Your business can be first in any category


Hey, it’s Matt.

“Many…companies (and their entrepreneurial owners) became rich and famous by following a simple principle: If you can’t be first in a category, set up a new category to be first in.”
  • Al Reis + Jack Trout, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing.

When I read this line in Tools of Titans recently it struck a chord. It’s such a simple, yet really powerful concept.

Earlier this year I started a coaching + consultancy business. I want to help Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) improve their business performance to create better results.

My solution statement sounded pretty specific. While the what (business performance) and the why (create better results) is pretty clear, the who (SMBs) is quite broad.

There are a lot of coaching and consultancy companies offering a range of services to SMBs. How am I going to differentiate myself from them and stand out in an already crowded market?

Enter “The Law of Category”, one of the 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing. The whole chapter is included in Tools of Titans.

The basic premise is this: There are many different ways for your business to be first. Find a new category you can be first in.

When you launch a new product or service, instead of asking “How is this going to be better than the competition?”, ask “What category is this product or service first in?

If you’re first in a new category, promote the category and not the product or service. Then you don’t have to worry about the competition because you’re already first in that category.

Example: IBM was the first company in computers and was a big success. Dell got into the crowded personal computer market by being the first to sell computers directly to consumers.

Everyone is interested in what’s new. Few people are interested in what’s better.

The Law of Category made me think about how my coaching and consultancy business can be first.

I’ve started and scaled cleaning businesses and property management companies. The systems and processes that I built within those businesses produced extraordinary results. That’s my Unfair Advantage.

After considering this and applying The Law of Category, my coaching + consultancy business now helps property service SMBs improve their performance to create better results.

I’ve created a category where my business is first. Now my focus is on promoting the category, not my business.

How can your business can be first in any category? If you have trouble finding one, hit reply and let me know.

Own a cleaning or property management business (or know someone that does)? Let’s talk, I’d love to help.

Additional Resources

“An unfair advantage is a competitive upper hand, and your set of unfair advantages is unique to you. It’s more than just a unique selling point, it’s a fundamental leg-up over the competition, and sometimes it’s not one that is ‘earned’ or worked for.”

From The Unfair Advantage: How You Already Have What It Takes to Succeed by Ash Ali and Hasan Kubba. Resurfaced using Readwise.

See you next week