Purple Cow

Purple Cow

Transform your Business by Being Remarkable

Book - 2002
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Godin uses the principle of the Purple Cow to show businesses how to leave behind their boring marketing strategies and stand out from the herd. Risky, edgy, and enlightening, Purple Cow will stand with Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point and Godin's other books as classics of business innovation.
Publisher: New York : Portfolio, 2002.
ISBN: 9781591840213
159184021X
Characteristics: x, 145 pages : illustrated

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bbaratz Feb 27, 2012

***

iLibrarian Aug 04, 2009

Author Seth Godin’s Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, begins with an overview of traditional marketing methods. No doubt you’ve heard something about the traditional “Ps” of marketing: Product, pricing, promotion, positioning, publicity and packaging. Godin suggests that these traditional concepts will no longer yield optimal financial success in today’s overloaded advertising environment.

Instead, he argues that the creation of purple cows is the key to success. What is a purple cow? Imagine a product or idea that simply markets itself and infects target customers with an “ideavirus”. When it works the early 'infected’ customers (referred to as “sneezers”) begin to spread the word about the product. If the product is remarkable in some way, then there is no need to convince anyone that it’s worthy. Godwin sees no need to waste energy trying to prove the new product is superior to what is already in the marketplace. A purple cow is, after all, obviously much more exciting than yet another regular cow.
Although the theory of the purple cow is simple, Godwin acknowledges that convincing companies to take the risk to create a purple cow is much more difficult and complex. The difficulty with the purple cow “is actually a problem with fear.” The premise of the purple cow isn’t about playing it safe; it’s all about risk. If you don't stand out in a crowded marketplace, then you are "invisible". What company wants to be invisible? Don't be mislead, a purple cow isn’t necessarily cheaper. As Godwin illustrates through numerous examples, the purple cow works and is the best strategy for growth. Think carefully about the success of Starbucks, Krispy Kreme, Google, Walmart, and Ikea.

According to Godwin, the coffee bar phenonon was invented by Starbucks and whenever we think coffee, we think Starbucks. Google learned from the mistakes of the “first-generation portals and they don’t carry the baggage of their peers”. Even Amazon.com with their free shipping and huge selection gives them an advantage. “To their entrenched (but nervous) competitiors, these companies appear to be cheating because they’re not playing by the [old-fashioned] rules.”

Godwin’s book presents a convincing new marketing philosophy. It challenges you to start to think differently about consumers and today’s marketplace. It is a quick, easy read that I would recommend.

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