The difference between positioning, messaging, and copy

What’s the difference between #positioning, #messaging, and #copy?

We often get this question in #productmarketing, so here’s a simple way to think about it.


This is a concept used internally. It articulates why your solution is better than any alternative at solving a specific problem for a specific group of people.

This sets the foundation of where your product fits in the market. You don’t just put your product out there and let the chips fall where they may. You need to be deliberate and strategic about where and how you “position” it in the minds of your target buyer.

Ingredients for positioning include:

  • Segmentation and personas
  • A strong definition of the problem (or set of problems)
  • A strong understanding of your competing alternatives
  • Your unique value that makes you different from the alternatives


Messaging is how you communicate your positioning to the market. It’s the words and statements you use (at this moment) to describe your differentiation and value to a specific group of people.

Your focus shouldn’t be to create catchy tag-lines and hooks. Instead, your messaging should communicate the key points you want your personas to remember, in clear language, so it’s easily understood.

Great messaging equips your organization with a talk track they can use to explain your unique value internally and externally. It helps your SDRs write effective emails, your marketing team write compelling website copy, your CEO deliver a killer pitch to investors.


Good messaging does not equal good copy. For example, you should not copy/paste messaging onto your website, in a blog post, in a cold email, verbatim.

Copywriting is the art of taking your message and delivering it in a compelling way within the context of a specific medium, like website copy, a blog post, a video script, etc.

While many product marketers can (and do) write great copy, the point is to understand that messaging informs your copy.

Even the process of writing this post has been a useful exercise for me to better distinguish the differences in my head, so hopefully, you find it useful too.

Would love to hear what you think in the comments!