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Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

by Seth Godin

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1,757329,927 (3.8)9
You're either a Purple Cow or you're not. You're either remarkable or invisible. Make your choice. What do Starbucks and JetBlue and KrispyKreme and Apple and DutchBoy and Kensington and Zespri and Hard Candy have that you don't? How do they continue to confound critics and achieve spectacular growth, leaving behind former tried-and true brands to gasp their last? Face it, the checklist of tired 'P's marketers have used for decades to get their product noticed -Pricing, Promotion, Publicity, to name a few-aren't working anymore. There's an exceptionally important 'P' that has to be added to the list. It's Purple Cow. Cows, after you've seen one, or two, or ten, are boring. A Purple Cow, though...now that would be something. Purple Cow describes something phenomenal, something counterintuitive and exciting and flat out unbelievable. Every day, consumers come face to face with a lot of boring stuff-a lot of brown cows-but you can bet they won't forget a Purple Cow. And it's not a marketing function that you can slap on to your product or service. Purple Cow is inherent. It's built right in, or it's not there. Period. In Purple Cow, Seth Godin urges you to put a Purple Cow into everything you build, and everything you do, to create something truly noticeable.… (more)
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Overview:
Marketing used to be simple. Produce a mass product, with mass advertising, which leads to mass sales and profits. Those products have become boring. Products now have to become Purple Cows. They have to become remarkable. There might be nothing wrong with regular cows, regular business products, but they have become boring. Purple Cows are interesting, but that interest is temporary. Businesses need to constantly find ways to be and stay remarkable.

Marketing the advantages of the product no longer works, for most people do not want a different product for various reasons. They are already happy with a similar product. They do not have the money for the different product. They do not have time to consider the advantages of the different product. Most people will not eagerly familiarize themselves with a different product. Marketing now has to be combined with a remarkable product that the right people will seek out. A product designed to target influencers, called sneezers. Because they will spread the product or idea with an ideavirus. Early adopters who do not spread the product are not sneezers.

Caveats?
The book is comprised of mostly examples. Not much systematic explanation of the content. Some advice seems to be contradictory, such as claiming boring products are not remarkable, but can be. While disapproving of boring mass produced products, but claim that they are easier to sell. There is other empirical research indicating that the traditional advertising works. Does not work for every product, but does work. ( )
  Eugene_Kernes | Jun 4, 2024 |
Having read Tribes from Seth Godin and enjoyed it I decided to give Purple Cow a go. Written in a very similar, easy-reading style, I took away two key messages from Purple Cow:

1. Be Remarkable
2. Focus on the Innovators and Early Adopters

Every day, consumers come face to face with a lot of boring stuff, a lot of brown cows, but you can bet they won't forget a Purple Cow. By building remarkable features into products (as opposed to thinking of marketing as just slapping some paint on top of the product or service) the idea is that the Innovators and Early Adopters (aka the "Sneezers") will essentially sell the product or service for you. It is therefore important to ensure that it is an easy sell for them.

I found many of the examples to be a bit too US centric but the key points were still easy to comprehend. Whilst the message is very simple, this book provides some great motivational passion for creating products that stand out and make a difference. A recommended read. ( )
  gianouts | Jul 5, 2023 |
Nice and very short book about... being remarkable.

Seth Godin tells many short anecdotes where he explains how being remarkable can make one (person/company/product) a leader. It is mainly because of sneezers - people who are early adopters and really love exceptional things. If you get their attention, they will do a lot of initial marketing, so it is much better to ignore the majority at first and target this group.

However Seth also talks that ironically in a lot of cases companies or products which started as Purple Cow and became market leaders then try to play safe, smooth rough edges and become dull.

Don't be boring, stand out! ( )
  Giedriusz | Oct 16, 2022 |
I think when this book was first published it was revolutionary. Certainly the premise of the book is still relevant in today’s social media world. But as it was originally published in 2003, parts of the book have not aged well. Talking about Nokia and Motorola when it comes to phones seems quaint. The world before iPhone was a different place. But I still think the idea of a Purple Cow is needed in a business to get noticed. ( )
  thewestwing | Aug 12, 2022 |
The key message is to stand out and be different. More of a concept book than detailed how-to book. This book is written in many short chapters, which is both good and bad.
- Good because it's easy to read.
- Bad because it's like reading a series of blog articles--lots of repetition + harder to connect the ideas

What it covers:
• Understand how marketing has changed before, during and after the advertising era, and learn the new rules of marketing;
• Learn about the adoption curve and how you can reach the mass-market by conquering a niche and finding “sneezers” to spread your “ideavirus”;
• Find out how to start creating your Purple Cow, by exploring the edges, taking risks, going for short development cycles, using targeted marketing, finding people with otaku”, and stimulating your imagination through various examples and thought-provoking questions; and
• Learn how to be a Purple Cow in your career.

Book summary at: https://readingraphics.com/book-summary-purple-cow-seth-godin/ ( )
  AngelaLamHF | May 28, 2022 |
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In Memory of Lionel Poilane,
Remarkable in Every Way.
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You're either a Purple Cow or you're not. You're either remarkable or invisible. Make your choice. What do Starbucks and JetBlue and KrispyKreme and Apple and DutchBoy and Kensington and Zespri and Hard Candy have that you don't? How do they continue to confound critics and achieve spectacular growth, leaving behind former tried-and true brands to gasp their last? Face it, the checklist of tired 'P's marketers have used for decades to get their product noticed -Pricing, Promotion, Publicity, to name a few-aren't working anymore. There's an exceptionally important 'P' that has to be added to the list. It's Purple Cow. Cows, after you've seen one, or two, or ten, are boring. A Purple Cow, though...now that would be something. Purple Cow describes something phenomenal, something counterintuitive and exciting and flat out unbelievable. Every day, consumers come face to face with a lot of boring stuff-a lot of brown cows-but you can bet they won't forget a Purple Cow. And it's not a marketing function that you can slap on to your product or service. Purple Cow is inherent. It's built right in, or it's not there. Period. In Purple Cow, Seth Godin urges you to put a Purple Cow into everything you build, and everything you do, to create something truly noticeable.

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Ce livre est un classique du marketing que tous les chefs de produits et responsables de communication et de marketing doivent lire et relire .Il vous montre comment et pourquoi vous ne devez plus respecter les règles intangibles du business , ni essayer de plaire à tout le monde - car alors vous ne plairiez à personne . Il vous donne les conseils les plus pertinents pour redynamiser votre marketing !
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