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Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable Hardcover – November 12, 2009
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“Seth Godin says that the key to success is to find a way to stand out—to be the purple cow in a field of monochrome Holsteins. Godin himself may be the best example of how this theory works: The marketing expert is a demigod on the Web, bestselling author, highly sought-after lecturer, successful entrepreneur, respected pundit, and high-profile blogger. He is uniquely respected for his understanding of the Internet, and his essays and opinions are widely read and quoted online and off.”—Forbes.com
“Seth Godin alters the way people think about marketing, change, and work.”—Selling Power
“I love this book! Part wake-up call, part action plan, Purple Cow shows organizations how to add distinction—and avoid extinction.”—Tom Kelley, author of The Art of Innovation
“Godin is endlessly curious, opinionated, and knowledgeable on a wide variety of subjects. He is a relentless marketer…and also a clear-eyed visionary with strong and sensible ideas.”—Miami Herald
“Seth Godin may be the best intuitive marketer alive today. He’s in that tiny subset of the niche within the microcommunity of people who simply get it.”—Randall Rothenberg, columnist for Advertising Age
“Take Leo Burnett, David Ogilvy, Bill Bernbach, and Mark Twain. Combine their brains and shave their heads. What’s left? Seth Godin.”—Jay Levinson, author of Guerilla Marketing
About the Author
Seth Godin is the author of more than a dozen bestsellers that have changed the way people think about marketing, leadership, and change, including Permission Marketing, Purple Cow, All Marketers Are Liars, Small is the New Big, The Dip, Tribes, Linchpin, and Poke the Box. He is also the founder and CEO of Squidoo.com and a very popular lecturer. He writes one of the most influential business blogs in the world at sethgodin.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
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. While a purple cow (like the title and cover of this book) will certainly get your attention (and may get you to spend a few dollars to investigate it), is there really anyone out there who wants an actual purple cow because it provides any value other than uniqueness? The example reminds me of the old-time professional wrestler, Gorgeous George, who always wore purple and used that color in everything he owned (including his car and turkeys on his ranch near Yucaipa, California). Yes, the purple attracted your attention . . . but unless you liked his wrestling, that one glance was the end of it. I remember driving to his ranch to see a purple turkey, but never went back. Actually, the charity cows that are painted and decorated by different artists and then auctioned off in different cities would have made a better metaphor for this book.
Like much of what pretends to be new and different in business books today, this book is simply dressed up on modern clothes and new terms. I suggest you read Strategy Maps, the Innovator's Solution and Corporate Creativity if you want to learn how create these changes successfully in a company.
As I finished the book, I began to realize that much of what is wrong with business gurus today is that they love to tell their own ideas . . . but are seldom willing to do the hard work necessary to locate and measure how to do what they espouse. It made me realize that I should always "walk my talk to teaching people how to do what I encourage them to do."
The main idea of the book is spot on. If your business is not unique, it will be invisible. Marketing an invisible business is tough.
To the critics who say the basic idea is simple and therefore not ground breaking, I agree. But Godin manages to clarify a simple, very important idea that most business owners overlook. There is an elegance to his clarity.
Godin writes books that have a single core idea. He writes in a conversational tone. His books are short and readable. By the way, all of Godin's books make great audio books because they are in his conversational voice.
There are two categories of business books. There are the big serious tomes about how somebody saved ABC Corporation from disaster and made billions in the process. And then there are books for the rest of us. Purple Cow is a "rest of us" book. Years after reading the book, I still struggle with developing my own purple cow. It isn't easy.
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TV and mass media were new frontiers 50 years ago so fortunes could be made by putting a lot of money into advertising mediocre products. Today people have seen it all so they don't notice ads anymore. To be successful you need a PURPLE COW, meaning something shocking that causes people to tell their friends. Word of mouth is the BEST marketing because it is effective, economical and hard for competitors to duplicate. Most important it comes from a trusted source, your friend. THE END!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It talks about the necessity of innovation in different aspects of the products/...Read more