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Abstract:
What’s Your Purple Goldfish is not your ordinary business book. It aims to
change the paradigm of how we fundamentally go about marketing our
products and services. Let’s face it...we’ve lost focus in marketing. We’ve
been so laser focused on prospective customers that we’ve forgotten to
deliver an exceptional customer experience once they’ve walked through the
door. Advertising is no longer the answer. Traditional media is fragmented
and for the most part ineffective. Customer support is non-existent, we’re too
busy outsourcing it. We’ve developed complex loyalty programs that confuse
customers and only promise future benefits. The Goldfish Principle is about
"differentiation via added value." Creating signature extras that help you
stand out, improve customer experience, reduce attrition and drive positive
word of mouth. This executive summary outlines the Top 10 takeaways from
the book, the ingredients / R.U.L.E.S. of creating purple goldfish and the 12
different types of purple goldfish.	
S t a n P h e l p s
s t a n @ p u r p l e g o l d f i s h . c o m
	
					
	
	
								 	
Purple Goldfish Book
Executive Summary
2	 [PURPLE	GOLDFISH	EXECUTIVE	SUMMARY]	
	
		
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Prologue
TWO STORIES OF PURPLE GOLDFISH
The first is the story of a boy from upstate New York named David
McConnell. At the age of 16, David started to sell books door-to-door.
When his fare was not well received, McConnell resorted to a purple
goldfish. David would promise a free gift in exchange for being
allowed to make a sales pitch. The “little something extra” was a
complimentary vial of perfume. It was a signature extra as David
concocted his original scent with the aid of a local pharmacist.
McConnell soon learned his customers adored his perfume, yet
remained indifferent to his books. Soon he would concentrate solely
on cosmetics, starting a company called the California Perfume
Company that would soon become Avon Cosmetics in 1886. Who
knew the first Avon Lady was actually a boy? Today, despite
competition from hundreds of American and foreign brand name
cosmetics, Avon is #1 in sales nationwide, with Avon Ladies ringing
doorbells coast to coast.
The second story is about a company founded by a social worker and
a psychologist with a passion for good food and a commitment to
healthy living. Without the capital to open a restaurant, Stacy Madison
and Mark Andrus began serving healthy pita bread roll-up sandwiches
in Boston’s Financial District. Their lunch cart was popular and soon
lines started to form around the block. To make waiting more palatable
(literally), Stacy concocted a purple goldfish for customers waiting in
line. Each night they baked the leftover pita bread sprinkled with
seasoning to create different flavored chips. The chips were a huge hit
and soon Stacy’s Pita Chip Company was born. Stacy's experienced
rapid growth, doubling sales every year which led to a multi-million
dollar acquisition by Frito Lay in 2005.
[PURPLE	GOLDFISH	EXECUTIVE	SUMMARY]	 3	
	
		
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PART	I:
WHAT	IS	A	PURPLE	GOLDFISH?																								
TOP	10	KEY	TAKEAWAYS	
	
#1. What's the Biggest Myth in Marketing?
The biggest myth in marketing is the ideas of meeting
expectations. There is no such thing as meeting expectations.
You either exceed them or you fall short. In a world where 60 to
80 percent of customers describe themselves as satisfied or very
satisfied before going on to defect to other brands, merely
“meeting expectations” is no longer an option.
#2. Two Paths Diverge in the Corporate Woods
You can’t be all things to all people. You only have two choices as
a marketer: Create to spec and face being a commodity or set out
to exceed expectations and become remark-able. Choose
wisely...
#3. Shareholders vs. Customers?
Business is about creating and keeping customers. Customer
experience should be Priority #1 in your marketing. Stop focusing
on the “two in the bush” (prospects) and take care of the one in
your hand (customers).
4	 [PURPLE	GOLDFISH	EXECUTIVE	SUMMARY]	
	
		
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#4. Value is the New Black
Don’t compete on price. Cater to the 70% that buy based on
value. Price is only relative to the value received.
#5. Phelps Corollary to the Pareto Principle
Traditional marketing is flawed. Eighty percent of your efforts will
net you 20% of your results. Focus on existing customers instead
of the funnel by finding little extras that are tangible, valuable and
talkable.
#6. Growth is Determined by 5 Factors
The growth of your product or service is similar to that of a
goldfish. Growth is determined by 5 factors:
1. Size of the bowl = Market
2. # of other goldfish in the bowl = Competition
3. Quality of the water in the bowl = Business Environment
4. First 120 Days of Life = Start-up
5. Genetic make-up = Differentiation
Assuming you’ve already been in business for four months, the
only thing you can control is how you differentiate yourself. How
you stand out in a "sea of sameness."
[PURPLE	GOLDFISH	EXECUTIVE	SUMMARY]	 5	
	
		
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#7. Blue Ocean vs. Purple Goldfish Strategy
Purple Goldfish Strategy is "differentiation via added value."
Finding signature extras that help you stand out, improve
customer experience, reduce attrition and drive positive word of
mouth.
#8. Acts of Kindness
Think of a purple goldfish as an added branded act of kindness. A
beacon or sign that shows you care. Marketing by giving little
unexpected extras. A little something thrown in for good measure.
6	 [PURPLE	GOLDFISH	EXECUTIVE	SUMMARY]	
	
		
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#9. Lagniappe Economy
There is a middle ground between a Market Economy (quid pro
quo) and a Gift Economy (free). A Lagniappe economy is where
there is an exchange of goods and services for an exact value
(market economy), plus a little unexpected extra that is given for
good measure (gift economy).
#10. v4 Principle
v4 is when a consumer becomes a PROsumer. They stand up for
a product or service and vouch for it, giving personal assurances
to its value. As a marketer you need to figure out a way to make
your product or service remark-able. Are you giving your
customers something to talk, tweet, blog and post to Facebook
about?
[PURPLE	GOLDFISH	EXECUTIVE	SUMMARY]	 7	
	
		
www.purplegoldfish.com		
	
	 	
PART II:
THE	5	INGREDIENTS	OR	R.U.L.E.S	OF																		
A	PURPLE	GOLDFISH
Five Ingredients
There are 5 ingredients or R.U.L.E.S when creating a
purple goldfish:
R elevant - it should be of value to the recipient
U nexpected - it should "surprise and delight"
L imited - it should be something rare, hard to find or
signature to your business
E xpression - it should be a sign that you care
S ticky - it should be memorable and talk-able
8	 [PURPLE	GOLDFISH	EXECUTIVE	SUMMARY]	
	
		
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PART III:
	
12	TYPES	OF	PURPLE	GOLDFISH	
VM Matrix
The VM matrix calculates how a brand measures up on two
important criteria: value and maintenance. The goal is to be seen
as “high value” and “low maintenance” by your customers.
[PURPLE	GOLDFISH	EXECUTIVE	SUMMARY]	 9	
	
		
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Here are main elements of both:
Value (the what and when of customer experience)
• What are tangible and intangible benefits you provide?
• Does your product or service go ‘above and beyond’?
• Are you giving that unexpected extra to ’surprise and delight’?
Maintenance (the who and how of customer experience)
• What is the buying experience like?
• Do you make things turnkey or simple?
• Are you responsive to problems / issues?
There are 12 impactful ways you can provide little extras. Half of the
purple goldfish are based on value and the remaining half dozen are
based on maintenance according to the value / maintenance matrix:
#1. Throw-ins (value)
#2. In the Bag / Out of the Box (value)
#3. Sampling (value)
#4. First & Last Impressions (value)
#5. Guarantees (value)
#6. Pay it Forward (value)
#7. Follow-up / Thank You’s (maintenance)
#8. Added Service (maintenance)
#9. Convenience (maintenance)
#10. Waiting (maintenance)
#11. Special Needs (maintenance)
#12. Handling Mistakes (maintenance)
10	 [PURPLE	GOLDFISH	EXECUTIVE	SUMMARY]	
	
		
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Categories:
#1. Throw-ins (value) – little extras that are included with your
product or service. They help you stand out in a “sea of sameness”:
Southwest Airlines – ‘Bags Fly Free’ and no change fees on Southwest.
#2. In the Bag / Out of the Box (value) – little unexpected things that
are added as a surprise.
Maggiano’s – order a pasta dish and Maggiano’s will pack
an additional one up for you to take home on the house.
[PURPLE	GOLDFISH	EXECUTIVE	SUMMARY]	 1
1		
		
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#3. Sampling (value) – give your customer an additional taste by
offering a free “little extra” on the house.
Bigelow Tea – order a box of tea from Bigelow and you’ll be treated
to a sample of another flavor on the house.
#4. First & Last Impressions (value) – you have two chances to
make an impression. When your customer comes through the door
and right before they walk out, hang up or log off. These “little extras”
make you memorable and more importantly talkable.
Hard Rock – When you check in the Hard Rock, they’ll let
you sample a Gibson guitar. Check in, plug-in and rock out.
12	 [PURPLE	GOLDFISH	EXECUTIVE	SUMMARY]	
	
		
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#5. Guarantees (value) - giving your customers that “little extra”
pledge that you’ll stand behind your product or service.
LL Bean – Leon Leonwood backs his product for a lifetime.
#6. Pay it Forward (value) – give a “little extra” back to the
community.
Plaza Cleaners – if you are out of work and need a suit cleaned
for an interview, Plaza will clean it for free.
[PURPLE	GOLDFISH	EXECUTIVE	SUMMARY]	 1
3		
		
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#7. Follow-up call (maintenance) – make the “little extra” follow up
with your customer.
Rite Aid follows up with a call to check on a patient.
#8. Added Service (maintenance) – the “little extra” that’s an added
unexpected service.
Safelite not only repairs or replaces your glass, but they
also vacuum your car and clean your windows.
14	 [PURPLE	GOLDFISH	EXECUTIVE	SUMMARY]	
	
		
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#9. Convenience (maintenance) – what “little extra” can you add to
make things easier for your customers.
Amazon – Frustration free packaging that’s hassle free
and good for the environment.
#10. Waiting (maintenance) – all customers hate to wait. If it’s
inevitable, how can you do a “little extra” to make it more bearable.
Pacific Cafe – while you wait for your table,
enjoy a glass of wine on the house.
[PURPLE	GOLDFISH	EXECUTIVE	SUMMARY]	 1
5		
		
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#11. Special Needs (maintenance) – acknowledging that some
customers have needs that require special attention.
Rainforest Cafe – the restaurant caters to the needs of customer
by doing a “little extra” for those with food allergies.
#12. Handling Mistakes (maintenance) – admitting that your wrong
and doing the “little extra” above & beyond to make it more than right.
Nurse Next Door – this nursing agency in Canada takes the idea of
‘humble pie’ literally by delivering a pie when they make a mistake.
16	 [PURPLE	GOLDFISH	EXECUTIVE	SUMMARY]	
	
		
www.purplegoldfish.com		
	
	 	
About the Author
Stan Phelps
Stan Phelps is a TEDx Speaker, Forbes Contributor, and IBM Futurist.
He believes that today’s organizations must focus on meaningful
differentiation to win the hearts of both employees and customers.
He is the Founder of the content hub PurpleGoldfish.com, a site that
focuses on customer experience and employee engagement
solutions. He believes that “differentiation via added value” is a game
changing strategy.
Before founding PurpleGoldfish.com, Stan had a twenty-year career in
marketing included leadership positions at IMG, adidas, PGA
Exhibitions and Synergy. At Synergy, he worked on award-winning
experiential programs for top brands such as KFC, Wachovia,
NASCAR, Starbucks, and M&M’s.
[PURPLE	GOLDFISH	EXECUTIVE	SUMMARY]	 1
7		
		
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He has spoken for Fortune 100 brands such as IBM, Citi, ESPN, and
Target. Stan has keynoted over 150 events in the US, Canada, UK,
France, Sweden, Spain, The Netherlands, Russia, Peru, Israel,
Bahrain, and Australia.
Stan received a BS in Marketing and Human Resources from Marist
College, a JD/MBA from Villanova University and a certificate for
Achieving Breakthrough Service from Harvard Business School.
Interested in having Stan speaking at your event, email us at:
speaking@purplegoldfish.com.
18	 [PURPLE	GOLDFISH	EXECUTIVE	SUMMARY]	
	
		
www.purplegoldfish.com		
	
	 	
OTHER BOOKS IN THE
GOLDFISH SERIES
[PURPLE	GOLDFISH	EXECUTIVE	SUMMARY]	 1
9		
		
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KEYNOTES AND WORKSHOPS
For more information or to book your keynote or workshop, email
speaking@purplegoldfish.com

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Purple Goldfish Executive Summary

  • 1. [Type text] Abstract: What’s Your Purple Goldfish is not your ordinary business book. It aims to change the paradigm of how we fundamentally go about marketing our products and services. Let’s face it...we’ve lost focus in marketing. We’ve been so laser focused on prospective customers that we’ve forgotten to deliver an exceptional customer experience once they’ve walked through the door. Advertising is no longer the answer. Traditional media is fragmented and for the most part ineffective. Customer support is non-existent, we’re too busy outsourcing it. We’ve developed complex loyalty programs that confuse customers and only promise future benefits. The Goldfish Principle is about "differentiation via added value." Creating signature extras that help you stand out, improve customer experience, reduce attrition and drive positive word of mouth. This executive summary outlines the Top 10 takeaways from the book, the ingredients / R.U.L.E.S. of creating purple goldfish and the 12 different types of purple goldfish. S t a n P h e l p s s t a n @ p u r p l e g o l d f i s h . c o m Purple Goldfish Book Executive Summary
  • 2. 2 [PURPLE GOLDFISH EXECUTIVE SUMMARY] www.purplegoldfish.com Prologue TWO STORIES OF PURPLE GOLDFISH The first is the story of a boy from upstate New York named David McConnell. At the age of 16, David started to sell books door-to-door. When his fare was not well received, McConnell resorted to a purple goldfish. David would promise a free gift in exchange for being allowed to make a sales pitch. The “little something extra” was a complimentary vial of perfume. It was a signature extra as David concocted his original scent with the aid of a local pharmacist. McConnell soon learned his customers adored his perfume, yet remained indifferent to his books. Soon he would concentrate solely on cosmetics, starting a company called the California Perfume Company that would soon become Avon Cosmetics in 1886. Who knew the first Avon Lady was actually a boy? Today, despite competition from hundreds of American and foreign brand name cosmetics, Avon is #1 in sales nationwide, with Avon Ladies ringing doorbells coast to coast. The second story is about a company founded by a social worker and a psychologist with a passion for good food and a commitment to healthy living. Without the capital to open a restaurant, Stacy Madison and Mark Andrus began serving healthy pita bread roll-up sandwiches in Boston’s Financial District. Their lunch cart was popular and soon lines started to form around the block. To make waiting more palatable (literally), Stacy concocted a purple goldfish for customers waiting in line. Each night they baked the leftover pita bread sprinkled with seasoning to create different flavored chips. The chips were a huge hit and soon Stacy’s Pita Chip Company was born. Stacy's experienced rapid growth, doubling sales every year which led to a multi-million dollar acquisition by Frito Lay in 2005.
  • 3. [PURPLE GOLDFISH EXECUTIVE SUMMARY] 3 www.purplegoldfish.com PART I: WHAT IS A PURPLE GOLDFISH? TOP 10 KEY TAKEAWAYS #1. What's the Biggest Myth in Marketing? The biggest myth in marketing is the ideas of meeting expectations. There is no such thing as meeting expectations. You either exceed them or you fall short. In a world where 60 to 80 percent of customers describe themselves as satisfied or very satisfied before going on to defect to other brands, merely “meeting expectations” is no longer an option. #2. Two Paths Diverge in the Corporate Woods You can’t be all things to all people. You only have two choices as a marketer: Create to spec and face being a commodity or set out to exceed expectations and become remark-able. Choose wisely... #3. Shareholders vs. Customers? Business is about creating and keeping customers. Customer experience should be Priority #1 in your marketing. Stop focusing on the “two in the bush” (prospects) and take care of the one in your hand (customers).
  • 4. 4 [PURPLE GOLDFISH EXECUTIVE SUMMARY] www.purplegoldfish.com #4. Value is the New Black Don’t compete on price. Cater to the 70% that buy based on value. Price is only relative to the value received. #5. Phelps Corollary to the Pareto Principle Traditional marketing is flawed. Eighty percent of your efforts will net you 20% of your results. Focus on existing customers instead of the funnel by finding little extras that are tangible, valuable and talkable. #6. Growth is Determined by 5 Factors The growth of your product or service is similar to that of a goldfish. Growth is determined by 5 factors: 1. Size of the bowl = Market 2. # of other goldfish in the bowl = Competition 3. Quality of the water in the bowl = Business Environment 4. First 120 Days of Life = Start-up 5. Genetic make-up = Differentiation Assuming you’ve already been in business for four months, the only thing you can control is how you differentiate yourself. How you stand out in a "sea of sameness."
  • 5. [PURPLE GOLDFISH EXECUTIVE SUMMARY] 5 www.purplegoldfish.com #7. Blue Ocean vs. Purple Goldfish Strategy Purple Goldfish Strategy is "differentiation via added value." Finding signature extras that help you stand out, improve customer experience, reduce attrition and drive positive word of mouth. #8. Acts of Kindness Think of a purple goldfish as an added branded act of kindness. A beacon or sign that shows you care. Marketing by giving little unexpected extras. A little something thrown in for good measure.
  • 6. 6 [PURPLE GOLDFISH EXECUTIVE SUMMARY] www.purplegoldfish.com #9. Lagniappe Economy There is a middle ground between a Market Economy (quid pro quo) and a Gift Economy (free). A Lagniappe economy is where there is an exchange of goods and services for an exact value (market economy), plus a little unexpected extra that is given for good measure (gift economy). #10. v4 Principle v4 is when a consumer becomes a PROsumer. They stand up for a product or service and vouch for it, giving personal assurances to its value. As a marketer you need to figure out a way to make your product or service remark-able. Are you giving your customers something to talk, tweet, blog and post to Facebook about?
  • 7. [PURPLE GOLDFISH EXECUTIVE SUMMARY] 7 www.purplegoldfish.com PART II: THE 5 INGREDIENTS OR R.U.L.E.S OF A PURPLE GOLDFISH Five Ingredients There are 5 ingredients or R.U.L.E.S when creating a purple goldfish: R elevant - it should be of value to the recipient U nexpected - it should "surprise and delight" L imited - it should be something rare, hard to find or signature to your business E xpression - it should be a sign that you care S ticky - it should be memorable and talk-able
  • 8. 8 [PURPLE GOLDFISH EXECUTIVE SUMMARY] www.purplegoldfish.com PART III: 12 TYPES OF PURPLE GOLDFISH VM Matrix The VM matrix calculates how a brand measures up on two important criteria: value and maintenance. The goal is to be seen as “high value” and “low maintenance” by your customers.
  • 9. [PURPLE GOLDFISH EXECUTIVE SUMMARY] 9 www.purplegoldfish.com Here are main elements of both: Value (the what and when of customer experience) • What are tangible and intangible benefits you provide? • Does your product or service go ‘above and beyond’? • Are you giving that unexpected extra to ’surprise and delight’? Maintenance (the who and how of customer experience) • What is the buying experience like? • Do you make things turnkey or simple? • Are you responsive to problems / issues? There are 12 impactful ways you can provide little extras. Half of the purple goldfish are based on value and the remaining half dozen are based on maintenance according to the value / maintenance matrix: #1. Throw-ins (value) #2. In the Bag / Out of the Box (value) #3. Sampling (value) #4. First & Last Impressions (value) #5. Guarantees (value) #6. Pay it Forward (value) #7. Follow-up / Thank You’s (maintenance) #8. Added Service (maintenance) #9. Convenience (maintenance) #10. Waiting (maintenance) #11. Special Needs (maintenance) #12. Handling Mistakes (maintenance)
  • 10. 10 [PURPLE GOLDFISH EXECUTIVE SUMMARY] www.purplegoldfish.com Categories: #1. Throw-ins (value) – little extras that are included with your product or service. They help you stand out in a “sea of sameness”: Southwest Airlines – ‘Bags Fly Free’ and no change fees on Southwest. #2. In the Bag / Out of the Box (value) – little unexpected things that are added as a surprise. Maggiano’s – order a pasta dish and Maggiano’s will pack an additional one up for you to take home on the house.
  • 11. [PURPLE GOLDFISH EXECUTIVE SUMMARY] 1 1 www.purplegoldfish.com #3. Sampling (value) – give your customer an additional taste by offering a free “little extra” on the house. Bigelow Tea – order a box of tea from Bigelow and you’ll be treated to a sample of another flavor on the house. #4. First & Last Impressions (value) – you have two chances to make an impression. When your customer comes through the door and right before they walk out, hang up or log off. These “little extras” make you memorable and more importantly talkable. Hard Rock – When you check in the Hard Rock, they’ll let you sample a Gibson guitar. Check in, plug-in and rock out.
  • 12. 12 [PURPLE GOLDFISH EXECUTIVE SUMMARY] www.purplegoldfish.com #5. Guarantees (value) - giving your customers that “little extra” pledge that you’ll stand behind your product or service. LL Bean – Leon Leonwood backs his product for a lifetime. #6. Pay it Forward (value) – give a “little extra” back to the community. Plaza Cleaners – if you are out of work and need a suit cleaned for an interview, Plaza will clean it for free.
  • 13. [PURPLE GOLDFISH EXECUTIVE SUMMARY] 1 3 www.purplegoldfish.com #7. Follow-up call (maintenance) – make the “little extra” follow up with your customer. Rite Aid follows up with a call to check on a patient. #8. Added Service (maintenance) – the “little extra” that’s an added unexpected service. Safelite not only repairs or replaces your glass, but they also vacuum your car and clean your windows.
  • 14. 14 [PURPLE GOLDFISH EXECUTIVE SUMMARY] www.purplegoldfish.com #9. Convenience (maintenance) – what “little extra” can you add to make things easier for your customers. Amazon – Frustration free packaging that’s hassle free and good for the environment. #10. Waiting (maintenance) – all customers hate to wait. If it’s inevitable, how can you do a “little extra” to make it more bearable. Pacific Cafe – while you wait for your table, enjoy a glass of wine on the house.
  • 15. [PURPLE GOLDFISH EXECUTIVE SUMMARY] 1 5 www.purplegoldfish.com #11. Special Needs (maintenance) – acknowledging that some customers have needs that require special attention. Rainforest Cafe – the restaurant caters to the needs of customer by doing a “little extra” for those with food allergies. #12. Handling Mistakes (maintenance) – admitting that your wrong and doing the “little extra” above & beyond to make it more than right. Nurse Next Door – this nursing agency in Canada takes the idea of ‘humble pie’ literally by delivering a pie when they make a mistake.
  • 16. 16 [PURPLE GOLDFISH EXECUTIVE SUMMARY] www.purplegoldfish.com About the Author Stan Phelps Stan Phelps is a TEDx Speaker, Forbes Contributor, and IBM Futurist. He believes that today’s organizations must focus on meaningful differentiation to win the hearts of both employees and customers. He is the Founder of the content hub PurpleGoldfish.com, a site that focuses on customer experience and employee engagement solutions. He believes that “differentiation via added value” is a game changing strategy. Before founding PurpleGoldfish.com, Stan had a twenty-year career in marketing included leadership positions at IMG, adidas, PGA Exhibitions and Synergy. At Synergy, he worked on award-winning experiential programs for top brands such as KFC, Wachovia, NASCAR, Starbucks, and M&M’s.
  • 17. [PURPLE GOLDFISH EXECUTIVE SUMMARY] 1 7 www.purplegoldfish.com He has spoken for Fortune 100 brands such as IBM, Citi, ESPN, and Target. Stan has keynoted over 150 events in the US, Canada, UK, France, Sweden, Spain, The Netherlands, Russia, Peru, Israel, Bahrain, and Australia. Stan received a BS in Marketing and Human Resources from Marist College, a JD/MBA from Villanova University and a certificate for Achieving Breakthrough Service from Harvard Business School. Interested in having Stan speaking at your event, email us at: speaking@purplegoldfish.com.
  • 19. [PURPLE GOLDFISH EXECUTIVE SUMMARY] 1 9 www.purplegoldfish.com KEYNOTES AND WORKSHOPS For more information or to book your keynote or workshop, email speaking@purplegoldfish.com