Category Strategy

Create your own market by defining a problem that only your company can solve. Launch the category and achieve problem market fit. Become the category leader.

Category Strategy sets a vision for your company. It focuses on identifying and evangelizing a unique problem that only your company can solve. 


Category Strategy is about being different, not just better. It requires mapping a problem to a market to achieve problem-market fit.

Category Strategy is neither marketing nor is it about creating a new tagline and a nice story.

Category Strategy is also different than positioning a new product into an established market with competitors and trying to capture market share — although, it is possible to create a new niche category and win by specializing in an existing market.

Building a category can take years and is core to company strategy. To become a category leader requires product or business model differentiation.

Category, product and AI strategy must working in synergy to make this a reality.

Category leaders can be established in companies of any size: from emerging startups; growth companies looking to pivot; or even Fortune 50 enterprises. Often creating, launching and evangelizing a new category can involve the whole company — although it may only apply to a breakout initiative, or new product family in a larger or more mature enterprise. It's also a valuable exercise when two disparate groups or companies come together to create something new.

Category leaders are everywhere. They take 80% of the market share, growth and value. Category leaders are different, not just better.

Here are some examples of category leaders —

Ride sharing

Uber

Online search

Google

Electric Vehicles

Tesla

Microblogging

Twitter

Cloud Infrastructure Services

Amazon Web Services

Smart watches

Apple

Inbound Marketing

HubSpot

Conversational Marketing

Drift

Account Based Marketing

Engagio/Demandbase

Enterprise Communication

Slack

Category strategy isn't marketing.
See how it's different.

Category strategy

New problem—or an existing one solved in a new way

Focuses on the problem and category

No competition (It's a new space)

Category potential

Category marchitecture

Category ecosystem

Marketing strategy

Known problem

Focuses on the product and features

Positioning around your competitors  

Existing TAM

Product roadmap

Partner strategy

Here's the process to define your new market category.
We lead workshops guiding you through the following steps —

Create a category story.

Identify the problem

Explain ramifications of not solving the problem

Declare your unique answer to the problem

Describe the solution, vision for the future

Select a name for your category.

Define the "container" for the problem

Represent the market type, nature of the problem, and audience who has the problem

Pick a unique name that other companies may want to use as they enter your market — having others come into your category helps you establish the category and your leadership position

Create your category  'marchitecture'.

Create a  visual which illustrates the key components of the category — this will help when telling the category story and inform the category visual identity

Visualize the key category components that can easily map to your product roadmap — this is how you align the category problem to your solution

Launch your category.

Get the company on board to solve the problem

Create the category positioning and messaging framework and map it to your product messaging frameworks

Launch your new category to the world

Evangelize your category and the problem.

Evangelize and transform the market to understand your category

Build your category marketing plan to complement your product marketing — using category marketing to focus on the problem

Consider hiring a category evangelist to educate the industry on the problem and the solution

It's hard work to build a category on your own. We help map out your category ecosystem.


Identifying the right partners and building strategic relationships with them is critical to establishing category momentum.

We help identify the key the partner companies that you need to engage with in order to grow the category —then build the plan to get them on board.

DATASHEET

Learn more about Category Strategy.

Design your own category and own the market.

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Get your product ready for AI.
Learn about Product Strategy.

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