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Purple Cow by Seth Godin

by Sheldon Nesdale on 26 March 2012

in Advertising, Business Book Summaries, Consumer Behaviour, Marketing

My notes on “Purple Cow” by Seth GodinpurpleCow

    • Remarkable marketing is the art of building things worth noticing right into your product. If it isn’t remarkable, its invisible
    • The Advertising Age
      • Before: Word-of-Mouth
      • During: Ever increasing consumer prosperity, and endless consumer desire. Simple formula: Advertise on TV & mass media = increased sales
      • After: Word-of-Mouth with new networks at rocket speed

  • Being first in a niche is better than being second in a mass market
    • Eg Yoga books (everyone interested has already bought one)
    • Eg2 Aspirin
    • Eg3 Classical music
  • The world = increasing available choices, decreasing available time
    • Obvious targets are gone, not many easy problems to solve
    • Consumers hard to reach because they ignore you
    • Satisfied customers less likely to tell others
  • It’s hard to follow the market leader because they did something remarkable to get there. It’s been taken. You can’t be remarkable
  • Committees approve TV/mass media advertising after they smooth all the edges and make it safe & dull
  • Awareness isn’t enough, sales and action is the true measure
  • Case Study: Otis
    • Were the first to optimise their elevator movements
  • The curve : Target innovators & early adopters, they are the sneezers. Everyone else will ignore you
    • Eg Digital Cameras – visible, easy to spread (heckle film users), easy to demonstrate, smooth
  • It is useless to advertise to anyone – except interested sneezers with influence
  • Mass marketeers hate to measure
  • Milk the cow & start making the next one
  • The opposite of remarkable is “very good”. Boring!
  • Case Study: Krispy Kreme
    • Hands out free donuts first
    • Gets distribution everywhere (eg service stations)
    • Has fans who drive for miles to get one (wouldn’t work for bagels)
  • Find the market niche first, then make a remarkable product. Not the other way around
  • The marketing is built right into The Leaning Tower of Pisa. Is our slogan easy to pass on?
  • In almost every market, the boring slot is filled. The one designed to appeal to the largest possible audience
  • Case Study: Publicist
    • That focuses not just in the medical industry, not just doctors, but plastic surgeons
    • She knows all of them
    • Now that’s “niche”.
  • Is your product the best at anything worth measuring?
  • Distinct or Extinct?
  • Think of the smallest conceivable market, describe a product to overwhelm it with remarkability. Go from there.
Here’s a pretty cool slideshow summary of the book too. Switch to “full screen mode” using the funny X icon in the bottom right corner.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Luke Foster March 26, 2012 at 5:11 pm

This is my favourite business book! Great notes for a reminder.

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2 Sheldon Nesdale March 26, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Yes, it’s a beauty!

Reply

3 kevin March 27, 2012 at 11:24 am

Interesting review. The bar gets higher and higher and the buyer gets harder to reach and sell. Maybe the nets the answer.
The trouble with the net is its specificy. Get what you search for. Try reading the newspaper on line, then in the flesh. How much more information do you get?
How about a link to this page in your email. Easier to get here and comment. Or maybe you read the article here?

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