What is Category Design? A Quick Overview

October 27, 2022
What is Category Design? A Quick Overview

What is Category Design?

Category design is a business strategy that involves the creation of a new category to solve a new problem. Category design is the process of designing products and services to meet the needs of a specific market category rather than pursuing a traditional one-size-fits-all approach. To be successful, category design requires thinking about a problem in a new way and then designing a solution that is unique and appealing to customers.

Benefits of Category Design.

There are many benefits to pursuing category design, including the ability to tap into new markets and the potential to achieve greater market share. In addition, category design can lead to more efficient production processes and improved customer satisfaction.

Category Design Process.

Category design is the process of creating a new category. It is a category that has been introduced by Christopher Lochhead, in his book: Play Bigger. This process begins with market research and trend research to identify opportunities to create a new category. Once an opportunity is identified, the category designer will state the new problem and position the new solution. Finally, the brand should start claiming the new category and becomes the category king.

Examples of category design.

Tesla Category Design


The electric car category was invented and developed by Tesla. They designed a new category of vehicle that didn't exist before.

Salesforce Category Design


The cloud-based CRM software was created by Salesforce. They said on-premise software was dead, and the new future was cloud-based computing. They didn't invented CRM, just the way you implement it.

Airbnb Category Design


Airbnb recently redesigned its website and now positions everything around experiences. They created the category "marketplace for experiences". They did not invent experiences, just a different way to book experiences. And made it possible for everyone to offer experiences.

Netflix Category Design


Created the category of streaming media. You can watch a massive amount of movies and series instantly without leaving your house. They did not invent streaming, just a better application of streaming with another business model (subscriptions)

Don’t pursue category design without a “different” solution.

Category design is all about creating new solutions to problems. It's about finding a new approach to solving a problem that hasn't been solved before, or taking an existing solution and making it better. If you want to be a category designer, you need to be able to evangelize your new solution to the world and develop a new category around it. This requires you to define the terms of competition for your new category and then go out and win it.

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