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Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

book: Purple Cow
author: Seth Godin

general overview

if you to grow your business, you need to be remarkable. you must be a purple cow. marketing is changing and so are the ways to make it work for you and your business.

build a brand, innovate a market and your product will sell itself.

need to knows

Seth Godin’s book Purple Cow comes down to a simple, single premise – remarkable ideas make remarkable companies.

and where do remarkable ideas come from?

you guessed it… remarkable people.

with so many businesses offering the same type of product or service, the old process of advertising and selling is all but dead. sure, ads are still being sold, and selling is what keeps the business going, but there’s another key aspect that is required for marketing success. the core argument of Purple Cow is that the only way to truly become a titan of the market is to build a brand worth everyone’s attention. that means doing something fresh, out of the box, and worth taking note of. in other words, embodying the concept of a purple cow.

the Purple Cow mentality

so how do you stand out like a purple cow? well, rethink advertising entirely. rather than selling advertising clout, sell the social sphere on your product. in turn, let them market for you (through word of mouth – them telling others about how much they love your product). Godin uses Starbucks and IKEA as examples of products that consumers like to show off. that’s a mentality you can’t buy with commercials. it doesn’t come from advertising, but innovative brand marketing and a focus on being an extension of your buyer, not just some random product to purchase. that’s the brand/business you should strive to create.

who is this book for?

Purple Cow is written for anyone who wants to transform their business by being remarkable. it’s perfect for the entrepreneur who is looking to make a name for their business. it’s for those who are willing to sail in the uncharted waters of marketing, not the dishonest marketer who copies the marketing strategies of others.

lightning round: takeaways from Purple Cow

  • be bold, not cautious – innovation does not have anything on which to base its roots, so make sure to stay confident, even in the face of uncertainty
  • it’s safer to be risky – the amount of exposure and market saturation you have to gain from being ballsy is much greater than staying in the comfort of the status quo
  • people don’t love products, people love ideas – a phone is not going to make people love Apple, but the ideas behind it (i.e. the why), including ease of use, style, and state of the art tech and materials, are things people can get behind
  • niche first, then product – don’t make a product and see where it fits. This is always going to lead to you following the market. don’t follow, tell consumers where to go based on perceived lapses in user experience and industry offerings.
  • acceptance vs. excitement – a very good final product is not good enough. simply talking about what you have designed should get you giddy with anticipation for the world to see it.
  • cheaper options need to be significantly cheaper – lower cost is not a niche, unless it totally transforms the market. for example, the Chromebook did not take over Apple or other makers of laptops in market share for casual use. it did, however, offer a significantly cheaper option for educational institutions, leading to a comfortable and significant portion of the market.

Purple Cow is a must-read for those who are in the marketing industry. there are so many places to grow in today’s digital-minded world, and all it takes is finding that purple cow concept. be a purple cow.

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