Don’t Have a Cow, Man!
Have a Purple Cow!
Ever read the book Purple Cow – Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by marketing guru Seth Godin? At first impression the thinking behind the ‘Purple Cow’ is obvious – no matter what the economic circumstance your best chance of business success lies in producing a great product or service.
But there’s a lot more to the Purple Cow than that. In today’s information-saturated marketplace it takes a lot more to get you and your business noticed by potential customers than a simple advertisement, an ‘nice’ logo and strapline or a catchy radio jingle. As Godin succinctly puts it, it’s “no longer good enough to be good enough” when very good is an everyday occurrence and seldom rates a mention. Hanging out your shingle and running an advertisement in mainstream media is no longer a path to success. Today the most successful businesses are exceptional, remarkable or simply amazing. And that’s where ‘Purple Cow thinking’ comes in. Godin’s book is full of examples where companies have discovered their particular ‘Purple Cow’ and gone on to enjoy the rewards.
A ‘Purple Cow’ sets you apart from other players. It‘s a dynamic point of difference, an ‘out of left field’ approach, a special service or a remarkable product that nobody else offers – yet. And all really successful companies have at least one ‘Purple Cow’. In fact the most successful ‘Purple Cow’ companies are often embarking on finding their next Purple Cow to stay at the forefront of the game. Once you have found your particular ‘Purple Cow’, your competitors are going to want one too!
Unfortunately the book is not a manual on creating a ‘Purple Cow’. There is no plan to follow. There are no rules. A genuine ‘Purple Cow’ is something that is remarkable in just the right way, at the right time. Hindsight is a wonderful thing – it’s easy to look at a successful business and see their ‘Purple Cow’, but without the benefit of hindsight the ‘Purple Cow’ is a lot harder to spot.
There is, however, a methodology to developing a ‘Purple Cow’. Go for the edges. Most business owners are familiar with the ‘marketing checklist’, which includes such points as product, pricing, promotion, positioning, publicity and packaging. Review this checklist as it applies to your product to mark out where the edges are. Then test which edge is the most likely to deliver the marketing and financial results that you seek.
And, in the famous words of Apple Computer, “Think Different”!