New era Marketing by being Purple cow
The Purple cow
Here are 3 lessons from the book:
- We live
in the third era of advertising, where marketing is mainly done
taking risks is riskier than taking risks.
- If you
want your product to succeed, focus on early adopters as your first
1: Today marketing is mainly done through word-of-mouth recommendations.
Seth walks us through the history of
advertising and says there were three distinct periods.
Before advertising was way back in ancient times, when people could
only spread the word about great deals with their mouths.
For example in ancient Rome, when
one of the vendors on the market sold particularly good fish, everyone who
bought one would of course tell all their friends and family. Likely, the next
time they’d go to the market, they’d visit that same vendor.
During advertising was the time during the 18- and 19-hundreds, when
advertising seemed to work like magic and the only limit to how much you could
sell through it was how much you were able to buy. Billboards, ads in
magazines, TV commercials, they all fall into this category.
But by now we’re in the era after
advertising. Consumers completely ignore ads now and are already
blind to banner ads online. Unless they’re looking for something specific,
for example a car, people won’t look at car ads.
In the era we are in right now,
we’ve gone back to word-of-mouth marketing, only that the word is now exchanged
online, which makes news about good and bad products spread a lot more quickly, thanks
to social media like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
2: Not taking risks is riskier than taking risks.
Because we live in a
post-advertising world and the internet is such a noisy place, you have to be
truly remarkable to stand out – like a purple cow among brown, black and white
Seth calls this remarkable marketing
and without it, your product is doomed to fail.
That’s why the riskiest thing you
and your company can do right now, is to not take any risks at all.
Following the trends and trying not
to make any noise, won’t make you stand out, it will make you invisible.
For example, Ford is a steady
company, but they’re not very innovative. They do what they know to do, again
and again, which is why their stock price has merely changed in 10 years. They’re
a boring company.
Take Porsche, and you see a company
that’s always at the edge. In 2013, Porsche took a massive risk with the
918 project (Please Google It for more details).
They built a car with hybrid
technology, which they’d never done before, the car cost eight times as much as
any of their normal models, and they limited production to 918 units.
But what they built was truly
remarkable, the car caught major attention for it’s space-style design and also set
an all time record on the Nurburgring.
The car completely sold out.
It’s your choice.
You can never take risks, and never
build something that’s so great everyone will eventually want it, or you can
work at the edge, occasionally fall, but rise all the higher in the long run.
3: If you want your product to successfully reach the masses, focus on
early adopters first.
When I hear the word early
adopters, I always have to think of Simon Sinek and his talk.
The gist of it is that you need to
communicate why you do things (Purpose) before you tell people what you
do, because that’ll help get your product into the right people’s hands.
In both Seth’s and Simon’s case,
these people are called early adopters.
Traditional marketing shoots
its advertising right at the majority of people, when a new product comes
out. The mistake with this is that the majority isn’t ready for it yet
– they want a proven product, not some new gimmick.
Instead, build your product in a way
that makes it attractive to innovators and early adopters, the tech
geeks, the people that stand in line for 24 hours to buy an iPhone, and let
them spread the word.
When you do this and make sure that
your product is easily shareable, you’ll make sure your product eventually
reaches the masses through diffusion, and they won’t turn you down at the door.
The essence of the Purple Cow is about
being remarkable. Remarkable products are worth talking about. They
get noticed. They’re exceptional, new, and interesting. Remarkable
in marketing means that the product or service remarkable. In that sense,
marketing isn’t an add on, but a part of the product cycle as well. Godin
emphasizes that if it isn’t remarkable, it’s invisible. It’s a brown or
white cow. His Purple
Cow is about three pertinent
ideas: the why, the what, and the how of being remarkable.
1. Why be remarkable
The author states, using rational argument
and case examples, that being remarkable is a necessity of marketing. His
“TV-industrial complex” system, is dying or dead. Consumers are hard to
reach and they ignore mass advertising. Godin offers multiple examples of
this (Please read book for the examples, they are worth reading). Most
notable is the, often called, most popularly know television ad ever made: “I’d
like to teach the world to sing” by Coca-Cola. Godin cites works of other
which argue that the commercial sold “not one more bottle of Coke.”
2. What is remarkable
Godin lists some products or services
which are remarkable: Starbucks, Jet Blue, Sam Adams, and others.
Remarkable is the insight to realize that there is no other choice to grow a
business or launch a product. Passion is not a requisite. Neither
is an extreme amount of creativity. Godin gives the reader an
interestingly non-marketing example of remarkable: kiteboarding. It is
one of the fastest growing sports today. “Strap a surfboard to your feet,
hold onto a huge kite, and start racing across the water at thirty miles per
hour. Unless, of course, you get dragged across the beach.” Dangerous and
new are worth talking about. Remarkable is worth talking about. It
is exceptional and worth noticing.
3. How to be remarkable
This is the core material of Purple Cow, literally and
figuratively. It is the heftiest part of the book, and is filled with
case examples and stories (Please read the book for all the examples). It
is, however, more of a listing of what not to do than what to do. Godin’s
“how’s” become increasingly abstract, but three core beliefs stand out.
- Firms must make more remarkable products and
services that the “right” people (Micro niche segment of customers) seek
out. Creating safe and ordinary products and combining them with
great marketing no longer works.
- Purple Cows focus on early adopters
of products. Brown cows focus on the masses in the middle of the
product life cycle. But the masses also ignore new products.
The majority are happy with their choices and unlikely to change.
They are stuck consumers.
- Beyond catering to the early adopters, Purple
Cows can use them to spread ideas. Godin calls them “idea viruses”
and vocal early adopters “sneezers.” They sneeze products and ideas
and their friends catch on. Ideasvirus items are occasionally the
product of accidental luck; consider the Pet Rock and Psy’s Gangnam Style
video. More likely, however, it is the result of hard work and a
focus on sneezers. In fact, Godin states “It is useless to advertise
to anyone except interested sneezers with influence.”
Purple Cow products are rare because they
are seen as risky, like kiteboarding. The real problem with them is
fear. Giant brands with large facilities and significant inertia have a
low tolerance for perceived risk. Smaller and mid sized firms have less
to lose. And, they realize they have far more to gain by playing by a
different set of marketing and conceptual rules. Godin calls them
“cheaters.” One example is Jet Blue. They “cheat” by using a low
cost business structure, underused airports, and a younger non-union
staff. This gives them an unfair advantage. His take on this is
“If Purple Cow is now
one of the Ps of marketing, it has profound implications for the enterprise. It
changes the definition of marketing. It used to be that Engineering invented,
Manufacturing built, Marketing marketed, and Sales sold. There was a clear
division of labor, and the president managed the whole shebang.” That’s clearly
not a valid strategy any longer the customer’s mind, creating Killer Brands.
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