Becoming a Category of One
IN THIS SUMMARY
In Becoming a Category of One, Joe Calloway states that a company must strive not to become a leader in a category, but to create a new category altogether and be the only company in it. In order to accomplish this, a company must make a purposeful decision, and that decision must be followed with action. The company must let go of past success and strive for more; everyone involved must be committed to this new direction. Calloway suggests business leaders take the following advice: * A company has to have a story – a purpose for existing beyond producing a product or providing a service. This becomes the guiding force behind everything everyone in the company does. * Because the business world itself changes so frequently, businesses need to become accustomed to constant change and not become complacent. Otherwise, they run the risk of disappearing. * In order to transcend commodity, a company must defy comparison in the customer’s eyes. It is not possible to create a great company through advertising, and false promises do not fool consumers. * A company’s brand is most important, and it is defined by the customer. Companies must recognize that their brand is everything: who they are, what they promise to deliver, and how often they make good on that promise. * If a company is competitive with price, quality, and service, then following three customer rules should put that company on the path to becoming a Category of One business: 1) know more about the customer, 2) get closer to the customer, and 3) emotionally connect with the customer better than anyone else. * Not only is the customer always right, but now the customer also makes the rules and runs the game; successful companies embrace this fact. * Delivering on the basics – price, product, service, and quality – each and every time with each and every customer could very well be the differentiating factor that sets a company apart from its competition.