CEO & Founder of Nida Leard Consulting & Coaching. I help coaches, consultants and experts reinvent, innovate and become a category of one.

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Have you ever been stunned by the success and initial monopoly of brands like Netflix, Tesla or Amazon? I have. As each industry becomes more and more crowded, and everyone calls themselves an entrepreneur, it will become even more challenging to compete for attention, sales and success. You want to avoid becoming just another brand in the market. Becoming a “category of one” is your solution.

The Core Pillars Of A Category Of One

From my experience working with hundreds of entrepreneurs, I’ve discovered that there are four core pillars businesses have to have in order to become a category of one. 

1. An Innovative Solution

To come up with an innovative solution, you need to marry what I call the brand’s “ultra-geniuses” with a never before heard or spoken about problem in the market (more on this later). 

2. Unique Positioning  

To stand where nobody else does, your brand positioning has to be unique. While everyone else tries to blend in, you have to stand out by being different. Being different scares most people because it feels risky, but, in my experience, it’s the key to success. As consumers’ attention span becomes shorter and shorter, brands that look like everyone else will go unnoticed. It will become more and more challenging to market and sell. Being different can get you the attention that can ultimately lead to sales if you do it right. A unique brand positioning will help you stand out from the crowd. 

3. Incomparable Results

Offer groundbreaking expert and high-quality solutions to yield incomparable results. Businesses that are able to do this all start with a mindset to always over-deliver and provide the best possible solution. They constantly monitor the results clients are getting and look for ways to improve.

4. Ultimate Customer Experience

The customer experience depends on their journey from the day they hire you until even after their contract has ended. You need to maintain a client-for-life mentality when serving your clients. As part of my consultant role, I help businesses assess what they’re doing right and what they could improve. Oftentimes, I find that businesses are focusing their efforts on getting the sale. The majority of companies do what it takes to get the sale but may lack to follow through when it comes to providing excellent service.

To become and remain a category of one, you need to continuously build a culture of excellence where everyone’s playing their role to create the ultimate customer experience for their clients. Whether it’s how your employees engage with your clients or the experience clients get from working with you — every single touchpoint your clients experience with your business adds up and determines how they feel about you. We’ve all heard the saying, people won’t remember what you do and what you said, but they’ll always remember how you made them feel — remember that as you design your customer experience strategy.

How To Become A Category Of One

I’ve narrowed down some steps to follow to become a category of one. First, I ask my clients to adopt an innovative mindset, recalling how Airbnb, Apple and SpaceX started with once “crazy” ideas and made them a huge success. You want to think outside the box and come from a mindset that anything is possible. 

1. Discover the unsolved problem. 

As an entrepreneur, your main purpose is to solve clients’ problems. When you look at your industry, what existing problems do you see? What frustrates you the most? What’s a problem no one is solving? Conduct 360 deep-dive interviews with your employees and your clients to uncover hidden problems. Once the problem is identified, you can navigate your curiosity to develop a unique solution that no one else has offered before.

2. Define your ultra-geniuses and create a unique solution.

We all have different superpowers we have perfected over the years. Look at what you are exceptional at as a business. What are your unique strengths? What can you offer that is different from others in your industry? Then, focus on what solutions can be created with those ultra-geniuses. Brainstorm innovative solutions that will solve your client’s problems better than anyone else. 

3. Test it out.

Don’t worry about making mistakes. Get in the market and test out your ideas. You’ll never know whether your idea is good or not until you put it to the test with real consumers. This is where you can gather insights, get customer feedback and develop your idea. You might have to go back to the drawing board several times until you get it right. 

4. Stay curious.

Good problem solvers and innovative people remain curious in their thinking. They constantly ask, “What if?” What if there was a better solution? What would it be? What if we could solve this problem in a way that no one else can? What’s possible? It’ll help you see many more possibilities and lead you to find new creative solutions. Don’t try to get it perfect right off the bat. All of this is a learning process. 

As Coco Chanel is often credited with saying, “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” Offer something unique that clients will get in line and pay high-ticket for. Don’t settle for less when you were born and made to be exceptional!


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