Category Creation: How to Build a Brand that Customers, Employees, and Investors Will Love 1st Edition
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"It has been a pleasure to partner with Gainsight since its earliest days in driving the creation of Customer Success as a true function in SaaS. Having been a category creator myself, it is a different journey, especially in the first years. The standard 'disruptor' playbook just doesn't work as well. Anthony's incredible tome does just that, for the first time in enterprise software. It gives you the playbook to creating, rather than reinventing, a category.”
― Jason Lemkin, VC & Founder, SaaStr
“Customers create categories―not companies. Category Creation gives entrepreneurs and marketers from companies of all sizes and industries a blueprint for how to engage customers to validate, shape and advance the interests of your market.”
― Jill Rowley, Partner, Stage 2 Capital and Former Chief Growth Officer, Marketo
“In the hierarchy of powers that determines the value of a company, category power is the highest, and if you are the company who creates and leads a new category, that is as good as it gets ever. Category Creation is a game plan for doing just that.”
― Geoffrey Moore, Author, Crossing the Chasm and Zone to Win
“The ability to create a new category is not unique to startups. The largest companies in the world can play their advantages to build new markets and develop leadership positions within them. The tactics that Anthony lays out in Category Creation are just as relevant for today’s Fortune 100 companies as they are for earlier stage businesses.”
― Lori Wright, General Manager – Office, Microsoft
“We’ve reached a new era of software where companies are moving from IT stacks to cloud ecosystems―presenting today’s entrepreneurs with a unique opportunity to create net new categories of products that reinvent complex processes of the past with simple solutions for the digital age. Gainsight is a great modern success story for this emerging business strategy―I'm excited to see Anthony share his playbook with the industry."
― Aaron Levie, CEO, Box
“We are in the midst of a digital gold rush, as companies of all sizes are recognizing new market opportunities and creating movements behind those causes for their brands. I’m thrilled to see Anthony put pen to paper to demystify category creation and help other executives follow the lead of market makers like Gainsight and others.”
― Sue Barsamian, Former Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Software
“It always surprises me that category creation isn’t better understood and more enthusiastically embraced by business leaders. I’ve had the privilege of being a part of four great companies―GMF Robotics, Rasna, Ariba and DocuSign―and every time, category creation was a key to our success. Anthony has been a student of this innovative business approach, and in Category Creation, invites other leaders to activate their courage to challenge the status quo.”
― Keith Krach, Chairman & CEO, Ariba and DocuSign
From the Inside Flap
There's no such thing as an original idea anymore--right? Actually, it turns out that the world's most innovative companies have created so much more than just brand new products and technology. They've created entirely new market categories. The challenge is that successfully building new categories requires a perfect storm of luck and timing.
Or does it? Category Creation is the first and only book on the topic written by executives and marketers actively building new categories. It explains how category creation has become the Holy Grail of marketing, and more importantly, how it can be planned and orchestrated. It's not about luck. You can use the same tactics that other category-defining companies have used to delight customers, employees, and investors. There's no better strategy that results in faster growth and higher valuations for the company on top.
Author Anthony Kennada, the founding Chief Marketing Officer at Gainsight, explains how he led Gainsight in creating the "customer success" category, and shares success stories from fellow category-creators like Salesforce, HubSpot, and others. It requires much more than just having the best product. You have to start and grow a conversation that doesn't yet exist, positioning a newly discovered problem in addition to your company and product offerings. The book explains the seven key principles of category creation, including the importance of creating a community of early adopters who will rally around the problem they all share--especially if someone will lead them.
Category Creation reveals how companies can win at business while being human first, as opposed to putting shareholder value at the forefront by any means necessary--even at the expense of employees and customers. With Category Creation as your guide, you will discover what it takes to live your purpose, value, and culture out loud and focus on the people in your market rather than just your product. Anthony also explains how to create a lifestyle brand for your category and activate customers to become brand ambassadors and much more.
Written for entrepreneurs, marketers, and executives from startups to large enterprises, Category Creation is the official playbook on how to start and grow a conversation that doesn't yet exist, successfully position a newly discovered problem, and build a category-defining brand in our modern economy.
- Item Weight : 15 ounces
- Hardcover : 240 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1119611563
- ISBN-13 : 978-1119611561
- Product Dimensions : 5.9 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
- Publisher : Wiley; 1st Edition (October 15, 2019)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #441,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Category creation is not new, entrepreneurs have been creating new markets and business models for millenia, but it has come to prominence over the past decade based on the massive success of companies that created entirely new industries where none existed before. Kennada contrasts the category creation strategy with the disruption strategy, where a company delivers on the same value propositions as incumbents using new technologies or business models, often targeting a new segment of the market. In category creation new value propositions are being created and delivered.
Kennada was the chief marketing officer at Gainsight, the category creator in the customer success software market. He know his stuff. The book focuses on B2H marketing (business to human). B2H as new categories are only created when people come to believe in them. It is people (humans) that believe.
One of the great things about this book is that it brings in the voices of others with relevant experience: Maria Pergolino who as chief marketing officer at Marketo; Mark Organ the founding CEO at Eloqua and Influitive; and Mark Fauscette, the chief research officer at G2 (read this if you want to understand how G2 is disrupting the analyst business model).
Category creation is a high risk strategy that takes courage, conviction, and a willingness to ignore what experts, investors and analysts say. It requires you to belief in yourself and trust other people. Building trust is one of the key skills of category creators.
Top reviews from other countries
Anthony has added an incredible body of work to this area and his insights on "business to human" marketing and "creating a movement" are powerful and compelling.
In particular his six steps are a good mantra for any marketer:
1. Don't expect everyone to get it straight away - it takes time. Persistence is vastly underrated in marketing.
2. Seek first to help. Educating your customers about the problem and how to solve it - not your product. This is key to mobilising a movement, and is precisely what Anthony did so well at Gainsight.
3. Build a war chest - winning hearts and minds isn't cheap - not entirely sure I agree with this one - but then I'm not from Silicon Valley!
4. The normal rules of short term planning and selling go out the window when there is no budget, 'cos noone knows what you do! Agreed.
5. Top down support is critical - 100% - for me category is owned by the CEO, not the marketing dept. This is critical for success.
6. Don't worry about the competition. Carve out your own space, go your own way.