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Purple Cow Summary

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

You need to go through the checklist before you launch your product:

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

The Seven P’s of marketing, help you to understand how to launch your product.

But, now old P’s are not enough. You need to learn a new P. The new P is a purple cow.

In essence, the purple cow is 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 don’t have a great idea. And even you didn’t know how to distinguish between good and worst ideas.

But, there is no shortage of ideas. Your business has plenty of great opportunities if you look closely.

How to launch a product in market.

The Idea diffusion curve helps to understand how you can deliver your services to the majority of people. It’ll show you how successful products move from left to right and reach to every consumer.

Morre Idea Diffusion curve

Morre Idea Diffusion curve

Image Source

When you launch your product in the market. The product is first adopted by innovators. Innovators like to have something new, even when they may not need it.

Right next to the innovators are the early adopters. Early adopters get benefit from using the product.

Early adopters create an environment. In which, early and the late majority feel safe to buy a new product. Afterall early and late majority don’t yearn for a new product.

But, if a friend is talking about it, then he’ll likely to try it.

If you look at the curve, you’ll find out, the bulk of sales come from, when a product adopts by an early, and late majority.

Here is a catch and you need to know.

Early and late majority of people are good at ignoring you. And they won’t invest the time to listen to you. Because their problems are already solved by another product.

Early and late majority people want system and safety that new product doesn’t offer. In the end, the laggards complete the curve.

These people don’t use something until it is old. They don’t use your product until their product isn’t available in the market.

In this group, people are happy with the old product. They don’t like the replacement. And even you don’t have the power to force them.

The only thing you can do is to influence innovators. If the innovators embrace the product. Then, only you can hope the idea to spread.

An early adopter will sell your product to the early majority. You should design an attractive and remarkable product to attract early adopters.

Being remarkable helps you in two ways. First, it makes easier for you to attract the left side of the curve. Second, attractive products help sneezers to influence other people to buy the product.

Idea that spread win.

A brand is an idea. An idea that spread from one person to another and becomes a word of mouth. A word of mouth increases the chances of success.

What is Word of Mouth?

An unpaid promotion of a product, in which satisfied customers tell other people to use the product. Word of mouth is important for the success of any business. A happy customer can bring a dozen of other customers.

The author calls this idea virus. But the first question is, what is an idea virus?

An ideavirus is an idea that spreads from one person to a majority of the target audience.

Who is sneezer?

A Sneezer is a person who spread the idea to ten, twenty or a hundred people when he loves the idea.

People who spread the idea from one person to another person belongs to the category of sneezers. Sneezers are experts in spreading ideas.

Innovators and early adopters are the first people to buy your product. But, if they’re not the sneezer, they’ll not spread your idea across the audience.

But, every market has sneezers. These are the early adopters, but not always. Finding and convincing them is your first priority to spread your idea and creating ideavirus.

To build a brand that reaches the majority of people. You should understand that you should not create a product for everybody. Otherwise, it’ll become a product for nobody.

Your focus is to target a niche instead of a huge market. With a niche, you can split the market and can focus on your target audience.

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.

Suggested Reading: Building a story Brand By Donald Miller Summary .

The working of TV Ads.

TV ads work in four steps.

The first step is to find a growing market. Once you have a growing market, the next step is to build a factory to generate more products.

Now the third step is to buy lots of TV ads. The ads will lead to retail distribution. And the sales will keep the factory busy and create more profit.

In the fourth step, the business owner uses the profit to buy more ads. This leads to more distribution. Sooner the cycle start and profitable brand was built.

Brand leading to success.

Once the brand build. It’ll generate money. More money will create more profit and thus, more ads will advertise. And customer believes that the product is worthy because the ads are appearing on TV.

Now TV ads are a waste of money because ads reach people when they don’t need it.

In the old days, marketers focus on the volume of people they could reach. And, mass marketing targets the early and late majority as it is the group of a vast audience.

But, now it doesn’t depend on the number of people you reach.

It depends on the number of people you influence. You should advertise the product when consumers are looking for help.

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

Diagram_The_Purple_Cow_The_Death_of_TV_ads

The Death of TV Ads Diagram

Tv commercial is the most effective selling medium. But the ads lost its value half a century ago. Now, the value of TV ads is draining and marketers don’t have the idea of what to do next.

Everyday companies spend millions of dollars to re-create glory day again, 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.

A Slogan is important for any brand because you can use it in TV ads to spread your message.

Here is an example list of how big companies use a slogan to market their product.

  • Apple – Think Different.
  • Nokia – Connecting People.
  • Adidas – Impossible is Nothing.
  • BMW – The Ultimate Driving Machine.
  • McDonald’s – I’m lovin’ it.

A slogan is a script that allows sneezers to convey your message. A script sneezers can use to talk about your product. The script ensures the purity of the message.

The cycle of cow.

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

If your product impress someone, take permission to inform him about the next time you launch another product(purple cow).

You need to spread your idea to a wide audience. So, work with sneezers and provide tools and stories to make it easier for them to market your product.

Once you cross the line from remarkable to profitable business, let a different team handle the work. Follow the same process again and launch another purple cow.

But, if you don’t have any other remarkable product. Don’t market anything. As sneezer can still trumpet the original cool stuff you produce.

The constant refreshing a product with the mediocre message. Then, you’ll make it hard for fans to market your product.

Suggested Reading: Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You Summary.

Sell what people are buying.

It’s easy to sell your product when a customer is in the mood to buy.

The first step is to identify the problems your product will solve.

Once you come up with the solution, the early adopter will respond to you. Here you will meet with the people to promote your product in a medium, where sneezer is paying attention.

Once you have the product along with the audience. Then, you need to figure out who will buy the product to solve his problems. And, in this sneezer will help you to spread the word for your product.

The benefit of being the cow.

You want to cut risks from your business. So you decide to play it safe. But, playing safe reduces the chance of making a new purple cow.

Once you manage to create something remarkable then the first challenge is to make a profitable business and think how to extend it as well.

And, the second challenge is to create an environment to create a new purple cow and replace the old one.

Majority of companies forget lessons of the purple cow. Instead of using money to create another remarkable product. The company takes the profit. Soon, days of making thirty percentage profit are gone.

Boring is obsolete.

You want to make somethings remarkable but fear that other people will criticize you. However, the criticism of failure is real. But, it’s the criticism of the project, not yours.

And, the only way to avoid criticism isn’t to become tedious and obsolete.

You can’t figure out the purple cow will work or not. It’s unpredictable that makes it works and the lesson is simple tedious always lead to failure.

At Last: Here are my favorite Quotes from this book.

  • Do not find customers for your products, find products for your customers. ― Seth Godin.
  • People do not want what you make. They want the way it will make them feel, and there are not that many feelings to choose from. ― Seth Godin.
  • You cannot fool all the people, not even most of the time. People, once unfooled, talk about the experience. ― Seth Godin.
  • In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is failing. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible. ― Seth Godin.
  • One way to figure out a great theory is to look at what’s working in the real world and figure out what the various successes have in common. With. ― Seth Godin.

You may also like these articles:

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”.

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