How should a startup approach what to name their new category? How important is it to do that and how should the company weave that name into their messaging?
Naming is important! Ideally your category is established enough that there are industry terms that you can use. That way you're building brand equity for your brand name and using category terms that explain what your brand does.
For example, I believe Gartner coined the term composable commerce for when retailers want the ability to pick and choose ecommerce technology instead of adopting a monolithic structure. If you're entering a category that has a name or term, make sure you're leveraging these concepts that your prospects are already familiar with. And of course use SEO & SEM to rank in search results for the category.
In the case of Bolt, that is our brand name that we want to build brand equity for and one-click checkout is the category. While we want to build association with Bolt and one-click, we always use "checkout" at least the first time because we want to make sure retailers and shoppers understand what the company does.
The category name should make clear to the customer how your the type of technology solves the challenge they are experiencing it. It is critical that the clarity and understanding of the problem are evident. More importantly, it is critical that your organization closely aligns itself with this category, regardless of the name. In order to become a Category King, you must be the first brand consumers associate with the category. This can be done via messaging, research, campaigns, and most importantly - a mix of all the channels for your target audience uses.