Home > Free Book Summary - Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

Free Book Summary - Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

Posted on 1/19/2023, 9:27:07 AM

Key Insights

Do you ever wonder what makes a company succeed? 

What makes them truly stand out? 

How can you make your business truly special and unique?

In, “Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable” Seth Godin shares his secrets to the purple cow success. Or, in other words, a company that sticks out, grabs attention and is something truly remarkable.

“In your career, even more than for a brand, being safe is risky. The path to lifetime job security is to be remarkable.” - Seth Godin

Godin takes you step-by-step to share the magic of the purple cow. And, helps you to utilize these strategies in your own workplace. 

Because, let’s face it, being ordinary will not bring you success. You must be doing something different in order to gain the extraordinary reputation your company deserves.

Key Points

  • Advertising

The power of advertising has been decreasing for years. Back in the day, advertisements were mighty and powerful ways for companies to get consumers to use their products. However, now, advertisements are seen everywhere from our TVs to YouTube to social media. That makes them insignificant and also overwhelms the consumer. 

Because of this overwhelming amount of advertisements, it is practically impossible to grab the consumer’s attention. And, that’s because people tend to ignore all marketing ploys unless it meets their specific needs. You have to think, it’s not the number of people you’re reaching, it’s the demographic of people that are seeing your advertisements.


To successfully utilize advertisements you have to ask three questions:

  1. Who would want your product?
  2. Who isn’t happy with the rival products in the market?
  3. Who will listen to you about your product and actually buy it?

By asking those questions you will find your ideal audience for your advertisements.

  • Your Product Must Be Remarkable 

There are three stages in the history of marketing:

  1. Before: When everything was word-of-mouth.
  2. During: When advertising was new and people based their lives on what products were advertised.
  3. After: This is where we are now. Word-of-mouth in a social media world. The word of products spread quickly via Twitter, Facebook feeds, and Instagram.

Because people see product advertisements via social media, the product needs to really stand out in order to stop people from scrolling past it in their newsfeeds. 

  • Take Risks

A lot of companies are afraid to try something new because they are afraid of failing. But, in this day in age, it’s better to take risks to improve rather than staying average and ordinary.

That’s because there is no place for average products in the current market. No one will buy them. If your product isn’t remarkable, it is invisible. Following the leader of other products in your market will never make you a leader. 

If companies choose to follow the lead of other companies, they will eventually get stuck behind in the times because they are unwilling to try a new and different path to success.

  • Target An Eager Audience

There are five different groups of people that are likely to use a company’s product:

  1. Innovators: People who are excited about trying new products.
  2. Early Adopters: People who want the advantage of a new product.

3 & 4. Early and Late Majorities: People who see other people using the product and follow suit.

  1. Laggards: People who will only get the new product if they absolutely must.

In old school marketing, it was believed to target 3 & 4 first because that is where most consumers fall. But, now, it is much smarter to target the early adopters because these people are the most likely to spread the word about the product. It’s like free advertising!

  • Marketing Is Inventing 

In marketing, you are not just selling a product. You are inventing a product. The marketing team helps to settle on the design, production, pricing, and sales in order to make sure the product actually sells. 

The marketing team discovers the “edge” of the product. For this, you will have to compare with your competitors to see where you stand out. Will you make your product have a completely different look or maybe your product is much less costly?

There also must be a slogan that accurately and uniquely describes your product. No matter if it’s a slogan or a design, there must be strategy in the marketing regarding your product in order to make people remember it. Just like how Tiffany & Co. showcases their baby blue color. It is recognizable to any jewelry-lover!

  • Make Sure Your Marketing is Working

It’s important to measure how much your marketing is working toward the demographic you are targeting.

The first thing to do is to target people in your audience who want to be helped. A great example of this is GoogleAds. GoogleAds takes search engine keywords that you’ve entered and will then display similar products in advertisements for you.

By observing how well your advertisements are working, you can adjust accordingly in order to keep the success growing.

  • Don’t Fear Criticism

A lot of companies fear that they will be criticized because they are putting out a different product. Being extraordinary means gaining attention, which can sometimes be a scary thing. 

However, companies need to understand that criticism does not automatically correlate with failure. Being bold and brave is something that must be done in order to have any success at all.

“If you’re remarkable, it’s likely that some people won’t

like you. That’s part of the definition of remarkable.

Nobody gets unanimous praise–ever. The best the timid

can hope for is to be unnoticed. Criticism comes to those

who stand out.”- Seth Godin

Be careful not to be obscene or offensive, because that attention is negative and definitely not what you should be striving for. 

The Main Take-Away

In today’s market, a product must be extraordinary to be visible. To make a remarkable product, you must be willing to take risks and face harsh criticism while spreading the word to your ideal audience. 

About the Author

Seth Godin is an American author and a dot-com business executive. He is the founder of Seth Godin Productions, a book packaging business, which he sold to his employees to focus on his next startup. He and Mark Hurst then founded Yoyodyne, where he promoted the concept of permission marketing. He sold Yoyodyne to Yahoo for about $30 million and became Yahoo’s vice president of direct marketing. In 2006, he launched Squidoo, one of the 500 most visited sites in the world. He eventually sold Squidoo to HubPages. He graduated from Tufts University and Stanford. 

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