Purple Cow: The takeaways and insights

The purple cow is a book written by Seth Goden about the death of a mechanism to win business (advertising) and the birth of a new way to win at business (the Purple Cow concept)

Being remarkable – what does it mean?

A key takeaway revolves around the concept that a singular action from a business can be remarkable enough to “be remarked” or “make news” even if by word of mouth – yet the art and science of being a remarkable business takes much more.With an aim to be remarked about in a particular way, multiple tactics, strategies and philosophies can be applied aligned with that aim.

If you want to be remarked at for unbelievable variety, don’t just have a little fit of giving variety. Commit to it. How many ways can you shout both literally and subliminally at your target audience “we are the place you come for variety – the variety you get is unbelievable!”

In one sense you could compare and contrast this with Simon Sinek’s “Start with why” approach. The “Why” for many companies is what makes them remarkable. The purple cow concept however doesn’t demand you have a magnetic “why” it just demands that you have something people can’t help but remark about – this could be your compelling “why” but it could be your commitment to ensuring the shopping experience is “exciting” from start to finish.

Most people won’t even notice your remarkable, so find those who will

No matter how much effort you put in, it’s likely that what makes you remarkable will pass the mass market by. That is until it becomes remarkable how many people are remarking about how remarkable you are!

The key here, identify those in the early adopter and ahead of the curve space – make sure you’re remarkable to them, and their support and “remarks” will carry you forward towards the masses with momentum.

Cows have a lifespan

Aligned thinking with the product lifecycle, the purple cow of remarkable proportions that is created will become less remarkable as;

  • The market starts to adopt, and;
  • The industry starts to copy

So there’s likely to be a “milking” phase. But before you can get to the milking, there’s plenty of hard work to get the early adopters “remarking” about your business.

Marketing is in the product

You can’t take a standard product, dress it up in marketing and be remarkable. Well you probably can, but that feels harder. Instead think about what you want to be remarkable about the business, then make that part of the products DNA.

Again, if variety is what needs to be remarkable – major on building variety and options into the product itself, the way it’s sold, how it’s sold, what it’s sold next too, how you deliver variety again and again etc.

Just Marketing Right?

A lot of it feels like explaining that marketing isn’t just about outward communication or “Advertising” but it’s as much about internal communication and building a culture. However, that feels too soft and squidgy – nothing too concrete to lean on. So the purple cow provides a bit of a framework to demonstrate those same principles.

To be remarkable, remarkable consistency in the message is required. To achieve remarkable consistency, everyone must be projecting the very same message literally and subliminally. From answering the phone, to the email signature and sign off, to the way they deal with suppliers, to the way they handle complaints. Complete consistency – even if “variety” is what you want to be remarked for.

Just saying it isn’t enough – it has to be lived, breathed, demonstrated by the business and the team within it.

That eludes to the much broader, and less acceptable definition of marketing to those outside of the marketing sphere that puts marketing in the driving seat of culture, product, communication, sales, business growth and long term success. Marketing is the creation, management and crafting of the perception that those both inside and outside of the business hold of the business itself.

If they think that’s what you are, that’s what you are.Worse and more likely still, if they don’t think anything of you, you aren’t anything – you are unremarkable.

If you are unremarkable, you’re destined to make very little money, for increasingly challenging efforts as you fight against other unremarkable businesses in your industry. You may survive, but you won’t live, and you certainly won’t thrive.

What do you want people to remark about your business?

Here’s a link to Seth Gordon’s book, The Purple Cow on Amazon