What is Category Design?

Category Design is strategy and a methodology built around the goal
of creating a new category of business.

The Zoomification of Category Design:
In response to the Covid-19 crisis, we now offer category design workshops via Zoom. The same process, the same outcome, but with some social distancing.

 Let's Zoom! >

Product Design – Company Design – Category Design

A new category is built around a problem no one knew they had, or a problem no one knew they could solve. A great category creates a great company and product. 

Category Design is a way to identify a unique problem and show the market you have the solution. That’s how you stand out as different.

Category Design is an important part of a company’s overall strategy. It is a C-level process that can make an enormous difference in a company’s valuation, its position against competitors, the perception of analysts, and the mindset of customers.

Category Design is whole-company strategy. It plants a flag on a hill. Setting a goal to capture the new category aligns employees, the product and partners behind the cause. Design means taking charge. Design is about doing something purposefully, thoughtfully, elegantly.

Category Design takes a design approach to creating markets. And if you design the category, you can design it to your advantage. You can make others play by your rules.

category design


Category Design Process

Based on the book Play Bigger, co-authored by CDA partner, Kevin Maney. 

We guide your leadership team through a proven methodology that leads to defining and describing a new category. That methodology is outlined in the book Play Bigger, co-authored by CDA Partner Kevin Maney.

Our work involves brainstorming, interviews, research, creative development and no small amount of psychoanalysis. It is deep and meaningful, and will change the way your leaders think. Category design is best for companies with later-stage financing; companies preparing for an IPO or major funding round; large companies seeking to establish themselves in a new sector. We can tailor the process the size of the company and where it is in its lifecycle.

We facilitate a series of meetings and workshops to identify the problem your company is solving, the category that solves the problem and makes your company stand out as different, and the size of the category. We work with you to write a point of view (POV) about the category to help you condition the market. We then define your go-to-market via “lightning strikes” to move the market to your new way of thinking. The entire process takes approximately 12 weeks, and even longer in some cases.

category design


Contact us to learn more about defining your category.

What's your category?

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