PURPLE COW BY SETH GODIN
Is your business giving you mediocre results no matter how hard you try?Then maybe you are in need of a Purple Cow…
The following article is based on the book “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin.
What is a Purple Cow?
A Purple cow is a product, service or technique SO USEFUL, INTERESTING, OUTRAGEOUS AND NOTEWORTHY that you will have the markets attention.
Market just does not care how long you worked on something or how badly you want it. But if you own a Purple Cow market will not just stop to listen to you BUT they will seek out for your stuff.
For example, Seth Godin (The author of this remarkable book) sold his book in Milk Cartons.
And not many will forget the “Oatmeal – Exploding Kittens” card game.
Everyone wanted this card game because it was a Purple Cow.
Let me be very clear. This book is “Value Packed”. It contains A TON of case studies which will give you some great perspectives on how to apply the principles in your own business. For that reason, you have to definitely read the book when you get some time.
Table of Contents
- PURPLE COW BY SETH GODIN
- IN-DEPTH KNOWLEDGE
- 1 STOP BEING “VERY GOOD”
- 2 HOW TO FIND A PURPLE COW?
- 3 MOORE’S IDEA DIFFUSION CURVE
- 4 NICHE DOWN AND GET SPECIFIC
- 5 ONCE YOU HIT A PURPLE COW DO THE FOLLOWING
- 6 IGNORE EVERYONE EXCEPT THE INFLUENTIAL SNEEZER
- 7 BEING SAFE IS RISKY
- 8 MEASURE EVERYTHING, IF YOU MEASURE IT WILL IMPROVE
- 9 DON’T FOLLOW THE LEADER
- 10 HAVE A TOUCHSTONE
- 11 OLD AND NEW RULE OF MARKETING
- 12 METHODS TO MAKE YOUR OWN PURPLE COW
- WHAT NEXT ?
This article will show you 11 EXTREMELY detailed Golden Nuggets of information that are going to be ridiculously valuable if you are an entrepreneur.
1 STOP BEING “VERY GOOD”
Your product should be “Remarkable”. The opposite of “Remarkable” is “Very Good”.
Being very good is not remarkable. Remarkable means –“Horrible beyond relief”. Remarkable is something “Super unexpected”. If your customers exclaim “Flight reached an hour early!”, that’s remarkable.
Factories meet quality everyday, its not remarkable. Running schools like factories is the reason why we are afraid to be remarkable.
You have to make your product or service so different and remarkable so that it stands out from everybody.
Consumers ignore you because they are too busy to pay attention to advertising BUT consumers are desperate to find good stuff that solves their problem.
You need to look at this from your target customers shoes, they have a LOT of available choices but they have NO available time.
Real growth comes with products that are –
- Too expensive
- Too cheap
- Don’t appeal
- Too heavy
- Too complicated
- Too simple
- Too something
The designer should be also the marketer and vice versa because the product must have a Purple Cow marketing built inside it. Marketing done right is where the marketers change the product, not the ads. Just find a remarkable product and market it in a medium where people are paying attention.
2 HOW TO FIND A PURPLE COW?
You have to try out stupid things.
The internal slogan of your company must be …
You have to go for the edges to find the Purple Cow.
You have to challenge yourself and your team to describe what these edges are and test which edge is most likely to deliver the marketing and financial results you seek.
Explore the limits.
What if you are the cheapest, fastest, slowest, hottest, easiest, most efficient, loudest, most hated, newest, oldest — If there is a limit you should test it.
You might find the Purple Cow either intentionally or accidentally.
3 MOORE’S IDEA DIFFUSION CURVE
The curve below will change your life.
The above curve is why you should stop paying for ads.
Most of your target customers are ad-blind. They will not going to listen to your banners or TV ads or Facebook ads and what not.
Because most of your target customers are followers.
Innovators and early adopters are the leaders.
Don’t skip early adopters.Skipping early adopters and going directly to the juicy center is very tempting but it does not work anymore. Early and late majority only listens to early adopters or his friends because they are followers.
This is why word of mouth is such a great marketing technique even now. This is also why Influencer marketing will likely turn into the bedrock of marketing next decade (As told by Gary Vaynerchuk). Because people listen to their friends. 90% jobs are through recommendations, 90% sales are through referrals. If you run a successful business I am sure that you know this already.
The Moore’s idea diffusion curve that is shown above tells how new products and ideas move through a population.
Products will first reach innovators and early adopters, then it will grow into the majority and eventually it will reach the laggards. X axis shows which group your product will reach over time and Y axis shows the population of the group.
Innovators and early adopters heavily influence the rest of the curve and they provide maximum value. So persuading them is worth FAR MORE than spending ad money persuading anyone else.
Early adopters make an environment where early and late majority feels free and safe to buy your new item. Try to find early adopters as much as possible. Work with early adopters closely, get their feedback, optimize product and make it remarkable until the product spreads like a virus.
You have to also make sure that your product is remarkable because it attracts the left side of the curve and helps them to persuade rest of the curve.
4 NICHE DOWN AND GET SPECIFIC
It is so tempting to go broad and sell to the masses. But this will not work anymore, you will just burn all your advertising money. Hit a small audience in a niche because only they are eager to hear what you have to say.
Ever wondered why Tesla motors sell to the EV (Electric Vehicle) community?
Tesla motors do not spent any money on advertising because they sell to the innovators and early adopters. Majority of people still loves to ride the revving engine of a Lamborghini and thinks that EV is thrash but soon the innovation will diffuse to the masses.
If you are good your innovation will diffuse soon from the niche and migrate to the masses. You just have to pick one undeserved niche to target and to dominate.
Niche down so much that you are the best option for that niche.When you niche down its much easier to be remarkable. The more crowded the marketplace, the busier your customers, the more you need a Purple Cow.
Find a market niche first and then the product, not the other way around.
5 ONCE YOU HIT A PURPLE COW DO THE FOLLOWING
- Milk the cow for as long as possible.
- Create an environment where you are likely to invent a new Purple Cow in time to replace the first one when its benefits trail off.
If people are not fascinated by your product anymore its time to realize that the game has changed. Instead of investing in a dying product take profits and reinvest in building something new.
6 IGNORE EVERYONE EXCEPT THE INFLUENTIAL SNEEZER
Your happy customer is an influential sneezer.
50 year old mom (who loves your product) with a social media account and her 300 followers is an influential sneezer.
Innovators and early adopters are influential sneezers.
A sneezer is the term given to people with a problem who can also spread it. They will not listen to a little-bit-better idea but only remarkable ideas.
Once you find the sneezers in the market, ignore the rest. Your ads and products should not cater to the rest.
7 BEING SAFE IS RISKY
Playing it safe wont attract criticism.
We mistakenly believes that criticism leads to failure. Almost the opposite is true.
Have you seen the Tai Lopez “Here in my garage” video? Have you seen Trump campaigns?
You know what Donald Trump and Tai Lopez have in common? –“Ability to get criticized.”
You cannot tell if your idea will be worth it or will it backfire but your product will spread fast if it is not boring. The Purple Cow is so rare because people are afraid.
8 MEASURE EVERYTHING, IF YOU MEASURE IT WILL IMPROVE
Direct marketers realize measurement is the key to success.
Figure out what works and do it more!
You have to measure your traffic, bounce rate, conversion, profit .etc in your business. These factors are known as KPI (Key Performance Indicators). It is not uncommon for successful entrepreneurs to even measure KPI in their personal life.
Measure everything. Companies that measure will quickly optimize their offerings and make them more virusworthy.
9 DON’T FOLLOW THE LEADER
Don’t follow the leader because you will never catch up.
The book mentions a quote by Walmart because it failed to compete against Amazon in the eCommerce space.
YOU CANNOT OUT-AMAZON AMAZON – WALMART
Make a list of ways you can catch up by being different. Don’t follow leaders, make a twist and do something different.
10 HAVE A TOUCHSTONE
I am using the word Touchstone from a different book named “The Irresistible Offer” by Mark Joyner. Basically a touchstone is a slogan or positioning statement that can easily pass on and spread.
A single touchstone made Domino’s Pizza one of the biggest Pizza restaurant chain in the world.
Touchstone is a marketing message that is so remarkable that people will just pay their full attention.
11 OLD AND NEW RULE OF MARKETING
OLD RULE – Create safe products and combine them with good marketing.
NEW RULE – Create remarkable products that the right people seek out.
12 METHODS TO MAKE YOUR OWN PURPLE COW
Now here are some methods that will help you to make your own Purple Cow
METHOD 1 – Make a list of all remarkable products in your industry. Model them (dont mimic) and you are more than half way to making your own.
METHOD 2 – Come up with 10 points to make your product remarkable.
METHOD 3 – Copy from another industry. Find industry more dull than yours and discover what is remarkable. Do what they did.
METHOD 4 – Find a competitor who is generally regarded as at the edges and outdo them. Just do one more than them.
METHOD 5 – Find things that are just not done in your industry and do them.
WHAT NEXT ?
Apply things you learned in this article into your business, into your personal life or just bookmark this page for reference later.
Buy Purple Cow By Seth Godin if you like the notes and you want to dive in deeper.
Do let me know your thoughts on the article. Also let me know which book you want me to share with you in future episodes in the comments below.
Hustle hard my friends 🙂