Becoming a Category of One Book Summary, by Joe Calloway

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1-Page Summary of Becoming a Category of One

An Industry of One

It is a bad idea to try and be the best company in your category. You will always be second-best, while smaller companies can compete with you. Instead, make yourself an entirely new type of company that no one else has ever seen before. Be known as the only such kind of company anywhere, and let everyone know it.

At first, it may seem odd that a company could be its own market. However, there are many Category of One companies in the world. These businesses are everywhere and can be big or small. They include LensCrafters and other large retail operations as well as smaller businesses such as neighborhood shops that work hard to please their customers, like your favorite boutique ad design firm or friendly dental practice you can depend on for great service.

Companies that create their own categories of business share a common thread of success. They all have the same approach to success, and it works for any size company, including giants such as Southwest Airlines.

Becoming a Category of One

In order to become a Category of One, you have to make the decision that your company will be different. It’s not enough just to say it; you actually have to do it. That means everyone in the company has to decide they want their business model and products or services to be unique and special. Every single company that becomes a Category of One firm has a moment when its people decide on this path for themselves.

Category of One companies have a clear sense of identity. They define themselves by answering “what is the point?” in their business. Instead of making broad mission statements, they focus on what’s important to them and how they can improve it. Category of One companies are more concerned with why they exist rather than just what they do or make for money.

Category of One companies are not like other businesses. They don’t focus on the past, but instead look for ways to innovate and differentiate themselves from their competition. If you’re not a Category of One company, your customers will regard you as just another business trying to sell them something. You need to stand out in order to succeed; otherwise, they’ll only think about price when deciding between different brands.

Some companies have a different approach to branding. They understand that their brand is the promise they make to customers. Sometimes, it also represents lifestyle and values. When people think of these brands, they know what to expect from them because those brands represent the promises made by the company’s leaders.

Some companies want their customers to think of them differently. They want to come closer to their customers than any potential rivals could. They wish to connect emotionally with their customers more completely than anyone else. Customer service is an ancient business precept, but surprisingly many organizations fail to build operations that way. In contrast, Category of One companies are dedicated to winning and keeping loyal customers for life.

Today, consumers are looking for unique performers. They want a business that can deliver something better than anyone else in the industry. To become such a performer, identify and meet your customers’ evolving expectations sooner than anyone else in the market does. Consistently do that, and you will turn into a Category of One company.

Creating Processes for Change

To be successful, a company must make a decision. For example, when Neal Armstrong stepped on the moon in Apollo 13, he remarked that it was not a miracle but rather something they decided to do. This is an important point for any business because deciding to go with your vision and distinguishing yourself from others is what will lead you to success.

Becoming a Category of One Book Summary, by Joe Calloway

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