How 3 Category Kings Of Coffee Used Languaging To Claim Their Niche

Nicolas Cole
4 min readNov 16, 2022

I get a lot of questions about the differences between a category, niche, POV, and messaging.

The distinction between these is crucial because improving a company’s messaging in absence of a true north category POV is a “meaningless,” money-burning project.

So I’m sharing a handful of examples to clear up the confusion.

Let’s dive in.

Languaging is the strategic use of language to create distinctions between old and new, same and different.

And it involves Framing, Naming, and Claiming all of the following:

  • A category/niche: “What’s the new and different market that we want to become known for?”
  • A POV: “What do we stand for that’s different than everyone else? How can we move people’s thinking FROM the way the world used to be (old category) TO the way we believe the world can be (new category)?”
  • And messaging: “What are all the different ways we can communicate our POV, to who, when, and why, such that they take action?”

Question: “Are a Category and a Niche the same thing?”

Real quick (because I get this question a lot):

Yes, the words “category” and “niche” tend to be interchangeable. They’re the same thing.

However, typically the word “category” is used when talking about a larger market opportunity (like Uber creating the “ride-sharing” category), whereas the word “niche” is used when talking about a smaller market opportunity (like when a creator becomes known for creating a small, but highly potent, new segment in a market). In both cases, you are creating net-new opportunities for yourself and others. The only difference tends to be scale, and to what degree.

To understand the differences, let’s look at a few examples from the Category Kings of coffee:

Company: Keurig

  • Category: Single-Serve Coffee
  • POV: It’s not a cup of coffee from a coffee pot/shop. It’s a single-serve coffee maker that brews your own…
Nicolas Cole

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