Summary of Becoming a Category of One

How Extraordinary Companies Transcend Commodity and Defy Comparison

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Becoming a Category of One book summary
Starbucks, Volkswagen and Apple aren’t in a category; they each are a category. Now, make your brand a category of one.


9 Overall

9 Applicability

8 Innovation

9 Style


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.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What a "Category of One" company is, in terms of its distinctive products and services; and
  • How to make your organization a Category of One.


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...
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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.

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