Founding a new category vs moving into one you've created - We've you've been in business 2-5+ years - how do you go about performing a category switch? (Complete rebrand, new site, email outreach, etc.)
Assuming the right answer for you is to indeed switch categories (and I’d really make sure to get this answer right), I’d recommend by laying out your point of view on the market problem, why it needs to be solved, and your positioning (ability to solve that problem in a unique way). I’d also be...more
Depends - if you’re able to differentiate enough to be a #1 or #2 player in the market, stick with the current category. I would, however, start to amp up the thought leadership so that you can influence the category more going forward so you can start to play your own game. Not knowing more det...more
When creating a category how important is it to have a new title to sell into? Can you create a category with an existing role as main user?
I don’t think it’s super critical for there to be a “new role” when creating a new category. When I was at Yammer, for example, we defined the “Enterprise Social Networking” category but made it a must have for various existing roles in an organization (VP HR, COO, VP Sales, etc.). What you’ll f...more
You do need to walk a fine line between highlighting that fact that you’re unique while acknowledging the other choices customers have. There are a few considerations here - * As part of the category creation story, consider highlight some trends in the market (or shifts in user behavior) t...more
How much effort is it to market products that create new categories? As in time and touches vs. existing products.
I’ve found that category creation is always more time and resource intensive than competing in an existing category. When creating a new category, you’re doing a lot of education about how companies can recognize the fact that they have a problem, why they need to prioritize (and budget for) solv...more
One approach here is to re-define your market in such a way that you’re the leader of that market. That’s kind of what category creation if all about. Another approach here (again, leaning in to how you’re unique in the value you provide) is to emphasize how you’re enabling your customers to thi...more
What internal messaging efforts have helped you shift your company's mindset from a product company to a solutions or platform company? What worked the best? What mistakes did you make?
I found that making the shift to “solutions” or “platform” requires becoming more business outcome focused in terms of your messaging. Rather than speak to individual user-level features/benefits (e.g. “the app launches 2x as fast”) you want to speak to the business impact that it delivers (e.g. ...more
* Several things come to mind here: Messaging is too generic: you’ve not done a good job of really identifying the audience and understanding what they care about in order to develop a specific message * Messaging doesn’t “provoke:” the objective of a message is to get your audi...more
What is your advice for startup platform category creation? Where have you seen the most success in terms of channels for this type of creation?
In my experience, category creation requires two things at the start: * Point of View - which articulates your perspective on the problem(s) your target market is looking to solve [why is the problem worth solving, what are the key steps in solving the problem, what kind of tech solution...more
For me, great messaging always starts with two things: * Point of View - which articulates your perspective on the problem(s) your target market is looking to solve [why is the problem worth solving, what are the key steps in solving the problem, what kind of tech solutions will help y...more