Author(s): Seth GodinDownload
Publish: Published May 12th 2003 by Portfolio Hardcover (first published 2003)
ISBN: ISBN 159184021X (ISBN13: 9781591840213)
The acclaimed Wall Street Journal and Business Week Bestseller.
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. It’s a manifesto for marketers who want to help create products that are worth marketing in the first place.
Description from Amazon.com
Some Reviews: 37,815 ratings 1,085 reviews in Goodreads.com
Like most people on Goodreads it seems, I read The Purple Cow for a company retreat. And I suspect whether you’re going to like or dislike this book is almost entirely based on your company’s culture. If you roll your eyes when you have to go to a company retreat, take part in professional development, read a book that management assigned, etc., you’re probably going to roll your eyes when you read The Purple Cow, too. But if your company happens to the kind of place where, after reading it, people plunder their wardrobes looking for purple clothing, pack cow-related items, and even show up to the retreat in, yes, full cow costumes, this book might be a good choice.
The Purple Cow is a pretty simple, one-theme book about distinguishing yourself in marketing. It’s a quick read, full of easy-to-remember words like “sneezer” that make good shorthand for discussing bigger concepts. The book is full of 1- or 2-page examples and case studies of what has and hasn’t worked in marketing and why. I found the book helpful, and we still refer to it and use the shorthand in the company I work with. Depending on your situation, you’re either going to run with it or hate it. In my case, I found the book helpful, and we still refer to it frequently.
I go to a convention every year where I have 250+ speed-dating appointments with suppliers. This year I found myself wishing they’d all read The Purple Cow before developing their presentations. I’d remember a much higher percentage of the products, why each one was unique or special, and I’d be spreading the word. And I sure would have been glad during the 4 days of almost identical 4-minute PowerPoints to have met with a few more purple cows.
And all of sudden, you’re not bored.
Why? Because unexpectedly, you have seen a purple cow.
A purple cow in these many black and white cows?
Yes, a purple cow.
Actually, the name of the book should have been Violet Cow, but then it doesn’t add up with the important P’s the author has mentioned in this book. These P’s are not working anymore because then there are many people having access to these P’s, so what will make a person, a company, a business different from the rest of the crowd?
Purple Cow concept.
The narration consistently tells you the importance of following this concept in whatever things you’re building. If you write an article or novel follow this concept. If you build a product follow this concept. If you start a business follow this concept. Because otherwise you will get lost in the crowd.
And it’s a short read, that’s an added benefit. Do read the examples of the companies like Apple, Starbucks, and what made them a Purple Cow business in this crowdy world.
It’s a must-read for all.
Though I’ve read his 2009 edition in 2018, most of his examples have been predictive. So the nine years that have passed since his book’s release can be studied, as well.
I greatly appreciate that he had a daily email that offers more sage advice, which costs nothing, and I believe is ‘Purple Cowish’ in support for the long-term.
Thanks. Mr. Godin, for your wisdom.
This book is better for people who are creating or marketing products rather than services, but it is still valuable for everyone. The fact remains: the traditional TV industry that helped marketers woo new customers in the past is no longer what it was and “breaking through the noise” demands something remarkable…like a purple cow.
“Are you making very good stuff? How fast can you stop?”
“What can you make for the 20% of your core customers that would be super special.” And motivate them to ‘sneeze’ about you?
“What is the product? Market that.”
The book is on point, though. If you’re in marketing, product development, or run or plan to run a business, you probably want to go through the points in this book.
Will have to recycle this for a second (and probably) third read.
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