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

Reading Time: 2 minutes


Marketing guru Seth Godin explores the idea that in the rapidly changing and crowded marketplace, you need to be genuinely remarkable to succeed. If you aren’t a purple cow, you are invisible.

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Key Takeaways

Purple cow

“A Purple Cow, though. Now that would be interesting.”

“In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.”

A purple cow is a truly remarkable idea. It’s an idea that stands out in a crowded marketplace full of mediocre ideas and products.

The TV industrial complex

The old cycle of marketing and scaling businesses that no longer works. It’s when you produce ordinary products in an open market, using profit to purchase advertising, thus leading to more profits.”

Post-consumption consumers

“You are a post consumption consumer. You have everything you need and most everything you want, except time.”

Modern-day consumers whose needs and wants are already satisfied. These consumers have increasing choices, but less time.


Sneezers are individuals who find value in your product and are a perceived authority, acting as a spreading agent for your idea virus. Finding sneezers for your products and ideas is essential to your success.

Differentiate your customers

“Differentiate your customers. Find the group that’s most profitable. Find the group that’s most likely to sneeze. Figure out how to develop/advertise/reward either group. Ignore the rest.”

Look for the groups that are most profitable and that are more likely to spread your idea. Focus on this group, and ignore the rest.

Boring leads to failure

“In almost every market, the boring slot is filled.”

“The lesson is simple – boring always leads to failure. Boring is always the most risky strategy. Smart business people realize this, and they work to minimize (but not eliminate) the risk from the process.”

Being average is the riskiest strategy. There are plenty of average businesses in nearly every category. To succeed, you need to stand out.

Something to consider

“Consider what you have to do to never look for a job again.”

If you’re struggling to find a job, make money, or stand out, ask yourself what you have to do to never look for a job again. What skills do you need to develop? What ideas do you need to believe? How can you stand out from the rest?

Catch up by being different

“How do you catch up by being different?”

Instead of looking to what everyone else is doing, ask yourself how you can stand out and catch up by doing something differently. That’s when the innovation and success comes.

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