Every buyer categorizes everything they buy, including your product or service.
Every company is playing one of only three category games.
The first rule of the game is to know which game you are playing, but most startups and growth companies are not clear about which one they are playing.
1) The New Category game
Creating a new category is the hardest and takes the longest, but it was the game played by most of the category leaders we all know about. They created a true innovation AND they created their categories.
“It’s a new and valuable thing that we call _______.”
2) The New Sub-Category game
Adjusting an existing category is the fastest way to create category leverage since you don’t have to do the hard work of creating the category. You just have to create a useful variation of the product or the target customer.
“It’s like ________, only it’s for ______ or it does _______.”
3) The Existing Category game
This is the category game played by most established companies in crowded markets. But it’s also the game played by disruptors that are innovating to redefine and take over an existing category.
“It’s like an existing category for the same market, only it’s 10x better.”
Those are the only category games to be played.
Which game did a big brand or unicorn play to become big?
Which of the three category games are you playing right now?