Long-Form Category Building| Part 10

The Strategic Narrative Marketing Series continues as we explain the next step in the narrative development process. Previously we discussed developing Power Point slides that will serve as the basis of your narrative. Today we will explore long-form category definition through the development of a white paper or positioning document.

If you’re just jumping into this Series now, check out our first blog which explains what Strategic Narrative Marketing is all about. You can then read the rest of the Series that explains why this could be the approach your company needs to stand out, say something different and start talking like a leader.

Below are sections you can use as part of the long-form category building process. You are not limited to these sections by any means. If you were to develop a completely new category, for example, you might need to take a slightly different approach. To better understand what will work best for you, find out more here and here. When re-defining an existing category, it is helpful to take a close look at each of the sections below and start thinking about how you can organize your industry vision for PR, content marketing and thought leadership:

History of Category – dig into when and how it was established and look at the role of the category when it was first introduced. Identify the tipping point for growth.
Adoption and Growth – explain how the category grew by identifying the key growth factors and challenges. Explain how the category benefitted end –users as wells the industry or society.
Pros and Cons – identify what makes the category attractive and what might turn people away.
Category Peaks and Valleys – describe major disruption points for the category due to modernization. This section can also explain major industry changes, lessons learned, and whether there was a single event that either propelled or harmed the category.
The Category Today: is it Still Relevant? – This is the opportunity to describe the current state of the category, identify the common perceptions and misconceptions, and how it supports the larger industry.
Vision for the Category – The Big Opportunity. What Role Can the Category Play – this section will describe what the category does to achieve the vision. As the category adapts what is the value proposition and what do organizations need to do to achieve this vision. Finally, it’s your chance to identify how you see the category evolving over time.
There is a lot of thought and content that will need to go into each of these sections, but if you are thorough enough you will have a content base for your Strategic Narrative. Stay tuned for Part 11 as we get closer to wrapping up the series and examine how your long-form document can be leveraged in many different ways to support your marketing efforts.