In this episode, we’ll answer this question and when does it make sense to create a category.
1:47 – The story about category creation.
7:35 – When it started making sense to create a category of “Customer Lifetime Value”.
9:03 – What efforts Omniconvert is making to create a category.
14:54 – Three things you should remember when creating a category.
20:43 – My thoughts on category creation.
- Connect with Juliana on LinkedIn (awesome account to follow)
- Check out Omniconvert
- Customer lifetime value course
Wanna read some thoughts?
Have you read the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing?
If not, check out this summary.
Anyway, one of the laws is the Law of the Category.
The Law of the Category says that if you cannot be first in your category, set up a new category.
This is really just another way of explaining a concept called “differentiation”.
New entrepreneurs tend to think purely in terms of finding a product that is better than the competition.
But so very often, it is more important to be different than to be better.
I used to have the same problem with my former company Userpilot.
We are “technically” the second-best solution in our category.
I kept thinking about – Should I create a new category?
It’s currently under the “Digital Adoption Solutions” – Which I particularly hate.
Then, I read this article that says You DO NOT need a category in SaaS.
And, I did not want to end up like this picture below.
Here’s the main summary of this article:
You don’t need to create a new product category to succeed.
Whether you want to reach a successful exit (acquisition or IPO) or just multiply your revenue, both my experience and my analysis of recent tech IPOs shows that the majority of successful companies achieve that without having to create a category.
For those that try, it takes them much more time and resources than anticipated and doesn’t appear to improve the odds of success any more than positioning into an existing or emerging category.
Instead, do what Steve Jobs, Marc Benioff, and 22 of the 25 most recent startups to go public have done: Focus on building something innovative and attracting buyers within an established or emerging category. Let your impact change the category, not your marketing strategy.
Despite knowing all of this, Juliana Jackson from Omniconvert created a category called “Customer Lifetime Value” in ecommerce.
I’ve learned a lot from her story.
So, here’s why you SHOULD create a category despite all the issues:
- When you’re passionate about that should something exists
- That you see a change happening in the world but nobody is calling it out
- When you want to TRULY own the term
- When the timing really makes sense
Some good resources on category creation:
- Gainsight on Category Creation (26-minutes worth your time, I bet)
- Instead of Category Creation, you can focus on strategic narrative
- Focus on positioning perhaps?
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