November 18, 2020

Difference Between Your Vision and Positioning Statement


We’ve covered marketing strategies to increase brand awareness and explained the importance in gaining customer loyalty. Without effective branding, your ads can be forgotten just as quickly as they appeared. The first step in building brand awareness is crafting your company’s vision and positioning statements. Though it’s the first and arguably the most important step in branding, it’s often overlooked.

I’ve seen many vision and positioning statements in my career as a brand strategist and Creative Director for L7 Creative. Most miss the mark or are simply written incorrectly. Let’s get to the core of what both of these statements should convey, their purpose, and how to use them effectively.

What is a Vision Statement?

A vision statement conveys the current and future objectives of your organization. Your company’s vision statement guides your organization to make decisions that align with its philosophy, ethos, culture and declared set of goals. Generally, a vision statement is used internally to align employees although it's fairly common to use one in proposals and other external documents.

Most vision statements should justifiably be crafted as aspirational goals. For example, if you’re in the transportation industry, you may want to express the level of client service your company will deliver to its passengers. You can imagine that JetBlue has a very service first vision statement, and would need employees vested in their vision. Develop an authentic vision statement to shape attainable goals and the culture of your company. Then, educate your people on its value to the long-term sustainability of your organization and train employees to integrate the vision into their actions.

What is a Positioning Statement?

On the other hand, your positioning is an external mantra that should squarely support your brand. It determines how your target audience perceives your company. Your positioning statement tells your brand story and will resonate with your target audience if done correctly. Great positioning creates an impression on your audience to continue believing in your brand’s products and services. When defined correctly, brand positioning communicates the primary attributes of your brand and serves as the cornerstone for future marketing efforts.

The result of your brand’s positioning is the thought triggered in your prospect’s mind when they hear your name or see your logo. A brand’s positioning provides a unique differentiation point - a reason to choose your company over a competitor - which is increasingly important in today’s commoditized marketplace.

How Brand Positioning Affects Consumer Loyalty

Interesting examples of positioning are Dove, Toyota and Lexus. Dove has done a remarkable job with repositioning their brand by helping women see their self-worth. Their decision to be known for more than just soap inspired the landmark Dove Real Beauty campaign.

Dove encourages women to embrace their looks instead of criticizing themselves. In the process they’ve created a powerful brand connection that has translated into impressive success and a distinct market differentiation. Their ability to deeply connect with their audience has driven sales to drastically increase since the campaign launched 16 years ago, even though Dove soap has been around since 1955.

Toyota and Lexus are popular for their reliability which is actually "perceived reality" and has led to virtually no competition in “owning” car reliability in consumers’ minds. Toyota dominates the economy class and Lexus leads in luxury cars. Their position as car manufacturers that produce quality products is consistent throughout their commercials. Consumers are assured when purchasing their cars that they will last for many years to come.

Powerful Branding to Conquer the World

The power of a clear company vision and brand positioning is undeniable. Reaching the pinnacle of branding in your competitive category requires discipline and strategy. L7 Creative not only provides you the tools to climb the mountain, but we make sure to attract loyal brand followers to join you on your journey.