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How to Be Different: “Create a Purple Cow”

Seth Godin points out in his book “Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable” that… “In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.” What stands out more in a field of average cows than a purple cow?

Who: Seth Godin

Author, speaker and marketing guru.

What: “Purple Cow”

What is it?:

Purple Cow – something that stands out – something remarkable.

Seth defines remarkability as something worth talking about. Worth noticing. Exceptional. New. Interesting. It’s a Purple Cow. It’s an idea that spreads.

How is is done?:

  • Go for the edges. Challenge yourself and your team to describe what those edges are (not that you’d actually go there), and then test which edge is most likely to deliver the marketing and financial results you seek.

  • Explore the limits. What if you’re the cheapest, the fastest, the slowest, the hottest, the coldest, the easiest, the most efficient, the loudest, the most hated, the copycat, the outsider, the hardest, the oldest, the newest, the… most! If there’s a limit, you should (must) test it.

Selected tips from “Purple Cow”

  • Come up with a list of ten ways to change your product (not the hype) to make it appeal to a sliver of your audience.

  • Think small. Think of the smallest conceivable market, and describe a product that overwhelms it with its remarkability. Go from there.
  • Copy. Not from your industry, but from any other industry. Find an industry more dull than yours, discover who’s remarkable (it won’t take long), and do what they did.
  • Find things that are “just not done” in your industry, and do them.
  • Ask, “Why not?” Almost everything you don’t do has not good reason for it.

Additional words of advice…

  • Differentiate your customersFind the group that’s most profitable… Cater to the customers you’d choose if you could choose your customers.
  • Criticism comes to those who stand outIf you’re remarkable, it’s likely that some people won’t like you. That’s part of the definition of remarkable. Nobody gets unanimous praise – ever.

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