Time Bomb Blast (Series 1)

If you ask about one of the favorite post of mine, I’ll say  “What The Marketing Is NOT”, where I discussed why “Marketing Sense” is the skill you need to learn before even learning the definition of marketing.

Since then, I didn’t coin any term. All of a sudden, I felt like something was ticking inside my mind. Tick, tick, tick. Then I had an idea. The idea looked somewhat like this:
The Time Bomb
What is Time Bomb?
Time Bomb is an idea of today’s era that tells: How brand goes through several stages to make itself powerful and successful. 
Truly successful brands get exploded. They are like Time Bomb blast. You, a marketer, just can’t control the time of the blast. Time and patience are required to be successful.
Every category on the earth takes time to be successful. There’s no other way. Some take shorter time. Some take longer time. Some die before taking a time. It depends what category we’re talking about.
You can create a Time Bomb brands. When your brands blow up, blow away your competitors, attract your consumers with shocking sound.
You make yourself sticky in consumers’ mind. You make yourself pain in the neck for competitors. 
Special features of Time Bomb brand:
1.Time Bomb brands utilize marketing since day one. Not when the product is ready (or almost ready) to forward it in the save hands of marketing guys for working on other strategies, e.g. communication and launching. Then It’s too late, poor marketers can’t save the brand then.
In today’s era, marketing is built-in the brand. Difference is built-in the product.  For consumers, it’s worth talking about, shocking, exceptional, new, and attention-grabbing. All other things are useless, forgettable, and just another commodity in the marketplace.
2.Time Bomb brand becomes devastatingly effective over time. The more time passes away, the more it becomes fatter (and stronger). Then suddenly, it blasts, become epidemic and get your consumers infected by virus. The sad part is no one can tell (exactly) when it will explode. But it will.
3.Time Bomb has a slow brand building up techniques. It’s build on the credibility through PR, word-of-mouth, online social marketing/media.  With the passage of time it develops strong hold in the consumer’s mind that makes it more credible. The good news is that you don’t need a big fat advertising budget to launch a new brand. Reason: You’re responsible of creating a Time Bomb brand.
The first step to create a Time Bomb brand is “finding a right category”. (Others steps will be explained in upcoming series of article)
Before talking about “finding a right category.”  Let’s discuss some major points to know why understanding creating a new category is essential for creating a Time Bomb brand:


Understanding the importance of category:
 Brands, usually, don’t die because the customer service or management wasn’t good enough (although that’s also important).  
The major reason of the death of a brand is the death of its


Launching a new brand is not important. Launching a new category is important. Buyers buy category, not brand.


Rolex was first to create the prestigious watch category. Why would you buy Rolex? Because it gives you prestige (the benefit). There are many watches of the same price, but why you want Rolex? The moment Rolex stop giving you the benefit (prestige), you’ll stop buying it.
Kamil’s BONUS 1: Consumers don’t care about the brand. Consumers care about the category. Create the category to build a powerful brand, not other way around.


It’s easier to differentiate the brand, conveying the brand’s benefit and psychologically more satisfying to say “I’m wearing Rolex.” Instead of, “I’m wearing a prestigious watch.”


Guess what? If researchers ask consumers that why they buy Rolex. Generally, the answer will not be “because it’s prestigious watch or it reflects my high standard of living or I want to show my friends that I’m successful” They will never admit it.
The answer would be something else: “because it takes a year to build each watch” the other answers could be its quality, it’s beautiful, it’s sturdy etc….


Buyers always think of their benefits: Defining the category, “What’s in it for them” is more important question you need to answer.


Category comes first, brand comes second:

Be the first to create a new category. Then be responsible for promoting
the category first, and only then promote your

Kamil’s BONUS 2: When category grows, your brand grows too and your brand’s success will follow.

What happen when brand follows category?
You develop your brand as a generic name to the category. The ultimate weapon a brand name can have.
Do you use cellophane tape? What’s cellophane tape?
Let me rephrase the question:
Do you use Scotch tape? Yes.
Scotch tape created the category, promoted the category, the brand (Scotch tape) followed the category and made It a generic name to the (cellophane tape) category.

Kamil’s BONUS 3: Even better, see you competitors’ face when his brand is asked by using your brand name!

That’s the ultimate weapon only a category creator, a market leader can possess.
That’s the importance of understanding category to develop a Time Bomb brand!
But what do we see in the marketplace? Companies are doing the opposite.

Do companies care about creating a category or creating a brand? No. They more care about creating brand.

Why on earth? Because their marketing research tells them.

What Market Research tells them?

Giant brands have all resources to create a new category. But they waste their time and resources in marketing research to know what consumer will do in the future? And found that this specific category is not worth launching.
Ironically, giants smell the small companies’ success. The same giants try to acquire new brands when they observe the small companies or entrepreneurs are successful through launching new category. For example: Pepsi Cola smelled that and acquired new category brands, Gatorade, 7-Up and host of others.
Or these giants are too late to marketplace and to the consumer’s mind to develop a category and market leadership. Recent example is the launch of Pepsi’s energy drink, Sting, in Pakistan.   

Bad news: Red Bull is already a market leader through creating the energy drink category.
Suggestion: Sting should have come up with different strategy, but its advertisement seems that they are coming up better strategy.



  • armaghansaqib

    Though I never did it with the intention of creating a category, I always marketed my products and services as 'the simplest and easy to use'. So 'simplicity' is my category. And I can tell you there is little or no competition in this category because product makers and marketers fear simplicity. Well, I truly believe in simplicity and find it quite easy to convince people on simplicity.

    I run a small business so not sure how this category can scale as a real big brand but I am sure it can be. Looking forward to your post about finding/selecting a category.

  • Kamil Ali

    Love your comment Saqib!

    Friendly user can be a good sustainable competitive advantage. But I'm not sure what product/brand you're talking about.

    Do let me know what's business you're into!

  • Armaghan Saqib

    In my personal example it is custom software but I think 'simplicity' can be category with every product. The reason is that 'more is better' idiom is just making life difficult for everyone.

  • Mudasir

    I think kamil is talking abt different type of category its about developing a category if there are many peope offering the same category like yours "simplicity" may this is not a category there may be many other software engineer doin the same stuff of simplicity i think