Marketers have been talking (and working) on the 5 Ps for centuries, but Marketing gurú Sean Godin considers that something disturbing has happened.
Remarkable Marketing is the art of building things worth noticing right into your product or service.
Purple Cow is about why you need to put a Purple Cow into everything you build, why TV and mass media are no longer your secret weapons, and why the profession of marketing has been changed forever.
Why you need the Purple Cow
The old rules don’t work anymore–consumers are difficult to reach because they ignore you:
The old rule was this: Create safe, ordinary products and combine them with great marketing.
The new rule is: Create remarkable products that the right people seek out.
In order to create remarkable products, you should keep going when the system is expecting you to stop, as Godin says in The Dip. You should know when to quit and when to stick.
There isn’t a shortage of remarkable ideas
My goal in Purple Cow is to make it clear that it’s safer to be risky–to fortify your desire to do truly amazing things. Once you see that the old ways have nowhere to go but down, it becomes even more imperative to create things worth talking about.
Seth Godin calls ideas that spread, ideaviruses, and he points that only sneezers are those who launch and keep ideaviruses.
The way you break through the mainstream is to target a niche instead of a huge market. With a niche, you can segment off a chunk of the mainstream, and create an ideavirus so focused that it overwhelmes that small slice of the market that really and truly will respond to what you sell.
The author of The Dip tells that while in the old days marketers targeted consumers, today it’s the consumers who choose. So it’s useless to advertise to anyone, except interested sneezers with influence. That’s why you need to invest in the Purple Cow: Products, services and techniques so useful, interesting, outrageous, and noteworthy that the market will want to listen to what you have to say.
Why is it so hard to be Purple?
The Cow is so rare because people are afraid.
If you’re remarkable, it’s likely that some people won’t like you. That’s part of definition of remarkable. Nobody gets unanimous praise–ever.
It’s even harder when you don’t know if your Purple Cow is remarkable enough or too risky. So the unpredictability of the outcome makes it work.
Seth Godin gives a simple and priceless lesson here:
Boring always leads to failure. Boring is always the most risky strategy. Smart business/people realize this, and they work to minimize (but not to eliminate) the risk from the process. They know that sometimes it’s not going to work, but they accept the fact that that’s okay.
What to do once you’ve created your Purple Cow?
1. Milk the Cow for everything it’s worth. Figure out how to extend it and profit from it for as long as possible.
2. Create an environment where you are likely to invent a new Purple Cow in time to replace the first one when its benefits inevitably trail off.