The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing Series: 2. The Law of Category

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This is Part 2 of my The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing Series.

The Law of Category

This law is easily one of my favorites from the book because of how it closely relates to my strong belief in differentiation.

Since starting a new category is difficult and time-consuming, it's more practical to ask yourself how can you do the same thing differently. Of course, being different for being different sake is not the goal here. This difference should be noticeable enough for you to stand out amongst the majority.

Everything is on Replay

When it comes to Poshmark, there's really nothing to it but to buy low and sell high...just like every other reselling platform. The trick here is to see what is missing in the game, but that's the easy part. The hard part is the actual execution of a good idea. I've seen many sellers on Poshmark get lost in the fray by saying or doing the same things. Here are some examples (please don't be offended):

1. Throwing around the Poshmark Ambassador title
2. Making flyers/banners on their closet that everyone scrolls past
3. Starting an Instagram account to post things up they have for sale (I did this one myself)
4. Watermarking their pictures (trust me, this is a time drain)

None of these things will make you different or put you in another category because they don't have a big enough impact to do so. This is coming from a person that has looked at more than 1,000 accounts but you can make your own decisions.

Let's stick on this topic a little longer by dissecting Poshmark Ambassador title. If we all know how easy it is to be a Poshmark Ambassador, why would you use up the valuable real estate on your profile to mention such a thing? Will it make more people buy from you? Probably not. Will it make you stand out amongst the other Poshmark Ambassadors? Definitely not. Or will it add more trust to your closet? Not even close. I would trust a closet with great photos/descriptions over a closet that is labeled "Poshmark Ambassador" any day of the week.

I guess what I'm saying is, please don't be another fly on the wall. Figure out what you can do to set yourself apart from the masses. Easier said than done, I know.

How Did We Leverage the Law of Category

While I will not get into details on how we stand apart from everyone else, I will, however, provide you with an on-the-surface version of it.

We started out with an Instagram that posted nothing but items that we had for sale on our Poshmark (this is #3 on the list earlier). Boy was that a bad idea. Sure our Instagram was getting "likes" here and there but that means nothing if we're not converting those likes into sales. This went on for about 2-3 months until we were honest with ourselves that the current tactic was not working. When we realized the content we're producing should hold a reader's attention in the long run, we knew we had to produce content that would do so. Once again, easier said than done.

At the drawing board, we started to jot down original topics that nobody was talking about. We picked the best ones and just started writing and posting even though nobody was reading them...yet. About 2 months after that, we were getting a steady flow of eyes that were not only reading our content, but we noticed that people were also engaging with it. When the questions and comments started to flow in along with the likes and sales, we knew we had something good. By simply asking ourselves what is not being done, we were able to narrow down how we can stand out.

It's Not a Beaten Path

I want to end this by stating and obvious observation. Going your own way is way harder than taking the path most traveled. You will make mistakes, miscalculations and or flat out be wrong about what you think will work. That's just the inherent risk that comes with the territory. Don't think that you're going to get everything right or that people will respond positively to what you're doing. Doing things differently to set yourself apart will not guarantee success, BUT you can mitigate the risk by thinking through your entire game plan.

Will the majority of us be able to execute the Law of Category successfully? No, I honestly don't think so. However, please don't let my pessimism stop you from trying. It worked for us, and we hope it works out for you too. 

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