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Becoming a Category of One: How Extraordinary Companies Transcend Commodity and Defy Comparison
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Becoming a Category of One: How Extraordinary Companies Transcend Commodity and Defy Comparison

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  198 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Learn how extraordinary companies do what they do so well, and obtain the tools and ideas you need to emulate them. Full of case studies and personal reflections by leaders of exceptional companies, this book is designed to help anyone transform their run-of-the-mill business into an extraordinary company-whether you operate a multinational corporation or a mom-and-pop ...more
Paperback, 223 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by John Wiley & Sons (first published August 1st 2003)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  198 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, marketing
This book talks about what it takes to build on a brand and stand out from the competition. The key is to focus on the customer: sell the solution and not the products, consistently provide outstanding customer service, use strong leadership to build the the brand and maintain the culture.

Category of One companies make conscious decision about who they want to be, what their promise is, and delivers on their promises, in a consistent manner. They build a strong brand, and use the brand to
~nikki the recovering book addict

I loved the examples Joe Calloway gave in this book. It was just example after example and its very useful because it made it easier to read. There was a loooong section that felt more like marketing for the tractor company, but otherwise, the rest was really good.

Actually, the section with the tractor company was good too, except it kept going on and on and I honestly wondered if the tractor company paid for advertising or something because the topics discussed in those pages were
Teresa Appelwick
Aug 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Finished this book in just a few days...and will definitely read again. Summation - know your customer better than anyone else. And, you aren't in competition with just your immediate competitors, you are in competition with everyone. But that is okay. Because you are going to know your customer better than anyone else. Good, encouraging read.
Adam Ashton
May 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Pretty weak... I really like the title and the premise, was hoping for a more relatable/realistic version of Blue Ocean Strategy, but gave up half way in because he wasnt saying anything new or different to any other light fluffy business book ...more
Michael Connor
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book. The author really communicates well how business has changed over time and how building a business that simply provides true value to the customer is the way of the future and the ultimate long term solution. A great breakdown of why this way of thinking makes sense.
Scott Dinsmore
Jul 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Why I Read this Book: There is no category more powerful than the one with no competitors


This is another one of those books that goes so far beyond its intended purpose. The book is based upon the premise of building a successful business by creating a category in which you are the only one who is in and will be in that category. The reader quickly sees how this relates not only to businesses but to life in general.

Calloway starts by pointing out that we are in a new age of business and
Karen Jett
Feb 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: business owners, ceos, executive directors
Recommended to Karen by: a client
This is an excellent book on how to make a company stand out in the marketplace in such a way that they appear to have no real competitors. The basic premise is that almost every product and service that is offered in the marketplace can be viewed by the company's customers as a commodity. Once viewed as a commodity, a company is forced to compete on price. However, if a company is able to distinguish itself in someway that the market values it becomes a category of one and is able to avoid ...more
Feb 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
All about what it means to have great customer service. Has a lot of excellent examples of companies that do it right and the mentality they take on. He is a very inspiring author - reading this made me want to go out and help people. It also raised my expectations for the organizations I interact with. Also, he gives a lot of helpful messages that could communicate what it means to be a "category of one."
The only thing missing is some sort of plan or guide as to how to institute these concepts
John G.
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm starting to read more business oriented books and this is one of the better ones, maybe the best one I've read. This guy pokes fun at conventional and conformist corporate drone speak. It's an odd paradox, these lessons written about here seem so obvious and simple, but yet so few businesses really do them. I'm completely convinced that most businesses are run poorly and inefficiently, of course, I've never owned or run one, but the idiocy in most corporations and institutions is mind ...more
Mark Polino
May 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2011
Joe Calloway's book on getting your company to stand out from crowd was terrific. It's short fast read and Joe covers lots of companies not normally found in business books. Some of the usual suspects are there like Southwest Airlines, but profiles of Tractor Supply Company and Palm Harbor Homes for example, offered a nice change of pace from the usual Google, Apple, etc.
Mar 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
Ugh. This is basically "required reading" for work. The whole "this is our vision" thing.

Though fairly well written, the dude had about 4 main points that he so obviously stretched into 9 chapters. He must have been paid by the word. It was torturous as the dead horse was kicked, and kicked, and kicked...
Scott Wozniak
Jul 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Good, but not original at all. I agree with all that's said, but I'd recommend other books to say each of his points more insightfully and motivationally than this book.

Your brand is your reputation, not just a marketing campaign. Saying you are distinct doesn't make it so. Quality is key. You have to get past high energy events to changing habits. Etc
Jul 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Lots of great case studies and data from successful companies, a true primer on branding, creating customer loyalty and how to build long-term success in business. A must read for every "C" level executive and corporate Director.
Richard Mulholland
Jul 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, marketing
Brilliant book, pity about the wanky ending.
John Prescott
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book liked Zappo part of 40 day review, offer 3k and be gone.
Fran Mason
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
I lost interest
Sarah Canfield
Aug 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
There were some good reminders here about how to distinguish your business from every other business. It dragged on s little near the end.
Larry Anderson
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A phenomenal read!
Sep 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joe Calloway books provide excellent information concerning business brand - what it is and what it isn't!
Shereif Danial
Jan 26, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
one of the worst business books ever. don't bother reading. his examples are too cliche, and his writing style is that of third-grader.
Ryan Iwamoto
Jun 23, 2008 rated it liked it
Starbucks, Band-aid, and Kleenex did it...learn how your business can too!
Denis Kondratyev
rated it it was amazing
Apr 20, 2015
Willie Lee
rated it liked it
Dec 10, 2019
rated it really liked it
Dec 11, 2016
Ken Hamner
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book on the importance of product and service differentiation.
rated it really liked it
Mar 11, 2018
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Wordy, but shallow coverage of ideas you should read in other people's books.

The author spends far too many words on every point, and his 'case studies' are basically really emphatic anecdotes. If you read 'All Marketers Tell Stories' by Seth Godin, the '22 Irrefutable Laws of Marketing' by some guy whose name I've forgotten and 'Scaling Up' by Verne Harnish, you'll still have spent less time than you'd spend on this one book, you'd understand the ideas this book presents in much greater depth
rated it really liked it
May 07, 2014
Tami Bredeson
rated it really liked it
Nov 14, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Mar 11, 2014
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As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of young ...
24 likes · 2 comments
“Consistency of performance can be the most powerful differentiator of all.” 1 likes
“Don’t strive to be a leader in your category. Create a different category, and be the only one in it.” 1 likes
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