Have you ever gazed out of a car window as you traveled along a long country road? Did you see cows along the way? Probably. Did you note anything special about our bovine friends? Probably not. Why not? Because cows are boring*.
Now what if you drove along that road and suddenly saw a purple cow? Whoa! Now that’s worth talking about, right?
Seth Godin is Marketing Yoda
Seth Godin is a powerhouse in the world of marketing, he is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, and speaker. Google “Seth” and he’s sure to be the first result. I heard him referred to as the “marketing Yoda” on a podcast recently, Godin quickly added that he’s better looking than Yoda. I concur.
I’m writing this on a flight home to Nashville from a speaking engagement in Yuma, AZ. Yuma is a three-hour drive from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. I didn’t see any purple cows to and from Yuma, with the exception of my copy of Godin’s best-selling book, Purple Cow - Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable. I had read the book many years ago, but the information didn’t sink into my thick head at the time. I remember enjoying it, but it wasn’t as relevant at that juncture in my career.
My flights to and from Phoenix gave me plenty of time to re-read Godin’s inspirational book. This time, his words left me filled with ideas to implement for my business. The following are twenty-five takeaways from Purple Cow. There is obviously much more to the book, it is a must-read for business leaders from small organizations to large companies.
25 Takeaways from Purple Cow
It’s cheaper to keep an old customer than it is to get a new one.
The leader is the leader because he did something remarkable.
It’s safer to be risky.
(Make your service) easy to talk about and easy to demonstrate.
The way you break through to the mainstream is to target a niche instead of a huge market. With a niche, you can segment off a chunk of the mainstream, and create an idea virus so focused that it overwhelms that small slice of the market that really and truly will respond to what you sell.
Services that are worth talking about get talked about.
Your ads (and products) should cater to the customers you’d choose if you could choose your customers.
Criticism comes to those who stand out.
Being safe is risky.
Boring always leads to failure.
Make a list of ways you can catch up by being different.
Measurement means admitting what’s broken so you can fix it.
If you measure it, it will improve.
(You) have a lot to gain by changing the rules of the game.
They’re not trying to interrupt strangers; they’re selling to the converted (Pearl Jam).
Otaku is the desire to find out everything about something.
Smart businesses target markets where there’s already otaku.
Go for the edges. Sketch out where your edges are…and where your competition is.
Discover the fringes that make your competitors’ products remarkable.
Find your positioning statement.
You can’t build a fast-growing company around vanilla.
Are you obsessed or just making a living?
The number-one question about the Purple Cow is, “How do I know it’s remarkable.”
Instead of selling what we wanted to sell, we sold what people wanted us to sell, and then figured out how to make money doing it.
It’s not about being weird. It’s about being irresistible to a tiny group of easily reached sneezers** with otaku. Irresistible (for the right niche) is just remarkable.
Have you read Purple Cow? Did you act on what you learned? If so, what were the results?
** You’ll have to read Purple Cow to find out what a sneezer is (not as gross as you think).