Making vs. Taking
Consider two cereals:
Honey Bunches of Oats, a category creator, a big brand with spin offs and profits and growth.
Fruit Harvest, a generically named cereal that leverages the marketing department’s ability to run coupons, grab shelf space and take share.
That’s the choice most of us make when we launch a product or service. We can make a market or we can take share from a market.
"This is just like the Gillette razor, but cheaper."
"This has a touch screen, too, but you can get it from Verizon."
"I’m a shiatsu massage therapist, the only one on this block."
Those are ‘taking’ statements. They break a larger market into smaller bits. Compare to:
"This is a sugared cereal for adults."
"Our software enables you to find data and trends that no one else can find."
"By combining protein and chocolate, we’ve developed a new food that’s both dessert and dinner."
These are ‘making’ statements. Riskier, sure, but they stand for something, they don’t just steal share. The Dummies guides made a market, the Idiot’s guides took from that market.
You need to be clear with yourself and your team about which one you’re after, because they bring different costs, different benefits and different time frames.