One of my favorite authors in business and marketing is undoubtedly Seth Godin. I wrote a review in one of my earlier blog posts where I discussed his book Linchpin where he wanted to shift from traditional marketing ideas into the new paradigm that the new internet age requires. In the book Purple Cow, Godin shares his insights into the world of advertising and marketing.
What is the "Cow"?
The Cow used in this metaphor dates back to 1895 where author Gelett Burgess wrote a poem titled "Purple Cow". It reads, "I never saw a purple cow, I never hope to see one; But I can tell you, anyhow, I’d rather see than be one". This thought is flipped around in business, where you do want to be the thought-provoking, conversation-starting cow, at least in your marketing strategies, separating you, your services, and product from the competition as much as possible.
In his book, Godin talks about the “P’s of traditional marketing: “pricing, product, promotions, publicity, positioning, and packaging” but those P’s are not as important as creating a purple cow. In the 21st century, consumers have more access to information, more products to choose from, but less time on their hands. These phenomenons had led to savvy consumers who want to satisfy their needs instantly. Godin writes that an effective purple cow will be able to create and meet the needs of intangible consumer desires.
Pre & Post-TV Marketing
A good marketing campaign can only do so much to drive sales if the product or service itself is weak. Now that TV advertising is dying with the evolution of the internet-of-things, the unchanged fact is that the first mission of any company is to create a remarkable product or opportunity that its consumers will seek out. Companies that have been successful in their niche such as Starbucks and Krispy Kreme have been able to market to influential early adopters. They may not be superior than their competitors, but they have been able to convince their followers that it is.
More Ways to Bring the Cow to Work
Don’t worry about manufacturing; outsourcing is cheap
Talk with your loyal clients; learn what they want and give it to them.
Provide top quality, which your buyers will appreciate all the more if you create a convincing “narrative” around your product, your company and its values.
Study market leaders outside your industry. See what lessons you can apply to your product.
Find a small corner of the market and create an offering calibrated precisely for it.
Break the habits of your industry.
Try a new approach, product or material.
Hope you enjoy this book!
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