“Let’s continue our discussion of the book, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing.” said the teacher. “Today we are going to discuss the law of category that tells us that a leading brand should promote the category, not the brand.”
“That seems confusing.” said the student. “Most of the time marketers push the brand, the name of the product.”
“Yes.” replied the teacher. “When you narrow the focus there is no need for a brand. As you see on page 66 of The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, when you specialize to such a fine degree, the name of your product becomes synonymous with your category. For example, Domino’s Pizza’s category is home delivery. That is it. The category has become the brand. When you think pizza delivery, you think Dominos.
Tom’s of Maine is the same. Their category is all natural. It is great for them that the customer associates the category with the brand. Toothpaste, mouthwash, soap? It doesn’t matter. If it’s all natural, it must be Tom’s of Maine.”
“So the idea is to have your brand and category become synonymous, for example, when people think Internet search, they think Google.” said the student.
That is the best case scenario.” replied the teacher. “That’s the way you build a brand. As you see on page 68, you narrow the focus to a slice of the market. Thinking pizza, Domino’s is home-delivery pizza and Caesar’s is take-out pizza. When people think of Domino’s people think of home delivery; Caesars – take-out. Thinking categories also helps you define a business and see where a potential market might be. For example, what name comes to mind when you think gourmet pizza?”
“I’m not sure.” answered the student.
“Maybe there is a market for upscale, gourmet pizza.”
“So category is a lot like your company’s word. You want your customers to think the category or the company’s word when they think about your company or product.