purple cow

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable New Edition With bonus chapter (2009)

Author: Seth Godin
Reviewer:  Bob Moore
purple cowThe book Purple Cow added the word “remarkable” to my lexicon and gave me a great quotable (remarkable) story I tell frequently. The idea of the Purple Cow came out of a story of the Godin family trip through the countryside in France and seeing hundreds of black and white dairy cows that soon become invisible. However, as Godin noted, a purple cow tends to jump out at you. I especially related to this because of my dairy farm background and now an avid student of marketing.

Differentiation Required
Purple Cow digs into the importance of differentiation and of creating things that other people find worth pointing out. You’re either a “Purple Cow” or you’re not. You’re either remarkable or invisible. In this age of noisy marketing messages it is clear what choice we must make to be a sustainable enterprise.

Amazon ranked Purple Cow as the bestselling marketing book of the decade. USA Today named it as one of the 12 best business books of all time. In this edition, Godin added the idea called the “Purple Cow” to the classical Ps of marketing (product, pricing, promotion, positioning, publicity, packaging, pass-along, and permission). By the way, Godin’s book Permission Marketing was the first to capture my attention and caused me to rethink my entire approach to marketing, particularly in the online world.

Safe Is Risky
Throughout this book, Godin advocates for risk taking and “safe is risky” is another “Godinism” I have added to my lexicon. He uses hundreds of examples to illustrate how companies that play it safe lose market share to companies willing to take a risk to become a Purple Cow.

Another valuable take-away is “The world has changed. There are far more choices, but there is less and less time to sort them out.” Rather than continue to throw dollars into mass media, where the message becomes noise, we need to develop a “Purple Cow” to distinguish ourselves from the crowd. The primary question you must answer is what can you offer that addresses a need that has not been offered before?


Be The First
To be the first and exceptional is what makes you remarkable—joining the pack is not. Not only do you have to create the idea, but you also have to put it into action.Basically, people do not see your message if they do not have a need they want to fill. It is better to find out their need and create a product to address that need. To excel you must take the time to find a niche with a need and then fill it. Take The Big Action Step. Determine what it will take for you to be the originator of the Purple Cow in your niche.

The Bonus Chapter
There is much, much more to be gleaned from Purple Cow.  For example, in bonus chapter Number One, Godin says, “So, with my new book, Purple Cowthe challenge was to create a plan that represented the ideas in the book itself.

In a nutshell:

• Sell what people are buying
• Focus on the early adopters and sneezers
• Make it remarkable enough for them to pay attention
• Make it easy for them to spread
• Let it work its own way to the mass market.

“So, I started with a topic I knew a population was interested in–new marketing ideas. Books about change are important, but nobody gets excited about change . . .”

Bob’s Final Word
Godin’s writings (including his daily blog) have always inspired me to think differently about the world, stand out in the crowd, and be recognized for the ideas I bring to my clients and colleagues. Not everyone relates to his style and some reviews consider the book a waste of time to read. However, if you are committed to being outstanding in your field (another farm metaphor), you only need to apply just a few of these remarkable concepts. I hope you will findPurple Cow to be a game changer if you are seeking a marketing breakthrough for yourself personally or your company.

About the Author
Before his work as a writer and blogger, Seth Godin was Vice President of Direct Marketing at Yahoo!, a job he got after selling them his pioneering 1990s online startup, Yoyodyne. Godin is the author of eighteen international bestsellers that have been translated into over 35 languages, and have changed the way people think about marketing and work.


His book Linchpin came out in 2008 and was the fastest selling book of his career. Linchpin challenges you to stand up, do work that matters and race to the top instead of the bottom. More than that, though, the book outlines a massive change in our economy, a fundamental shift in what it means to have a job.


In addition to his writing and speaking, Seth was founder and CEO of Squidoo.com. His blog which he has published once a day for 12 is the most popular marketing blog in the world now (find it by typing “seth” into Google). You can find every single possible detail that anyone could ever want to know at sethgodin.com

Click here to order Purple Cow, New Edition: from Amazon: Current price: $13.45 (224 pages Hardcover)

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