Summary of Becoming a Category of One

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Any CEO would love to run a company that is regarded as truly in a class by itself. After all that’s about as close to a monopoly as you can get without running afoul of the regulators. Some companies - such as Starbucks, Volkswagen, Southwest Airlines and Apple Computers - do come close to being in a class by themselves. Here, consultant and author Joe Calloway suggests that all "Category of One" companies share a common trait that explains how they achieved success. More than just a book of theory, this volume also offers practical case studies, information and interviews. Strong on concepts, it needs to provide a bit more guidance about how to push your company into its own category. That said, very strongly recommends this book to business leaders and students of management who find marketplace excellence a never-ending pursuit.

About the Author

Consultant Joe Calloway is a frequent speaker on trends in business. He has been inducted into the international Speaker’s Hall of Fame. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where he owns an award-winning restaurant. The clients of his consultancy range from hotels in Great Britain and computer companies in South Africa to global brands such as IBM and BMW.



An Industry of One

A firm is asking for trouble if it expends all its energy trying to be the best company in its category. If you enter that race, you will always be nipping at your rival’s heels, while some company farther down the food chain has you in its crosshairs. Now, there is a better way to compete. Rather than trying to become a category leader, create your own category. Be a Category of One. Distinguish yourself - become the only company of your type anywhere and make sure your customers and potential customers know it.

At first blush, that sounds strange. How can a company be its own market segment? However, Category of One companies are everywhere. They include big retail operations, such as LensCrafters, or small businesses, such as that popular neighborhood shop that works extra hard to please its customers. Your favorite Category of One business may be a friendly, efficient dental practice you can depend upon or a daringly creative boutique ad design firm. Category of One companies are everywhere if you know what to look for and where to look.

The diverse companies that create their own categories of business share a common thread of success...

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