In my last post, I discussed the 3 steps to Category Success, borrowing from the work of Richard Brodie. These steps were:

  1. Penetration – The Category must enter the mind of market participants
  2. Faithful Replication – The participants must be able to mirror and replicate the Category idea
  3. Spreading – The Category needs to spread efficiently and quickly from participant to participant

Let’s dive into Step 1 now in some more depth and examine the question, how do I get the category to enter the mind of market participants? Brodie suggest that Memes enter the mind through 3 typical paths – repetition, cognitive dissonance and trojan horse. For a #CategoryMemes, the equivalents are Repetition, Contrast and Problem. Let’s take a quick look at each of these and how they work together.

Repetition – Did I say that enough yet? – #CanYouHearMeNow?

Say it, say it again, and say it some more. Say what? – The category name. Once you name it, you keep repeating it. You get sick of saying it. You think you’ve said it enough. You have all your sales people repeat it. It’s in every tweet, every deck, every-thing! Then magically others start repeating. It becomes a market “earworm” and soon enough even your competitors start to repeat it too, and what a joy that is, they are building your lead!

Contrast – Framing the Difference#NameItThenFrameIt

Once you name it, over and over again, you’ve got to frame it. “Unlike X, #CategoryMeme does this…”, “While an X has these capabilities, a true #CategoryMeme has these…” or simply “A #CategoryMeme is different that this because…” Human brains need comparison points, and we have to set up the difference for them, or we risk getting lumped together with older or competitively owned categories.

Problem – Attaching Your #CategoryMemes – #SpikeProtein

You name it, you say it, you say it again, but does anyone pay attention. Pardon the analogy, but the #SpikeProtein of your #CategoryMeme is the customer problem. And not just any problem, but a “Capital P” problem. A strategic problem that the economic buyer cares about, a lot! And one that your category solution helps them solve, and transforms their success, both personally, and for the organization. (for more on this, see my post on The Problem with Problems) . If there one thing to get right, it’s this! Without a “Spike” you simply won’t attach your #CategoryMeme to your marketplace.

So in summary, to penetrate your #CategoryMeme into the market, use repetition and framing to explain to the market how your #CategoryMeme solves a big P problem and other older categories don’t. Do it again, then do it some more.

And check back here for the next two posts in this series on #CategoryMeme Faithful Repetition and Spreading.

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