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Purple Cow Summary | Rystandard

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Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godi

The Marking checklist before you go to launch your product.

  • Product.
  • Pricing.
  • Promotion.
  • Publicity.
  • Packaging.
  • Pass-along.
  • Permission.

The Seven P’s of marketing, allows you to describe how you launch your product. But, now there are more than seven P’s. The old P’s are not enough. The book, purple cow is about a new P. The new P is a purple cow. In essence, the purple cow means to make something remarkable. The summary teaches you about why, what and how of remarkable.

  • Purple cow – Remarkable product.

You do not need a passion to create something remarkable, nor you need creativity. But, you need the insight to grow your business with purple cow thinking. You might come up with an excuse that you do not have a great idea. And even you did not know how to distinguish between good and worst idea. But, there is no shortage of idea. Your business has plenty of great opportunities, if you look closely.

How to launch a product in market.

Idea diffusion curve helps to understand how a product reaches a majority of people. It shows you how a successful product moves from left to right and reach to every consumer.


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In the market, when you launch a product. It firsts adapt by innovators. Innovators are the people who like to have something new, even when they may not need it. Right next to the innovators are the early adopters. Early adopters are the one that gets benefit from using the product. They create an environment, where early and late majority feel safe to buy a new product.

Afterall early and late majority do not yearn for a new product. But, if their peer is talking about, then they likely to try it. If you look at the curve, you will find out, the bulk of sales come from, when a product adopt by early and majority.

Here is a catch and you need to know. Early and late majority of people are good at ignoring you. And they will not invest the time to listen to you. Because their problem is already solved by another product. Early and late majority people want system and safety that new product does not offer.

In the end, the laggards complete the curve. These people do not use something until it is old. They do not use your product until their product is not available in the market. In this group, the people are happy with the old product. They do not like replacement. And you do not have the power to force them.

The only thing you can do is to influence innovator. If the innovators embrace the product. Then, only you can hope the idea to spread. Early adopter is the one who will sell your product to the early majority. You should design an attractive and remarkable product to attract early adopter.

Being remarkable helps you as it makes easier to attract the left side of the curve. Second, attractive product help sneezers to influence their peer to buy the product.

Idea that spread win.

A brand is an idea. An idea that spread has more chance to succeed. The author calls this idea virus. And the people who spread the idea to people is are sneezers. Sneezers are expert in spreading ideas. These people are the once who launch and keep up Ideavirus. Innovator and early adopters are the first to buy your product. But, if they are not the sneezer, they will not spread your idea across the audience.

But, every market has a few sneezers. These are the early adopters, but not always. Finding and convincing them is an essential step in creating an idea virus. To build a brand that reaches people. You should understand “do not try to make a product for everybody”. Because it will become a product for nobody.

You should target a niche instead of a huge market. With a niche, you can split the market and can focus on a small market. The early adopter, as well as sneezer, are more likely to talk and hear from you in this market. Once your idea starts spreading from one person to another. All you need to do is to sit back and wait for success to happen.

The working of TV Ads.

To work with tv ads, you need to find a growing market. Build a factory, buy lots of tv ads. The ads will lead to retail distribution. And the sales will keep the factory busy and create more profit.

Then, the business owner uses the profit to buy more ads. This leads to more distribution. Sooner the cycle start and profitable brand was built. As the brand build, it leads to a higher, generating more profit and leaving more money for more tv ads. And consumer believe that product is worthy, if the ads appear on tv.

Now tv ads are waste of money because ads reach to people when they do not need it. In the old days, marketers focus on volume of people she could reach. Mass marketing target early and late majority as it is the largest group. But, now the value of group does not count, it counts on the people you influence. So, you should advertise, when consumers are looking for help.

However, sometimes ads do work, not as powerful as they used to do. But they do attract visitor and generate sales. Target ads are cost-effective; however, most advertising campaign is untargeted.


Tv commercial is the most effective selling medium. But the ads lost its value half a century ago. Now, the value of tv ad is draining and marketers do not have the clue what to do. Everyday companies spend millions of dollar to re-create glory day, but every day they fail.

The old rule of marketing:

Create a safe, ordinary product, and combine them with great marketing.

The new rule of marketing:

Create a remarkable product that the right people seek out.

Slogan, a magic formula to spread word of mouth.

Slogan is important for the brand because you can use it in tv ads and can spread your message. A script allows sneezers to convey your message. A script sneezers use to talk about your product with her friends. As it ensures the purity of the message and makes it even more remarkable, with the script.

The cycle of cow.

From the first stage of marketing, you should focus on sneezer. As sneezer love to sneeze and spread your product awareness to an audience

  • Get permission from the person you impress the first time. Not permission to spam but to alert them, the next time you launch another purple cow.
  • Work with sneezer in a group to make it easier for them to spread your idea. And offer tools and stories so they can spread your idea to a wider audience.
  • Once you cross the line from remarkable to profitable business, let a different team handle it.
  • Do it again and launch another purple cow.

But, when you do not have any other remarkable product. Do not do start marketing anything. As sneezer can still trumpet the original cool stuff you produce. The constant refreshing of a product with mediocre message, will make it hard for fans to spread words. In essence, marketing to keep your customer busy is worst.

Sell what people are buying.

It is easy to sell your product when a customer is already in the mood to buy. Identify problems your product going to solve. Then, you need to figure out who is buying and solve their problems. Once you come up with the solution, the early adopter will response to you. Here you find people to promote your product in a medium, where sneezer is paying attention.

The benefit of being the cow.

As the world gets turbulent more and more people seek for safety. You want to cut risk from business. So you assume, the way to do it, is to play it safe. But, playing safe reduce the chance of creating a new purple cow. Once you manage to create something remarkable then the challenge is:

  • Make a profitable business and then figure out how to extend it.
  • Create an environment, to build a new purple cow and to replace the old one, when its benefit fade away.

Most companies forget the lesson of cow. Instead of using money to create another product. These companies take profit and forget to create it. Sooner their earning of thirty present profit days are gone for forever.

Boring is obsolete.

You fear to make something remarkable. You think other will criticize you, but, the only way to avoid criticism is to become tedious and obsolete. When you launch a clunker. The criticism of failure is real. But, it is the criticism of the project, not you. While making something remarkable, no one could figure out the purple cow will work or not. It is unpredictable that makes it works and the lesson is simple tedious always lead to failure.

You may also like:

Crush It Summary .
The Business School Summary.
Questions Are The Answers Summary.

Above article is the extract version of the book “Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable” written by “Seth Godin”.


Rahul is a WordPress writer and the founder of Rystandard.com. A blog to encourage you to make changes for the better. If you would like to connect, follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

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