How to be in a 'Category of One'

Alan Coote
Content and Development Director
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How to be in a 'Category of One'
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To achieve success and stand out in the competitive business landscape, aspiring entrepreneurs should aim to become a 'Category of One.' This entails creating a unique and unparalleled position in the market by deeply understanding their niche, defining a compelling brand identity, constantly innovating, delivering exceptional customer experiences, leveraging technology and data, and embracing sustainability and social responsibility. Effective marketing and storytelling, particularly through the use of video, play a crucial role in communicating this distinctiveness to the target audience. While the process is not instantaneous, with dedicated communication and a commitment to excellence, businesses can attain a level of success that sets them apart as industry benchmarks.

In the dynamic world of entrepreneurship, standing out from the crowd is often the key to success.

For new business owners and start-up founders, creating a 'Category of One' for your business can be a game-changing strategy. This approach involves carving out a unique and distinctive position in the market, one that sets your business apart from competitors. In this article, we'll explore the concept of being a 'Category of One' and provide actionable steps to help you make your mark in your industry and how best to communicate this.

What is a 'Category of One'?

A 'Category of One' refers to a position in the market where your business becomes a distinct and unparalleled entity. It is not just about being better than your competition; it's about being so unique and exceptional that you essentially create your own category. By doing so, you become the standard by which all others are measured. This only works if you have great marketing that shows new customers how unique you are.

1. Understand Your Niche

To become a 'Category of One,' it's vital to deeply understand your niche. Who are your target customers? What are their pain points and needs? What are the current market trends and challenges? When you have a comprehensive understanding of your niche, you can identify opportunities to create something that is truly unique.

2. What is your Story?

Your brand identity is the cornerstone of becoming a 'Category of One.' As an entrepreneur and business founder, you’ve likely already got a great story to tell. Why did you start your business? What personal and business challenges did you overcome? What were the key turning points? Link the founder’s story to your business’s brand values, mission, and what sets your business apart. Then craft a compelling narrative to engage and resonate with your target audience. Don’t forget to make it clear why your business is the solution they've been looking for.

3. Innovate Constantly

Innovation is the lifeblood of being a 'Category of One.' Continuously strive to improve your products, services, and processes. Look for opportunities to disrupt the status quo and challenge industry norms. Look to see how you can reduce friction for your customers. Can you make your products smaller, faster, cheaper? Can you add or remove features to make things easier for them? Testing ideas and getting feedback from trusted customers is hugely valuable. Don’t forget to use video as part of your launch and communications. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth many thousand more. When you consistently innovate, you position your business as a leader, not a follower.

4. Build Exceptional Customer Experiences

Create an outstanding customer experience that leaves a lasting impression. It's not just about selling a product; it's about forming a meaningful relationship with your customers. How best can you communicate the best aspects of your product or service? Will an email do, or do you need a more in-depth explainer video? Go the extra mile to help your customer by providing an exceptional experience, and your customers will become your most loyal advocates.

5. Leverage Technology and Data

In the digital age, technology and data can be your best allies in becoming a 'Category of One.' Use data-driven insights to understand customer behaviour and preferences. Implement the latest technology to streamline operations and enhance your customer's experience. A vast amount of valuable information can be gleaned from users of your website. Keep it simple, though! Collecting just a few metrics on areas for improvement over time can be seen.

6. Marketing

Effective marketing and storytelling can help your business stand out. Year after year, video is the most effective communication for small businesses to reach new and existing customers. Craft a unique and compelling brand story and use it in your marketing efforts. Invest in creative marketing strategies that emphasize your distinctiveness, whether through content marketing, social media, or influencer partnerships.

7. Embrace Sustainability, Diversity and Social Responsibility

Consumers increasingly value businesses that contribute positively to society and the environment. Consider incorporating sustainable, diversity, and socially responsible practices into your business. Not only does this set you apart, but it also resonates with a growing segment of conscious consumers. You may choose to quietly have this as part of your business. However, few companies shout about their internal workings and their amazing employees. For example, simply posting to social media an ‘Employee of the Month’ video or a video about a Sustainability or Diversity initiative will boost staff morale, improve recruitment, and increase customer acquisition. To be in a ‘Category of One’, communicating how you are unique is essential to your success.


In a crowded marketplace, new business owners and start-up founders must strive to become a 'Category of One.' By understanding your niche, defining your brand identity, innovating, delivering exceptional customer experiences, leveraging technology and data, mastering marketing and storytelling, and embracing sustainability and social responsibility, you can establish your business as a unique and unparalleled entity.

Creating a 'Category of One' is not an overnight process, but the right communications, dedication and a commitment to excellence, your business can reach a level of success that others can only aspire to. So, embrace your uniqueness, tell people how you stand out, and become the benchmark in your industry.

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