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Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable [Hardcover]

by Seth Godin
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (234 customer reviews)


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Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable--Includes new bonus chapter Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable--Includes new bonus chapter 4.0 out of 5 stars (82)
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Book Description

May 12, 2003 159184021X 978-1591840213 1
You're either a Purple Cow or you're not. You're either remarkable or invisible. Make your choice.

What do Starbucks and JetBlue and KrispyKreme and Apple and DutchBoy and Kensington and Zespri and Hard Candy have that you don't? How do they continue to confound critics and achieve spectacular growth, leaving behind former tried-and true brands to gasp their last?

Face it, the checklist of tired 'P's marketers have used for decades to get their product noticed -Pricing, Promotion, Publicity, to name a few-aren't working anymore. There's an exceptionally important 'P' that has to be added to the list. It's Purple Cow.

Cows, after you've seen one, or two, or ten, are boring. A Purple Cow, though...now that would be something. Purple Cow describes something phenomenal, something counterintuitive and exciting and flat out unbelievable. Every day, consumers come face to face with a lot of boring stuff-a lot of brown cows-but you can bet they won't forget a Purple Cow. And it's not a marketing function that you can slap on to your product or service. Purple Cow is inherent. It's built right in, or it's not there. Period.

In Purple Cow, Seth Godin urges you to put a Purple Cow into everything you build, and everything you do, to create something truly noticeable. It's a manifesto for marketers who want to help create products that are worth marketing in the first place.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The world is changing ever more rapidly, and the rules of marketing are no different, writes Godin, the field's reigning guru. The old ways-run-of-the-mill TV commercials, ads in the Wall Street Journal and so on-don't work like they used to, because such messages are so plentiful that consumers have tuned them out. This means you have to toss out everything you know and do something "remarkable" (the way a purple cow in a field of Guernseys would be remarkable) to have any effect at all, writes Godin (Permission Marketing; Unleashing the Ideavirus). He cites companies like HBO, Starbucks and JetBlue, all of which created new ways of doing old businesses and saw their brands sizzle as a result. Godin's style is punchy and irreverent, using short, sharp messages to drive his points home. As a result the book is fiery, but not entirely cohesive; at times it resembles a stream-of-consciousness monologue. Still, his wide-ranging advice-be outrageous, tell the truth, test the limits and never settle for just "very good"-is solid and timely.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Seth Godin is the worldwide bestselling author of Permission Marketing, Unleashing the Ideavirus, and Survival is not Enough. He is a renowned public speaker, has started several successful companies, and is a contributing editor at Fast Company Magazine.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 145 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio; 1 edition (May 12, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159184021X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591840213
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (234 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Seth Godin is the author of fifteen international bestsellers that have been translated into over 35 languages, and have changed the way people think about marketing and work. For a long time, Unleashing the Ideavirus was the most popular ebook ever published, and Purple Cow is the bestselling marketing book of the decade.

His book, Tribes, was a nationwide bestseller, appearing on the Amazon, New York Times, BusinessWeek and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. It's about the most powerful form of marketing--leadership--and how anyone can now become a leader, creating movements that matter.

His book Linchpin came out in 2008 and was the fastest selling book of his career. Linchpin challenges you to stand up, do work that matters and race to the top instead of the bottom. More than that, though, the book outlines a massive change in our economy, a fundamental shift in what it means to have a job.

Since Linchpin, Godin has published two more books, Poke the Box and We Are All Weird, through his Domino Project.

Recently, he launched The Icarus Deception via Kickstarter, which reached its goal in less than three hours. It will be available to the public in January of 2013.

In addition to his writing and speaking, Seth is founder and CEO of Squidoo.com, a fast growing recommendation website. His blog (find it by typing "seth" into Google) is the most popular marketing blog in the world. Before his work as a writer and blogger, Godin was Vice President of Direct Marketing at Yahoo!, a job he got after selling them his pioneering 1990s online startup, Yoyodyne.

You can find every single possible detail that anyone could ever want to know at squidoo.com/seth.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
619 of 668 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Brief Essay Stretched into a Short Book January 14, 2004
Format:Hardcover
Purple Cow is probably the most overrated business book published in 2003.
Let me save you money and time. Read the summary below rather than buying and reading this book:
Marketing should begin with a differentiated product or service that gets attention (like a purple cow does among a field of brown ones). Be sure that those who care deeply about that differentiation learn about your product or service (as Krispy Kreme does by providing free donuts when it opens a new store). Those who care will e-mail and tell everyone they know (the ideavirus concept Mr. Godin has written about before). Keep adding new differentiated enhancements to your product or service (pretty soon you don't find a purple cow so interesting). Start looking for totally new business models that provide a breakthrough like your first purple cow did. Don't waste your time and money on advertising. Alternatively, it's dangerous not to do this because your product or service will be lost among all of the other brown cows (undifferentiated offerings).
I congratulate Mr. Godin on his marketing skill. Turning these few old saws with a few new examples into a best seller is outstanding marketing. Otherwise, I would grade this book as a one star effort. It will only be of value to those who have never read anything about the power of business model innovation. To learn how to do successful business model innovation, you will have to look elsewhere. I was particularly disappointed that he relied on examples that are so old. Starbucks, HBO and Krispy Kreme, for instance, haven't done a business model innovation in years. Only the JetBlue example is recent. Yet the world is full of new examples he could have talked about.
Actually, the book's key metaphor is flawed.
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66 of 74 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It is what it is . . . know what you're getting into October 14, 2003
Format:Hardcover
Cutesy . . . disjointed . . . reads like a monologue . . . powerful . . . simplistic. It's all true. I don't think that author Seth Godin would argue with many of the comments that even the negative reviewers have made here.
My advice is to simply understand what you're getting into with this one. Looking for some light reading that might fire off some creative synapses? Got a few hours on a plane & the ability to take some thought-starters and generate your own applications? This book is for you.
And yes, it is geared towards creative types. Or at least someone who's willing to let a simple, fun book with lots of colorful case studies get the juices flowing.
Interesting that there's such a binary ranking system with this book. Most readers seem to either love it or hate it. Are you a serious executive looking for practical ways to transform? Start with Good to Great by Jim Collins.
Looking for something more unique, but still thick with practical ways to transform a business in a huge way? Try Winning in FastTime by John Warden.
Purple Cow is fun, simple, and powerful. There's practically nothing that's been written in these reviews that I don't agree with. But some of are fortunate enough to have an equal balance between left-brain and right-brain.
This book MAY not be for you, but it was for me.
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154 of 187 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
This is a not highly originally book which is apparently using a gimmicky title and cover to make itself stand out. I'm not sure why because Seth Godin has written better books and it's not like he necessarily needs to go the gimmicky "look-at-me, look-at-me" route to sell books.
All Godin has done here is write a book on branding an positioning. Godin is trying very hard here to sell us on the idea that what he suggests is new and different and that the old ways of marketing do not work. Hate to tell him this, but talk to people who are genuinely out there fighting for customers in the marketplace and you find that the old ways still work quite well. P&G has managed to stay pretty successful (not that they don't have an occasional bump in the road) sticking to a tired-and-true marketing formula, as have many other companies.
This book is simply about product or service differentiation that attracts attention (as a purple cow in a field of brown ones would). It's not necessarily new and different, and some of his example s may well be flawed. For example, JetBlue is a marvelous success (and I wish that would come to our part of the country), but all they did was build on the Southwest Airlines template for success. JetBlue also had the marked advantage of being one of the best financed start-ups in airline history. I think their success is more the result of good management more than anything else. And for the most part, Godin seems to use examples of companies that are now well-established in the marketplace, e.g., Starbucks, HBO and Krispy Kreme. While I think he's use of JetBlue does not necessarily support his premise, at least it is a relatively new entity. Why did he not use more examples of newer companies?
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59 of 70 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This Book is Quite Un-remarkable! December 17, 2003
Format:Hardcover
I have never met this guy Seth Godin, but I know this guy. I have worked with and gone to school with people just like this Seth Character. They like to say provactive things like "Marketing is Dead" and come up with catch phrases (Sneezers) that seems to gain them immediate attention. However, when you start analyzing what has been written the realization quickly hits home that nothing has been said at all. Merely Vapor-ware or in this case Vapor-ideas.
For those of us who look back at that phrase and to the whole Dot.Com era and cringe at the foolishness of people who were trying to rewrite the rules of business with their gimmickry and catch phrases, I present you Purple Cow. For this book is to Marketing what the DotCom era was to Business, which is in a word a BUST.
I also like that fact that most of the people that praised the book on the back cover, were coincidentally the very same people that Seth praised in his book for having that special Purple Cow quality...(How about a catch phrase of my own)...I guess this book will appeal to some people, but I guess I am just Lactose intolerant...Ha
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars great
Thank you so much for getting it out right away!! I got it super quick and It's great. love it :)
Published 1 month ago by Heather B
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative
I am currently still in the process of reading it. So far it has put a lot of things in perspective. Read more
Published 1 month ago by keeg
2.0 out of 5 stars Weak weak weak
Pretty much a willy nilly rehash of a lot of marketing principles that have been around for years and years. You would be better off reading David Ogilvy.
Published 2 months ago by Nevadachuck
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and effective.
A most exciting point of view.
Recently used as basis of a sales conference to generate change in presentation of our product.
Gary Price
Materialised Sydney
Published 2 months ago by Pen Name
4.0 out of 5 stars I recommend this!
The reason this doesn't get five stars is because the first half of the book is really tough to read. But the second half pays off. Read more
Published 2 months ago by The Kid
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
This is a great book. Standing out your business will grow. What makes you different? When you find this out you will be unstoppable.
Published 3 months ago by michael
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
The book came with a bunch of writing in it. Thankfully it was pencil marking so i was able to erase most of it but I did not expect that when I bought the book. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Megan
4.0 out of 5 stars Book used for class assignment
Shipped to me timely and in great condition. Had some good principles on how to present yourself and your product in the business world. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Edna F. Folley
2.0 out of 5 stars No Clue
I have no clue what this is. Maybe a purchase date would help or a way to DELETE what I do not remember
Published 3 months ago by Marlene Moore
5.0 out of 5 stars A great marketing book that is easy to understand
I added this book to my class reading list for a management class because it is a perfect example of marketing...the purple cow is unique. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Carol Wysocki
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