Positioning statements – for your business, and yourself.

I needed a break from doom-scrolling today – you know, the near-obsessive focus on unremittingly bleak social media and news coverage, to the detriment of mental health.

And I thought to myself, “I know – why don’t I do a piece on position statements for businesses and individuals?”

I’m not talking about mission statements such as  Google’s “to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” or BHP’s “to bring people and resources together to build a better world.”

I’m also not talking about company slogans and taglines like NAB’s “More Than Money” or Billabong’s “Life’s better in boardshorts” … or even our own “Because words bring meaning.”

I was thinking instead about a positioning statement of the sort that radio stations use, so you know up front what to expect.

They might be “Latest Hits and Greatest Memories ” or “Brisbane’s Brightest, Bounciest Tunes”, or “Old Skool 90s Hitz” or “Talking Brisbane”, or “Nothing but News.”

So here’s a question: Do businesses need positioning statements? Do individuals? In fact, do radio stations?

Then I started researching – and found there’s nothing new under the sun 🙂

In fact, four years ago Kevin Robinson in a blog on Linked-in asked “Think you need a position or slogan?  Get rid of it today. See if the Customer misses it.”

I suspect he may be right – and yet, and yet ….

I have difficulty imagining Radio – the industry that I have lived and loved for 40 years – abandoning positioners and slogans.

In a social media group I frequent, a fellow member has been posting examples of slogans used in Australian radio for 100 years.

Some of them have been laughable – like 1925’s “2UW – The Little Station with the Big Kick” or 3AK’s 1970s slogan “Where No Wrinklies Fly!”

But others encapsulate the station, and its role in the community – such as 2KA’s “We Are The West” which clearly differentiated the station from its bigger, more powerful Sydney rivals.

And whether they were attempts to be ‘clever’ such as 2GZ’s “Growth Zone Radio” or straight-as-a-die descriptions like “NewsTalk 5DN” those slogans have clothed the stations in a comfortable cloak for decades.

I note that some stations no longer bother. They just use their callsign, without positioners – or even imaging – trusting that the audience will know what they are getting because of the reputation of the group.

But I can’t help but wonder. What happens if our audiences, our customers, our clients come to us with a misconception of who we are and what we do.

If we don’t have a slogan or a position statement, how long might it take them to discover their mistake? And will they still be our listeners, our customers, our clients by then?

So here’s a question. I want you to be honest with yourself.

Let’s say a listener comes to your station, a client comes to your consultancy, a customer comes to your website. If they are unaware of your position statement or slogan, what would they come up with in its place?.

And if their position statement is different to yours, why is that and what does that mean?

The things I wonder, as I try to avoid doom-scrolling 🙂


CairnsCommunications – we provide Freelance Journalism, Blog posts and Media Releases,
Voice-Overs, Communications Training, and Travel Writing. Let us help give your words meaning.

Call (+61) 0402 477 083, or email cairnscommunications@gmail.com

One thought on “Positioning statements – for your business, and yourself.

  1. Great question Graham! As I am reinventing myself in the field of Genealogy, I notice some really catchy phrases some Genealogists use to describe what they do. I have yet to devise one for myself! Its on my list!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s