Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

Seth Godin ยท First published 2003

In 2002, Seth Godin asked a simple question that turned the business world upside down: What do Starbucks and JetBlue and Apple and Dutch Boy and Hard Candy have that other companies don’t? How did they confound critics and achieve spectacular growth, leaving behind formerly tried-and-true brands?

Godin showed that the traditional Ps that marketers had used for decades to get their products noticed-pricing, promotion, publicity, packaging, etc.-weren’t working anymore. Marketers were ignoring the most important P of all: the Purple Cow.

Cows, after you’ve seen one or two or ten, are boring. A Purple Cow, though . . . now that would be something. Godin defines a Purple Cow as anything phenomenal, counterintuitive, exciting . . . remarkable. Every day, consumers ignore a lot of brown cows, but you can bet they won’t ignore a Purple Cow.

You can’t paint your product or service purple after the fact. You have to be inherently purple or no one will talk about you. Godin urges you to emulate companies that are consistently remarkable in everything they do, which drives explosive word of mouth.

Purple Cow launched a movement to create products and services that are worth marketing in the first place. Now this expanded edition includes dozens of new examples from readers who’ve taken the message to heart.

Book Summary

Purple Cow is a marketing book written by Seth Godin, published in 2003. The book argues that in today’s over-saturated and crowded market, being “remarkable” or unique is the key to success.

Key Takeaways

1. Be remarkable: To stand out in a crowded market, you need to be remarkable and create a product that is worth talking about.
2. Be daring: Be willing to take risks and try new things in order to stand out and make a lasting impression.
3. Think different: Don’t follow the crowd, but instead think differently and come up with creative solutions to problems.
4. Focus on the edge: Focus your marketing efforts on the people who are on the edge of your target market, as they are the ones who are most likely to spread the word about your product.
5. Embrace the power of word of mouth: Word of mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tools, so embrace it and encourage your customers to spread the word about your product.
6. Foster a community: Foster a community of customers around your product and create a sense of belonging for them.
7. Be persistent: Marketing a remarkable product takes time and persistence, so don’t give up when you don’t see immediate results.
8. Create a story: Create a story around your product that people can relate to and remember, making it easier for them to spread the word.
9. Make it easy to spread the word: Make it easy for people to share information about your product, such as through referral programs or social media sharing.
10. Continuously improve: Continuously improve your product and marketing efforts to stay relevant and remarkable in the market.