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Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable Hardcover – May 12, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-1591840213 ISBN-10: 159184021X Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 145 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio; 1 edition (May 12, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159184021X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591840213
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (241 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

More About the Author

Seth Godin is the author of eighteen 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. He followed these with The Icarus Deception via Kickstarter, which reached its goal in less than three hours. Joined by Watcha Gonna Do With That Duck and V is for Vulnerable, those books are now widely available. In late 2014, he announced his latest, What To Do When It's Your Turn, sold directly from his website.

In addition to his writing and speaking, Seth was founder and CEO of Squidoo.com,. 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 sethgodin.com

Customer Reviews

Seth Godin is simply remarkable with his book, "Purple Cow".
Jeramey Jannene
If you want to be remarkable, this book has some good ideas to get you started or get you thinking about ways to apply the principles to your own situation.
"spongewalsh"
Very up to date and useful information in a book that's fun and fast to read!
E. Nelson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

629 of 679 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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 By "dave29898" on 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 By James Sadler on January 14, 2004
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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60 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 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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