People learn by comparison.

They learn by comparing new things to the things they already know. That’s why redefining a category is much easier than creating a new one.

When you position your product in an existing category you’re essentially saying “it’s like something you already know but better”.

When you try to create a new product category you’re essentially saying “it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before”.

That’s a provocative statement, but hard to learn by.

Product categories are restrictive if you use them for inclusion or exclusion only. If you instead use them as starting point to orient customers and to show differentiation you can quickly teach people why your product is different.

That way you’re taking advantage of the power of existing categories and also siphoning off the existing audience who is already thinking in that way.

So don’t start from scratch and try to create a new category…instead try to redefine a product category to take advantage of what people already know.