Your Category Makes the Brand

The difference between competing and commanding

I owe the subject line to Christopher Lochhead. He's the insanely smart voice behind the Category Pirates newsletter that you should also subscribe to.

Anyway, to the topic... Category Design. This is the positioning statement that sits at the foundation of your brand. There's no desire to create 'me too' brands. You get the importance of differentiation. Category Design is the idea that you want your customers to associate to your brand. Your focus shifts to what makes you different (you being YOU, your product and your audience).

You don't need me to bleat out the international brands that have already accomplished this. You know. Think Uber. Think Apple.

Now, for many of us it's a marketing strategy that evokes concern. Why narrow your market to a specific ideation? Surely wider audience remit is the route to growth?

No it isn't. And far from it. This brings me back to the conversation around newsletter strategy. If you're frustrating sending the same weekly email with the same template and the same messaging then considering your category and how you represent YOUR category is a route to greater engagement with your audience. Boy that was a long sentence. The gist is this. Do different. Lead the conversation. Make the shift from pinging out the 10% discount codes and start educating. You know stuff that will fascinate. You're the makers. You have a process to share.  You have a category to build.

And this is a huge challenge. When I discuss with my own clients how do we make what they make matter (the very core of marketing) it takes days and weeks to get to the stage of a definitive single sentence response. That response sets the foundation for your category. It's a process of category design.

And it does take time. And it does become uncomfortable. But then you get it. And when you get it? Your customer gets it. And you then begin the build. Your newsletter is the easiest route to build from.

Over the next few lessons we'll be talking about the specifics - the words, the imagery you use to build connection and inspire subscribers to make their purchase.

Here's a delightful reminder of how you position your brand in the mind of your customer... it's all in the words.

Thanks for reading.

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