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120 14 Reasons You Should Not Create A Category

Monday 15th July 2024
LOM_Episodes-120 14 Reasons You Should Not Create A Category

In this episode of Lochhead on Marketing, let us talk about the 14 reasons why you should not create a category.

  1. You believe in hustling – If you are one of those hustle porn believers, then you believe it’s all about hard work and more hard work. Hamsters in wheels hustle, but they never get anywhere.
  2. You Believe that the best brand wins – Microsoft spent billions of dollars putting their brand on retail stores, and had their ass handed to them. Google tried to compete head-on with Facebook with Google Plus, and got their ass handed to them. So if you believe the best brand wins, don’t create a category.
  3. You believe the best product wins – This mindset means you’re aiming for market share instead of creating one.
  4. If you like to change “strategy” often, you should not create a category.
  5. If you’re a mercenary, not a missionary – That is to say, you’re only in it for the money.
  6. You think “re-branding” will drive growth – When a new CMO comes on board, I always look: is there a rebrand that comes out in the next six months? Because nine times out of ten, when a new CMO immediately rebranded the company, they have their head on backwards or up their ass,
  7. You believe in achieving “product/market fit” – There are a few phrases that have done the damage that that one has done because it tricks legendary marketers and entrepreneurs to thinking they should fit their product into a market. There’s no legend that ever did that.
  8. “Go-to-market” sounds like a smart thing to do – In many ways, category design is about making the market come to you.
  9. You think category design is a marketing exercise – If you just want to do a marketing exercise, hire some marketing people to reshuffle some words in your website and call it the day.
  10. Category designers are expensive and hard to find – That’s true, because they’re in massive demand.
  11. You think you can win on quality, features, and price – Again, aiming for market share.
  12. If you believe that marketing products is smarter than marketing problems – Do you believe that you want to market your products, and not the problems? You probably shouldn’t create a category.
  13. You think asking customers what they want is the best strategy – There are a lot of people who say that business is really not that hard. Just ask me what they want and give it to them.Well, in a blind taste test, 10 out of 10 people said that bottled water was bottled water, and before Évian, 10 out of 10 people said they wouldn’t pay for it. So remember the sage words of Henry Ford: “If I’d ask people what they wanted, they would have asked for a faster horse.”
  14. You should not create a category because creating demand takes a lot more thinking than capturing demand. – It’s easy to try and run some Google ads and try to capture demand. But the question is, or the issue is she who creates the demand wins.

That’s it, folks. Please stay safe. Stay legendary. And the quote I’ll leave you with today says, “If you don’t think you should create a category, then you probably shouldn’t.”


Christopher Lochhead is a #1 Apple podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger.

He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur.

Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist.

In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion.

He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive.

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe on Apple Podcast! You may also subscribe to his newsletter, The Difference, for some amazing content.