Purple Cow is a quite a famous book written by the marketing guru, Seth Godin. It was originally written in 2003 and updated in 2009. The book is nearly 20 years old, but I have only just got round to reading it, and it is still held up as a key and thought provoking take on marketing and advertising.

Seth Godin himself is a prolific writer on the subject of marketing and has produced more than 20 books and written more than 7,000 blogs on his website, seths.blog.

The book is all about how to transform your business by being remarkable. It is a movement and a marketing concept to make remarkable products.

The Five P’s

In marketing there have always said to be the 5 P’s; Product, Pricing, Promotion, Place and People (something I remember from my MBA studies some years back). Godin argues there is a new P in town; Purple Cows.

Normal cows once you’ve seen a couple or twenty all look the same and are pretty boring. But a Purple Cow is something else. You won’t forget a Purple Cow. Godin says you are either a Purple Cow or you are not and you are either remarkable or you are not!

Being a Purple Cow

Purple Cows are something phenomenal, something counter-intuitive and exciting and something unique. Being different and unique needs to be built into your business model.

Some businesses achieve spectacular growth and leave behind their tried and trusted competitor brands. How? By becoming Purple Cows and putting a Purple Cow into everything they build and everything they do. The book provides plenty of examples of businesses that have done this over the years. As the revised book is more than 10 years old, some of the stories are older, but the rationale and learnings still remain. It explains how, and why you need to innovate and collaborate, and what Purple marketing is.

The book explains the changes in how to market a product and rethinking what marketing says about your products and services, and how marketing and advertising work and how they have changed for this modern world.

As Purple Cow is only 170 pages in length it will not take too long to read, but it’s well worth checking out.