Purple Cow by Seth Godin – Summary

Purple Cow by Seth Godin - Summary
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Purple Cow

Traditional Marketing strategies are dead. They no longer work. The 4P’s of Marketing Product, Price, Promotion, and Place is important, but there’s a new P in town and it’s called “Purple Cow”, and it’s here to stay.

A Purple Cow is something that’s unique, something worth making a remark about. The Concept of The Purple Cow is to make a product so remarkable that it gets people talking and sells itself. To quote Peter Drucker, “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself… The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous.”

The Death of the TV- Industrial Complex

Earlier, all you had to do to market your product was to buy a bunch of TV ads and interrupt people to get their attention. Advertising was the way to go. Now we are so conditioned to avoid ad’s it no longer works.

Mass Marketing worked when average products for average people was the norm. Now it’s all about catering to the edges because these people care and they are obsessed with what we have to offer. Figure out what these people want and give it to them.

It’s not ideal to serve the enormous center anymore, but to go for the edges. The only chance you have is to sell to people who like change, who like new stuff, who are actively looking for what it is you sell.

You must design a product that is remarkable enough to attract the early
adopters—but is flexible enough and attractive enough that those adopters
will have an easy time spreading the idea to the rest of the curve.

The Bell Curve

The best way for an idea to spread is to have sneezers. Once they have a taste of your product, they can’t wait to tell their friends and colleagues, and the idea spreads through the entire bell curve.

To get sneezers to identify your Product is not easy and depends on luck. That’s how articles shared on the internet go viral. A Sneezer with a large audience decides to share your two cents, and all of a sudden you’re trending.

Examples of Being a Purple Cow

  • How Dutch Boy Stirred Up the Paint Business

Paint cans are heavy and hard to carry most people assumed there had to be a reason but Dutch Boy realized there wasn’t any.

Dutch Boy came up with an easier-to-carry, easier-to-pour from paint jug. Sales went up and also got Dutch Boy paint more retail distribution.

  • The Aeron Chair

Herman Miller introduced the $750 Aeron Chair in 1994. They launched a chair that looked different, worked differently, and cost a lot. It was a Purple Cow. Eventually, everyone wanted to sit in it and people talked about it.

  • The Italian Butcher

Dario Cecchini’s 250-year-old butcher shop in Panzano almost always has a crowd. People come from all over the world to visit his shop—to hear him quote Dante and rhapsodize about the Fiorentina beefsteak. He gets people’s attention and has been profiled in many magazines and cookbooks. He’s a Purple Cow.

What next after a Purple Cow?

There’s no strategy to figuring out a Purple Cow. It’s only trial and error and experimentation. The Riskiest thing you can do is play it safe in today’s marketplace and expect to coast. It’s imperative to keep innovating and step outside the box.

Once you have a Purple Cow milk it for all it’s worth then move on. Everything gets boring after a while so Create an environment where you are likely to invent a new Purple Cow in time to replace the first one when its benefits inevitably trail off.

The Unpredictability is what makes a Purple Cow.

How to get your ideas to spread | Seth Godin


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