Create a Category
Do you really believe that any business can consistently offer the highest quality and the lowest price?
Most would answer a resounding, “NO”.
Consumer’s minds won’t let a business own both the quality position and the discount position.
Many marketers make the mistake of trying to be all things to all people. In reality you can only hold one position in your prospects’ minds.
Very often the position you own is not that of a particular product or service but rather it is an experience or demographic.
No manufacturer is synonymous with tires, the product. But Michelin owns the safety experience in tires, while Pirelli owns the performance experience.
In restaurants, McDonald’s does not own the burger category, they own kids.
In their ground-breaking book, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, Al Reis and Jack Trout state law #2 as; “If you can’t be first in a category, create a category you can be first in.”
In marketing, there is always an experiential or demographic category you can create and own.
When BMW decided to capture the North American market, all of the automotive categories were owned by someone….Cadillac owned luxury, Volvo owned safety, Corvette owned performance and so on.
What did BMW do?
They created their own category, proclaiming to be in the ‘luxury-performance’ category. In subsequent auto industry surveys, it was announced that BMW was, in fact, number one in the luxury-performance category, in part because no one else was staking a claim there.
If you are searching for a position you can own, think beyond your product or service. In restaurants, for example, most products like steaks, Italian, Chinese, burgers, sandwiches, etc., are probably already owned in your market. But who owns the ‘romance’ category? What’s the first place you think of when you want to celebrate an anniversary, Valentine’s Day, or romance a new acquaintance?