How is Brand Strategy Different From Category Design

While much of DRMG's work is informed by many of Category Design’s central tenets as championed and codified in Play Bigger, SaaS Brand Strategy is more than Category Design, and anytime you have a more-than you have to address the vernacular; you can't be like "We're better than Category Design.." otherwise you are in a game of better and not different. And as we all know, that's not the game you want to be playing.

By
DRMG
|
December 29, 2022

We get asked...you call it SaaS Brand Strategy but a lot if it is Category Design, so which is it?

Indeed.

As originally pointed out by Trout and Ries in 22 Immutable Laws. (Chapter 2, The Law of Category) “What happens when you narrow the focus to such a degree that there is no longer any market for the brand? This is potentially the best situation of all. What you have created is the opportunity to introduce a brand-new category.”

Ergo, Saas Brand Strategy

While we are huge fans, advocates, and practitioners of the Category Design frameworks by Christoper Lochhead, et al., as codified in the book Play Bigger, when applied to our specific B2B SaaS focus, strengths and weaknesses of that approach emerge that require further exploration and discovery so the power of the approach can be fully applicable and actionable to B2B SaaS companies, specifically.

Ergo, again, SaaS Brand Strategy.

While built on the tenets of Category Design, SaaS Brand Strategy includes several other elements that are applicable and actionable to B2B SaaS not available in standard category design.

  • Qualitative customer research - Some argue the prospect’s perspective is not required to inform a strategy. We disagree. 
  • Key Competitive Insight - Grounded in human problem behind the business problem, KCIs can introduce new perspective or posture from which the company can orient around.
  • Brand Superpowers - What are the core elements intrinsic to the organization that can serve as the building blocks of a sustainable brand?
  • Strategy’s 4Cs - We apply the super powers to Culture, Consumer, Company, and larger Industry contexts to give the company a reason to rally
  • Reason to Believe (RTB) messaging - We tie product features directly into value propositions through reason-to-believe exercises. Proof points of the promises.
  • Name the enemy - From whom are you going to take business, currently and in the future? 

So, while much of our work is informed by many of Category Design’s central tenets as championed and codified in Play Bigger, SaaS Brand Strategy is more than Category Design, and anytime you have a more-than you have to address the vernacular; you can't be like "We're better than Category Design.." otherwise you are in a game of better and not different. And as we all know, that's not the game you want to be playing.

-DRMG


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