<script type="text/javascript">
var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www.");
document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost + "google-analytics.com/ga.js' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));
</script>
<script type="text/javascript">
try
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-1722971-1");
pageTracker._trackPageview();
 catch(err) </script>
<script type="text/javascript">
var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www.");
document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost + "google-analytics.com/ga.js' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));
</script>
<script type="text/javascript">
try
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-1722971-1");
pageTracker._trackPageview();
 catch(err) </script>
All rights reserved Winning Message LLC
How to Develop Competitive Positioning and Key Messages

An effective framework for business differentiation should start with a powerful brand positioning statement: a memorable, impactful, concise sentence that tells people what you do, how you are different and what value you will provide to them. If your salespeople are not able to deliver this top-line differentiating sales pitch - and have the recipient understand it in the time it takes to go up two flights on an elevator - it is not effective and needs to be redeveloped.

In the instance where the elevator gets stuck or the ride simply takes longer than it should, your salespeople should also be armed with fact-supported differentiating key messages to further persuade, if necessary. These pointed, concise, powerful competitive positioning statements must support the corporate brand positioning statement and help to prove its viability and legitimacy. These differentiating competitive positioning assertions should be no more than one sentence each. Behind each of these business differentiation key messages must be supporting proof points to legitimize each key claim. The key is to have several layers of competitive positioning ammunition to prove your business's worth to a potential client and to make your product or service stand above the competition's.

Following each of your key messages and their supporting proof points should be a customer value statement (or value proposition). This one or two sentence statement clearly articulates to the potential customer what value your product or service will offer them.

Competitive Positioning Statement - top line differentiating business message designed to stake a claim in the industry and position how customers should perceive the company.

For example:A. We are the world's largest…B. Our company provides senior citizens with the cheapest…

Key Messages - Differentiating claims based on the business or its key products, services, etc.

For example:A. Our XYZ product is used today by 67 of the Fortune 100 companies.B. Each member of our management team has successfully launched an initial public offering (IPO).

Customer Value Statements - messages describing customer value based on the claims made by key messages andcompetitive positioning statements.

For example:

With key message: Our XYZ product is used today by 67 of the Fortune 100 companies.--Customer value statement might be: You can feel assured that our technology is proven and will work as described.

With key message: Each member of our management team has successfully launched an initial public offering (IPO).--Customer value statement might be: Your money is being put into the hands of a company led by entrepreneurs with a history of success.

This type of differentiating "messaging hierarchy" is essential in business, unless you are taking a lowest-cost provider position. This is especially true in the business-to-business marketplace, where the value of products and services is not always apparent.

With a complete competitive positioning and key messages framework established, an organization has the ammunition needed to effectively differentiate itself from the competition when competing for clients, new hires and leveraging in public relations and marketing activities.