Category Design: own a space in your customer’s mind

You are competing in a crowded category submitting to someone else’s rules.

Category Design allows you to create a different way for your customer to see your product. Instead of being better or cheaper than X, be unique.

This makes you stand out and you will dominate this new category. Being the queen or king of a category is a very powerful position.

Step 1

Understand your default category

How do your customers see you?

Customers put products in categories to make sense of them.

Purchasing decisions are based on comparisons within a category: features, quality, price…

It is important to know within which category your customers put your product.

Step 2

Define a powerful new category

Owning a category is a powerful position

Companies which are queens of a given category have higher growth and profits.

Instead of being compared based on someone else’s rules, trying to be “better” than X, be unique.

Have a strong standpoint, a vision for a better future. Create the category that embodies that future.We use the five areas of the “Category Design Scorecard” to help you choose the most powerful category.


Step 3

Name & Claim

Create a new vocabulary

Words are important. By naming and claiming a category, you own it in the minds of your customers.

It can be as simple as adding a qualifier to an existing category that references the current (bad) situation and highlights your vision. Single-serve coffee, robot vacuum,  home workout…

When your customers, or even your competitors start using your vocabulary, you know you have won.

Step 4

Sell the category, not the product

Change the decision-making process

By selling your new category, your standpoint, your vision, you reinforce your ownership of this new category.

Instead of choosing between different lawnmowers, for example, they will choose between an old-fashioned lawnmower and an automatic lawnmower. It’s a choice they didn’t know they had. And you own that choice.

Step 5

Learn from your superconsumers

Passionate customers are special to your business

There are fans of almost every category: scissors, coffee, melted cheese…

They require less marketing, are less price-sensitive and therefore deliver higher margins. They also use your product in different and interesting ways, opening. up new opportunities.

Identify, study and pamper this tribe and you will see increased growth.

Fact sheet


Become the owner of a new category and reap the benefits.


Strategic report

  • New category definition
  • Category Design Scorecard
  • New vocabulary & storytelling
  • Marketing foundation
  • Strategic growth plan


Depending on the scope, 1 or 2 half-day interactive workshops, spaced over 1-2 weeks.

With management, product-management, marketing/communications staff and customer-facing team members.


In real life, in workshop room, with whiteboards, post-its. In your offices or in a rented space.

Online collaborative Zoom sessions with virtual whiteboards / post-its.

Option for hybrid sessions with multiple cameras and projector.

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