Monday, July 5, 2010

Category killers

Steve Jobs (above) is not just a product entrepreneur, he is a category inventor. Steve creates products that are 'category killers'! Apple, Mackintosh, i-pod, i-phone, i-pad ... all these products are about a new category of products. Steve's success lies in making products that meet new customer needs. He has the knack to identify the market gaps, fill them, and succeed.

Entrepreneurs aim for mega successes. They look for concepts that create something new, redefine the present, set new standards, help gain a leap in sales and provide a higher platform of performance. From where do such mega successes come?

Categories not products create mega successes

New categories are the paradigm creators. New categories create mega successes:

Ujala: the whitener for clothes
Nirma: the first mass market affordable detergent powder
Hero Honda: India's first four-stroke mobike that combined style, performance and ECONOMY, it became a runaway success
Nano, the car: from Tata has created a lot of buzz and in June 2010, Nano helped make Tata Motors become India's second largest 4 wheeler manufacturer after Maruti
Viagra: for the management of erectile dysfunction, from Pfizer, was a runaway success. Viagra was a new product, in fact, a new pharma category
Ciprofloxacin: the fluoroquinolone antibiotic was India's first twice daily effective antibiotic for typhoid and gastroenteritis, this molecule got instant acceptance from prescribers
Mineral water @ Rs. 10/-: Before the mass packaged drinking water concept, brand Bisleri was the only bottled 'mineral water'. Things changed when more manufacturers jumped in to the packaged drinking water bandwagon, and produced packaged (bottled) mineral water - this created a new category
Electrolyte-energy drink concept from Jagdale Industries Ltd., Bangalore is a category creator that has met with robust market success
Mobile phone is a category product that has altered commerce, communication and society in general, as never before. The mobile is not just a communication tool, it is an entertainment device to watch TV, listen to music, and now banks are looking towards the mobile for banking solutions. In the future, the mobile will enable those out of the banking net (right now) to be brought in. People will be able to having bank accounts via the mobile and pay through the mobile. The Indian Railways is also looking to reduce paper usage by providing the "ticket" through sms
The 'i' series of products ie., i-pod, i-phone, and i-pad are all new categories of products backed by fluent marketing

The nub of the matter is that mega success comes from category killers as illustrated above.

Category killer is a brand, product, company or service that has a distinct sustainable competitive advantage that competing firms find it almost impossible to operate profitably in that industry.

There is of course another meaning to this term: large retail chains like Wal Mart that put other smaller retailers out of business are called category killers. However, in marketing and strategy, category killer is a group of products or a product that delivers superior value and creates a category in the market. A category killer redefines the market.

Oral insulin is another example of a change champion product that can become a category killer. Biocon is working on this concept. If oral insulin becomes a reality, Type 2 diabetes mellitus becomes easier to manage, similar to thyroid disease, where oral thyroxine tablets are given. Just imagine, if management of thyroid disease was possible only through injectable thyroxine what a painful disease hypothyroidism would have been.

It is difficult to create products that have superior value that can create a new product category market. Hero Honda continues to be the evergreen example of a product that has created a new category in the market, leading to its triumph in the motorcycle market. Steve Jobs seems to have perfected the art and science of hitting the market regularly with new categories of products backed by savvy marketing.

New categories = innovation

Simply put, innovation is doing something new that is useful. It takes an interdisciplinary approach to do it. And innovation depends on competition. The need to innovate comes from the desire of an organization to exist in the market.

Innovation in the Indian pharma market

Today, the pharmaceutical industry and marketing is a demystified place. People know the tricks of the trade. There is a thriving ecosystem that provides products, this has led to commoditization, and a plethora of brands. Hence, in the Indian pharma market place the need to innovate is felt as never before. Innovation to try and create new product categories is becoming a vital strategy in the Indian pharma industry.

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1 comment:

ROHIT KUMAR said...

this is very good thougt specieally for medical representative who want to create imege in his market also for companies.