Buried Treasure: Category Design Fundamentals
How to create a new category—or redesign an existing one.
Dear Friend, Subscriber, and Category Pirate,
This week’s Buried Treasure is all about Category Design Fundamentals.
These are mini-books of ours that explain some of the core frameworks, insights, and mental models required for you to create your own category.
Be sure not to miss these (our archives are deep!)—and when you’re ready to become a Category Designer, hop aboard The Pirate Ship and subscribe below:
The Magic Triangle: Why Category Design Is The Single Point Of Failure
In The Magic Triangle, we explain why Category Design is the single point of failure for companies.
You can have a legendary product
You can have a legendary company (team & business model)
But if you don’t have a legendary category, you are going to find yourself in dangerous waters.
The Category Design Scorecard
In The Category Design Scorecard, we give you a framework for being able to objective spot Category Creators out in the wild:
(Area 1) Category POV: Does the company have a clear “Point of View” of their category?
(Area 2) Future Category Reimagined & Without Compromise: Does the company cast a compelling future—free of these fundamental problems, compromises, and trade-offs inherent to the category?
(Area 3) Radically Different Offer + Business Model: How does this new category get delivered to the customer, both through a breakthrough product/service/offer, but also through a breakthrough business model?
(Area 4) Data Flywheel: Does the company generate data about customer/consumer demand/preferences (be it intentional or as a side effect) that creates a unique opportunity and advantage to anticipate the future of consumer demand and any category shifts?
(Area 5) Depth & Degree of Customer Outcomes: Does the company generate satisfied/ecstatic customers/consumers?
This framework will forever change the way you look at startups & publicly traded companies—and help you decide whether they are as “different” as they say they are.
The Big Brand Lie: How Categories Make Brands & Why Brand Marketers Never Believe It
In The Big Brand Lie, we explain how “the brand cult” began, and why the single biggest mistake companies make is marketing their brand—and not their category.
And if blindly “branding” customers with a hot poker is mistake numero uno, then mistake number two is taking their brand and doing what Ries & Trout famously languaged as “line extension”: extending it across multiple categories.
Did we learn nothing from Google+?
8 Category Levers: How To Build A Massive, Pacific Ocean-Sized Differentiation Moat
In 8 Category Levers, we break down the 8 levers you can push and pull to differentiate your business. And the more of these levers you push and pull, the more “differentiated” you become.
Lever 1: Radically Different Benefit (For A Radically Different Problem)
Lever 2: Radically Different Brand
Lever 3: Radically Different Experience
Lever 4: Radically Different Price
Lever 5: Radically Different Manufacturing
Lever 6: Radically Different Distribution
Lever 7: Radically Different Marketing
Lever 8: Radically Different Profit Model
The more of these levers you push and pull, the more “differentiated” you become.
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