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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
In the new marketing age, consumers are too busy and too flooded with marketing to listen to the typical pitch. So, if your product is not remarkable, if it doesn't stand out by itself (with or without marketing) like a purple cow in a herd of Holsteins, then it will be lost in the proverbial shuffle.
Today's consumer is consumed by attention deficit. So how do you get busy people who have everything they want and who are constantly bombarded with sales pitches to listen to you? The confluence of available choices (high) and available time (low) conspires against today's entrepreneur.
Since consumers today ignore you and insist on permission marketing, the old rule is out: create safe, ordinary products and combine them with great marketing. The new rule is in: create remarkable products that the right people seek out. Be the outlier--the company that's different, that thinks and acts outside the box.
Smashed down and compacted, Godin's whole message is: it's safer to be risky, to pursue the truly remarkable, different product, rather than to try to market a safe, boring product remarkably. Create a fascinating product that stands out from the crowd rather than creating a fascinating ad campaign for your ordinary product.
So what to do? Create idea viruses that spread from the early adopters to the general public. How do you create an idea that spreads? Don't try to make a product for everybody, because that product is for nobody. The everybody products are all taken. The way you break through to the mainstream is to target a niche instead of a huge market. As Godin says in a later book, "small is big."
But here's the key--the product must be built virus ready! The intention of the invention must be niche novelty. You must develop products and services so useful, interesting, outrageous, and noteworthy that your niche market will want to listen to what you have to say.
You can't make people listen. But you can figure out who's likely to be listening when you talk. And when you talk, you're either remarkable or invisible depending on how purple your cow is (not how much purple you use in advertising your cow). So, create a product that dominates a niche. Think small.
But why is the purple cow so rare? Fear. Create something unique and people will criticize it. Criticism comes to those who dare to be different. The timid fit in and go unnoticed--lost in the shuffle of the shuffling herd. Be different. Give the marketing budget to the designer. Innovate a product and introduce it to your sneezers. Launch a new product, not a new slogan. Explore the limit. Ask, "Why not?"
But what if you've already invented? Then redefine what you sell. Go for the edges (niche influencers) and describe in fresh ways what those edges are. Be edgy--the edgier the better, the edgiest the best.
Thus, none of this means that the "slogan" is bad. It just means that the slogan is good for a different reason. It used to be the slogan was good because it fit the 30 second commercial sound bite. Now the slogan is good because the virus can be passed more easily, more succinctly. Your product should shout: "Remarkable boast that's true!" Then it will be worth passing on. The slogan is the story that influencers pass on like a virus.
Where does remarkable originate? From passionate people who make products first for themselves.
But . . . how purple is "The Purple Cow?" True, it's not that novel. But, people bought it. The book itself practiced what it preached. Yes, the savvy entrepreneur already gets this. But Godin's niche is the wanna-be, not-yet-savvy innovator. There are plenty of those out there (to date--250,000 who have bought "The Purple Cow").
Reviewer: Bob Kellemen, Ph.D., is the author of "Beyond the Suffering," "Soul Physicians," and "Spiritual Friends."
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.
Add this to your library.
The alternative strategy is simply to do something remarkable in your ad campaigns and in your product. He provides great examples from big corporations (like the Target `big box' store) to the doctor practicing medicine that invests extra because he GENUINELY CARES for his patience. Being remarkable provides a referable product or service that the consumer can't wait to tell others about. It does require creativity to succeed, and a little good fortune to be sure.
Being remarkable targets one's audience and drives a sellable differentiation. There are many ways to get there, and there is risk involved. He elaborates on this issue and provides a realistic expectation, as well as a clear time when this approach is worth the risk.
The book is so relevant to this age of the internet, and provides a practical alternative to shotgun approaches to marketing: REMARKABILITY!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a good quick read if you're an entrepreneur and looking for methods to stand out against the competition, market yourself, market an...Read more