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

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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 sho 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 shop. Calloway doesn't offer any mumbo-jumbo or flavor-of-the-day buzzwords, just simple lessons that lead to real, proven results.


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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 sho 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 shop. Calloway doesn't offer any mumbo-jumbo or flavor-of-the-day buzzwords, just simple lessons that lead to real, proven results.

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

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mason Mohkami

    I'm not sure why this book hasn't got the attention that it deserves. So many great lessons both for organizations and individuals. Highly recommend it. I'm not sure why this book hasn't got the attention that it deserves. So many great lessons both for organizations and individuals. Highly recommend it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    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 ensur 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 ensure everyone is unified and focused. Your brand is who you are, what you promise, and your ability and willingness to keep that promise. With the strong brand, everyone in the company knows who they are, what they stand for, what problems you’re trying to solve, and how to go about solving them. A strong leadership enables this across the company. Two key strength in the the ever changing world is how quickly you can react to changes, and how you can continuously innovate and provide top notch service. Overall, an insightful book with many interesting examples from real companies. It drags on time to time where you just need to slug through. ———— 🔑 The Three Rules (For Customer-Driven Market) 1. Know more about the customer than anyone else. 2. Get closer to the customer than anyone else. 3. Emotionally connect with the customer better than anyone else. ————

  3. 4 out of 5

    ~nikki the recovering book addict

    Insightful I loved the examples Joe Calloway gave in this book. It was just example after example and it’s 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 b Insightful I loved the examples Joe Calloway gave in this book. It was just example after example and it’s 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 basically the same things, just worded differently and spoken by different people from the company. Okay, mini-rant over. In all honesty, this was an insightful read. I’ll have to go back to it again soon so that says a lot. The fact that it’s written in 2006 and still relevant today, in 2018, says heaps more!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Appelwick

    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. 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.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jim Dobbins

    The central idea of the book is worthwhile, and Calloway communicates it well. I really enjoyed the first 75% of this book. But it was clear that he was essentially finished at that point, yet for some reason felt compelled to keep writing. The result was a redundant waste of time and ink that just didn’t need to be there. Would I recommend it? Yes, but only the first 3/4 of it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Adam Ashton

    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 wasn’t saying anything new or different to any other light fluffy business book

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michael Connor

    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.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Scott Dinsmore

    Why I Read this Book: There is no category more powerful than the one with no competitors… Review: 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 Why I Read this Book: There is no category more powerful than the one with no competitors… Review: 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 competition. So many more companies are entering the competitive playing field and offering the things that used to be “above and beyond” products and features. Now a feature such as product quality, which used to be a huge differentiator, has become mere table stakes to compete. We, as consumers, expect and refuse to accept anything that is not high quality. Due to this example and many more, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out as more and more industries become commoditized. In order to avoid this commoditization trap, you must go far beyond what is required and expected, and create your own category of one. This book is filled with techniques and ideas that have led companies to their respective category of one.And of course it would not be complete without numerous real-life company examples to show the power of becoming categories of one and what i required to get there. Examples like these have always been a huge plus for me as a reader. There are a few category of one concepts on which Callow focuses a great deal of energy. One is getting full employee support and buy in. This starts with the creation of a company wide mission that is supported by every member of the organization. This concept has been emphasized so many times in other books on this site and it is certainly a very valuable concept to me. A company must create a mission statement that embodies their purpose for being and this must be lived every day by every employee. In order to do this, every employee must provide input for the mission and in turn feel ownership for it so they want to continue to live it. Among many other huge benefits of a mission, one is that it allows you to make decisions in advance. Once you have a mission statement you are able to stand any project or decision up to it and ask yourself if it is in line with your mission, if not then that’s the end of it. Having a clear mission makes these decisions for you. Something else Calloway focuses on that has allowed me huge success, is focusing on the customer. At the end of the day the customer is who decides if you are better than the others, what your brand really is and if you are a category of one. We can try as hard as we want inside the four walls of our business, but if the customer does not see it the same way we do, nothing matters. The strongest advantage a company can have and the most probable way of becoming a category of one is to know your customers better than anyone else in the world. -Reading for Your Success

  9. 5 out of 5

    Karen Jett

    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 comp 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 competing on price. One of the books strengths is the number of examples and explanations that it provides on each aspect of becoming a category of one. For those with less time and patience, you may want to skip ahead and read chapters 9 & 10. Chapter 9 is a case study that neatly ties all of the concepts up in one unique company. Chapter 10 is a glimpse of the possible future and what it may take to become and stay a category of one in the future as presented by several notable experts. If you'd like your business to become a category of one, and you are willing to invest the time and energy on the project, then I recommend that you take a look at this book. It will help to guide you on your quest.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    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 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 into an organization. That wasn't his goal in this book, but I would have liked to hear his take on it. Overall, definitely worth the time to read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    John G.

    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 numbin 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 numbing. This is an author I will keep an eye out for, I like his swagger and stride.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mark Polino

    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. 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.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    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... 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...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Scott Wozniak

    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 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

  15. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    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. 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.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Richard Mulholland

    Brilliant book, pity about the wanky ending.

  17. 4 out of 5

    John Prescott

    Good book liked Zappo part of 40 day review, offer 3k and be gone.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Fran Mason

    I lost interest

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Canfield

    There were some good reminders here about how to distinguish your business from every other business. It dragged on s little near the end.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Larry Anderson

    A phenomenal read!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sudie

    Joe Calloway books provide excellent information concerning business brand - what it is and what it isn't! Joe Calloway books provide excellent information concerning business brand - what it is and what it isn't!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shereif Danial

    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. 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.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Iwamoto

    Starbucks, Band-aid, and Kleenex did it...learn how your business can too!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Denis Kondratev

  25. 5 out of 5

    Willie Lee

  26. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

  27. 4 out of 5

    Spencer Richman

  28. 5 out of 5

    Bradley K

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ken Hamner

    Excellent book on the importance of product and service differentiation.

  30. 4 out of 5

    David

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