I just finished reading Seth Godin‘s business book, Purple Cow. A Purple Cow is a product that is so different from the others around it that it stands out, like a purple cow in a field of brown ones. And Seth says that to succeed in today’s world of marketing, we must make Purple Cows.
The book is quite good, though it is a little dated. The book came out in 2003, before Facebook or the first iPhone were on the market. However, it is almost like Steve Jobs took everything Seth Mentions in this book and put it into creating the iPhone. The iPhone succeeded wildly as a product without much traditional advertising. It’s a product everyone wants, and it stood out like a Purple Cow in the field of normal phones.
To start you off right for the coming year, here are 5 quotes from the book that really stood out for me.
About the saturation of the market by products of every kind.
I believe we’ve now reached the point where we can no longer market directly to the masses. We’ve created a world where most products are invisible. Over the past two decades, smart business writers have pointed out that the dynamic of marketing is changing. Marketers have read and talked about those ideas, and even used some of them, but have maintained the essence of their old marketing strategies. The traditional approaches are now obsolete, though. One hundred years of marketing thought are gone. Alternative approaches aren’t a novelty – they are all we’ve got left.
About how we dislike ads, but crave clever new stuff.
… as consumers, we’re too busy to pay attention to advertising, but we’re desperate to find good stuff that solves our problems.
About becoming a leader.
The reason it’s so hard to follow the leader is this: The leader is the leader because he did something remarkable. And that remarkable thing is now taken – it’s no longer remarkable when you do it.
About what sort of product you must aim to create.
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.
And about the best kind of marketing being built-in to the product itself.
You must develop products, services, and techniques that the market will actually seek out.
Take risks. Put the marketing into the product itself. Be Purple. Also, make sure to read Seth’s blog every now and then.
Have you read any good business books lately?