Purple Cow

Purple Cow

Seth Godin

Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable. A lesson by best-selling author Seth Godin.


"Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable" is a marketing book by Seth Godin, first published in 2003. The book presents a transformative and novel perspective on advertising and business strategy in the contemporary marketplace.Godin argues that traditional forms of advertising have become less effective due to the inundation of marketing messages consumers face daily. In this context, he proposes the "Purple Cow" theory - the idea that businesses should aim to be so unique and remarkable that they stand out just like a "purple cow" would in a field of typical black and white cows.

The primary premise of the book is that simply being 'very good' is no longer enough in today's fiercely competitive business environment. To truly succeed, a product, service, or idea needs to be remarkable, memorable, and worth talking about - just like a purple cow. The goal is to create something so innovative that consumers cannot help but notice and share it. Godin emphasizes that the creation of the "Purple Cow" should be an intrinsic part of the product itself and not merely a marketing strategy. He encourages businesses to target a niche audience (early adopters) who are more likely to try and share remarkable products. He refers to these early adopters as "sneezers" who spread the word about a product like a virus, creating a powerful word-of-mouth marketing effect. "Purple Cow" has had a significant influence on modern marketing theory, with its principles widely adopted by businesses seeking to create products and services that stand out in an oversaturated market. Its key message is that to be successful, businesses must be bold, innovative, and remarkable, rather than simply fitting into the industry norms.

Three Key Learnings:

  1. Be Remarkable: Godin's fundamental premise is that in an overcrowded market, only remarkable products and services get noticed. Being "good" is not enough; businesses need to be distinctive and extraordinary, akin to a purple cow in a field of standard black and white cows. The book pushes readers to think about what makes their product or service stand out and how they can enhance those elements.
  2. Intrinsic Remarkability: A significant learning from the book is that the remarkability of a product or service needs to be built-in, not just a marketing add-on. It emphasizes that true differentiation comes from the product itself, its features, or the service provided, rather than just through clever advertising.
  3. Target Early Adopters: Godin argues that businesses should focus their marketing efforts on "early adopters" or innovators who are more likely to try something new and different. These individuals, also called "sneezers," are more likely to spread the word about a remarkable product, creating a strong, organic marketing force.

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