Thanks for tuning into another episode of B2B category creators!
In our 13th episode, Gil talks about category creation with two B2B leaders who have influenced the product management and conversation intelligence categories.
Panelists for this episode include:
- Shawn Riegsecker, CEO, Centro and one of the creators of the media automation category
- Robb Henshaw, CMO, Cameyo, and one of the influencers behind the virtual application delivery category
There’s lots of actionable advice in this episode — from building customer relationships and teams to positioning your brand and pivoting your product.
Takeaway 1. Category creation is not always a zero-sum game
Most founders would tell you that the best approach to building out a category is to take customers away from your competitors.
But that isn’t always necessary.
It’s actually possible to build out a new category without having to disprove your competitors or create something completely new.
You do this by setting the right expectations within your market.
Instead of showcasing all the ways that your product replaces an existing offer, you can show how it’s better at solving an existing problem instead.
That’s an approach that Robb and his team at Cameyo decided to take when creating the virtual application category.
Virtual desktops were the popular thing in the market at the time.
So rather than telling customers not to use virtual desktops, they focused on showing how virtual applications were a more flexible option.
That made it easier for customers to get on board with the idea and eventually led the company gaining significant traction.
Takeaway 2. Customers are more important than analysts
Your customers will always be the most important stakeholders when it comes to category creation.
You don’t have to wait for analysts to back you up first.
Focus on building a product that your customers love, and analysts will eventually pay attention to you.
- You’ll need to do the following to get your customers to promote your brand:
- Figure out your customer’s core needs, wants, and expectations
- Make your customer the hero, not your brand
- Collect feedback and use it to improve your offering
As Shawn mentions in this episode, the goal is to define your position in a customer’s mind relative to your product.
Whenever a customer thinks about solving a specific problem, your brand should be the first in mind.
That’s how you create passionate users that analysts can’t ignore.
Takeaway 3. 100% of the success of your company depends on the quality of the people you hire
It’s equally important to focus on your leadership team when creating a new category.
This is a recurring theme that you’ll hear in many of our podcast episodes, but it’s one that we can’t stress enough.
Why? Because most issues in any organization are usually a direct result of leadership decisions.
Without the right leaders making the right decisions, it’s almost impossible for you to achieve sustainable growth.
So how do you find the right people to help you run your company?
Here are some things that every effective leader must be able to do:
- Set and maintain high standards of performance
- Manage complexity and make decisions quickly
- Build relationships with team members and customers
- Foster innovation
Just like any skill, hiring isn’t something that you’ll get right the first time around.
But it’s a valuable skill that’s worth mastering because it pays off in the long run.
If you want more insights about hiring, customer relationships, and category creation, be sure to tune in to this podcast episode.
Shawn explains why he spent five years rebuilding his company from scratch after its initial launch.