What’s Your Purple Cow?

Brown Cows Are Boring!

Many of you have read the book, The Purple Cow, by Seth Godin. It’s a groundbreaking book full of case studies on how to make your business truly remarkable.

As we all know, after we’ve seen one cow we’ve seen them all. When you drive by a heard of cattle they all just look like cows and it doesn’t seem out of the ordinary.  But if you drive by a heard and standing in the field is a Purple Cow you have to tell someone because it is so different.  Cows might be well-bred, Six Sigma cows, lit by the most amazing light, but they are still just a cow. They’re boring. But what if the cow we saw was purple? Now that would get our attention. It could be in a field of perfectly fine, or even excellent cows, but this cow would be remarkable. Now that’s something worth talking about, and worth paying attention to. There’s boring stuff everywhere we turn, like brown cows, which is why so few of us pay any attention.

This article is a plea to marketers to make a difference by creating products and services that are worth marketing in the first place. Strive for passion, originality, guts and daring. It’s the only way to be successful. The one sure way to fail today is to be boring. Your one chance for success is to be remarkable. So you have to be a leader, because you can’t be remarkable by following someone else who is already remarkable. His remarkable thing is already taken. So go find another way to be remarkable.

Toyota PriusThe Toyota Prius is bought by people who are environmentally conscious and they want to show off their feelings to everyone in their neighborhood. By showing off what they drive, they’re signalling their emotions to others without coming out and saying so. So maybe you also like the Prius, or maybe you don’t, driving a Prius says something about who you are. This is a purple cow.

FUDD LOGOFuddruckers-I’d say that any restaurant that serves hot jalapeno cheese from a pump would have a purple cow. But, then again, everything about Fuddruckers is different. The ordering process, how you create your own burger, the way they call your name when it’s ready. Everything that Fuddruckers does is different and anytime you go, it will be busy. They’re making a lot of burger fans very happy.

So it looks like we have two choices: either we become invisible, uncritized, anonymous and safe, or we take a chance at greatness, uniqueness and the Purple Cow. The point? Boring always leads to failure and is always the riskiest strategy. The lesson here is simple: The more intransigent your market, the more crowded the marketplace, the busier your customers, the more you need a Purple Cow.


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