Contents1. What is Purple Cow?2. Who is Seth Godin?3. So what exactly is a Purple Cow?4. Why do companies need a Purple Cow?5. What are sneezers?6. What is an Otaku?7. What is the secret formula? (The ‘magic’ cycle of the cow)8. Discussion
What is Purple Cow?• It’s a book about marketing written by Seth Godin in 2002.• It’s about transforming your business by being remarkable.• It still kicks ass and makes sense, even though the book is ten years old.
Who is Seth Godin?• Bald marketing guru who makes a lot of money by writing these sort of books.• Also a very influential blogger (sethgodin.com)
So what exactly is a Purple Cow? Seth describes it as one of the new marketing P’s: “The essence of the Purple Cow is that is must be remarkable. In fact, if remarkable started with a P, I could probably with the cow subterfuge, but what can you do?” (pg.2) In short: A Purple Cow is a product (or sometimes service) that dares to stand out.
Why do companies need a Purple Cow? We all know this doesn’t work anymore… The media landscape is shifting.
Why do companies need a Purple Cow?“Among the peoplewho might buy yourproduct , most willnever hear about it.There are so manyalternatives now thatpeople can no longerbe easily reached bymass media”Bottom-line• Too many products• Hard to stand out
This is veryconfusing. Not justfor consumers, butfor companies too.
The big question is: How can companies and their products be remarkable? The book covers a few steps on how to be remarkable. There are two main rules.
First rule: Make an awesome product. This one actually makes the most sense. Your product should always be the Purple Cow. Your marketing could be awesome, but product should always come first. Halfway through
Second rule: Get people tolike your awesome product. You can do that by finding ‘Sneezers’….
What are sneezers? “Sneezers are the key spreading agents of an ideavirus. These are experts who tell all their colleagues or friends or admirers about a new product or service on which they are a perceived authority. ”pg. 31
They’re not always earlyadopters…Early adopters sometimes are careful withsharing ideas. Sometimes they don’t haveenough credibility.
So how do you create an idea that spreads?1. Don’t try to make a product for everybody.2. Sneezers in markets for ‘everybody products’ have too many choices.3. Create ideas that spread in a niche market. With a niche you can segment a chunk of the mainstream4. This in turn will create focused ideas Look for people with an Otaku.
What is an Otaku?“Otaku describes somethingthat’s more than a hobby buta little less than an obsession.(…)People read Fast Companybecause they havean Otaku about business. (…)Otaku, it turns out, is at theheart of the Purple Cowphenomenon.”As a company you have to connect with thispeople. These are the sneezers who first Some exampleshear about your Purple Cow. They also helpto improve your product.
Bottom lineFind influential people to talk about your product.
Is there a secret formula?No. But there is somethingthat Seth calls ‘The MagicCycle of the Cow’. It consistsof 4 simple steps.1. Get permission2. Work with sneezers3. Let a different team milk4. Reinvest Almost there!
1. Get permission from people you impressed the first time Let people know when you might have another Cow. Make them feel special.2. Work with sneezersMake them ‘sell’ your storyfor you.
3. Let a different team milk the productLet other teams milk the cow.Do it as fast as possible. Don’tbelieve your own pressreleases.4. ReinvestLaunch another Purple Cow.Fail as much as you can tolearn as much as possible.Assume that previousremarkable things won’t beremarkable now.
That was Purple Cow in a nutshell. Please read this book. It’s fun and easy to read and it will give you a lot of insights.
Discussion:Purple Cow is written in a very easy way. Seth Godinmakes a lot of assumptions by using his gut feeling.This is often regarded by marketers as somethingbad. What do you think?Is having a gut feeling about a product orservice a bad thing for marketers? Or is itnecessary to develop a Purple Cow?