tagline? Start with a Clear Brand Positioning Statement

Linda Mulcahy
April 9, 2019

We copywriters ask our clients a lot of questions before we start writing. The better we understand the business, the more effectively we can persuade buyers.

So we ask about the product, its unique value, the customers, the competition, and more. Essentially, we’re asking for the brand positioning statement (BPS).

Most clients are happy to provide this information. But some, especially those early in their journeys, haven’t considered these issues too deeply. They have a good product or service and they just want to get it out into the marketplace.

That’s understandable. It’s also one of the reasons for business failure.

Any marketing copy—short taglines, welcome emails, landing pages—will be far more effective if you can start with a BPS.  

And if the client doesn’t have one, smart marketers will offer to help write it.

Questions to Ask for a Brand Positioning Statement

Start by researching and brainstorming the following questions with your client:

  • Who is your target customer?
  • What solutions do you provide them?
  • From a customer’s point of view, what is unique about your business model or products?
  • What are the greatest benefits your brand offers to your target customers?
  • Why should consumers believe your claims about your brand?
  • Who is your competition?
  • What differentiates your product or service from the competition?

This will give you a clear picture of the primary customer, the benefits provided, and the competitive differences—all the components of a solid BPS.

Writing the BPS

The amount of research and brainstorming that goes into a BPS could fill many pages, but the statement itself will be brief. One to two sentences, tops.

You can use this template as a starting point:

For [your target market] who [target market need], [your brand name] provides [main benefit that differentiates your offering from competitors] because [reason why target market should believe your differentiation statement.]

Or try this positioning statement generator.

Note that your statement won’t necessarily fit into the templates perfectly, but the elements should all be there. Here are some fictional examples:

  • For e-commerce business owners seeking greater visibility, ABC Services will provide immediately actionable marketing strategies that are guaranteed to improve SEO rank.
  • For frugal Atlanta-area travelers, Hayes Motel provides comfortable, no-frills lodging at an affordable price. Unlike at other hotels, guests will never pay for amenities they don’t use.   
  • For romance authors aspiring to be published, The Writing Guild offers weekly writing development sessions through their respected network of 25+ bestselling authors and literary agents.
  • For busy homeowners who need immediate housework help, Zippy Home Scrubbing provides same-day house cleaning services by partnering with on-call cleaning professionals.

While these examples are short, they’re packed with meaning. They pinpoint who the targeted customers are, what their most pressing need is, and how the brand meets that need.  

From BPS to Branding Copy

As an internal-facing message (meaning it’s meant for the team, not the customers), a solid positioning statement will differentiate one brand from another, guide business development strategies, align marketing with operations, and even help shape team culture.

Employees should know it and live it.

Branding copy, on the other hand, is externally focused. Taglines, logos, social media posts, blog posts, web pages, ads, and emails are all used to help customers identify with the brand and influence buyer behavior.  

As a copywriter, you can use the brand positioning statement to guide your copy. This will ensure your message aligns with the brand’s overall vision and strategy.

Customers will appreciate this consistent voice and more readily trust the brand.  

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