Positioning Statements. Is Yours Meaningful or Meaningless?

By David Kidd, BPR

A positioning statement or brand message provides the words that help listeners understand a radio station’s value proposition….. (City’s)  #1 Hit Music Station, Rock’s Greatest Hits, Feel Good, Better Music and More of It. It articulates the brand promise. Brand messages tell a story that gets listeners excited about what you’re offering. In the battle for listeners’ minds, clearly defined positioning is vital.

Persuasive brand messages are always brief and convey critical aspects of a station’s product offering. They often oversimplify concepts that, in reality, may be complex. This oversimplification is a good thing because the goal of a brand is to be noticed, remembered and desired. In an over-communicated world, the only way to get inside the minds of the listeners is to whittle away at your message until it comes to a sharp point.

Is your station’s positioner a compact statement that declares why the brand matters, what it stands for and how it is stands apart from its competitors? A core brand message communicates the values and key differentiators that define the brand. And above all else, it makes people in the station’s target audience sit up and take notice.

Critically, a positioning statement must be relevant to the audience.

Are you unsure if you’ve got your messaging right? Check your brand messages against the following criteria:


  • Does your core brand message offer anything different from your competitors?


  • Are your messages simple, easy to understand and compelling?


  • Do your messages reflect reality? Brand messages must be based in reality to be believed. A little aspiration is ok, as long as the claim is plausible.


  • Do your messages resonate with your target audience?


  • Do they say anything interesting?




  • Bob Stuart says:

    What a great subject for discussion, David!

    I see so many attempts at Positioning Statements that are utterly valueless because they are too complex, not colloquial or simply untrue. It shouldn’t be an Aspirational Statement, a description of how you would *like* the station to be perceived. A positioning statement should be a distilled version of what your Listeners or customers *actually say about you*, garnered through research.

    For example: ‘Aldi. Good. Different.’
    Or ‘The Burgers Are Better At…’

    One station I used to work for insisted that its slogan ‘More Music, More Memories, More Often’ is a Positioning Statement. But if I asked a Listener in an elevator conversation ‘Why do you listen to that station?’ they’re not going to respond with all that convoluted verbiage. They’ll respond with ‘Um, I like the songs they play’ or something similar.

    Your Positioning Statement has to be brief, memorable and something a Listener would naturally say. And that’s why, having formulated a Positioning Statement, you need to hammer it and not dilute it with alternative statements that confuse the issue.

    Simple. Colloquial. Memorable. And demonstrably true.

    Then you’ve nailed it!

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