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Purple Cow

Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

By Seth Godin
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
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Purple Cow by Seth Godin

These blinks explain why traditional marketing no longer works, and why to be successful you need to build Purple Cows, remarkable products and services that stand out of the crowd. They also explain how you can reach your target market once you’ve found your own Purple Cow.

Key idea 1 of 8

Advertising is losing its power because it is so abundant.

You may have noticed that there is a tremendous change underway in the dynamics of marketing.

In the past, if you turned on the television or read a newspaper, you would probably only see a few products being advertised. This rarity made those products seem automatically trustworthy.

Today, however, countless products are being advertised in countless ways, so the consumer is overwhelmed with advertisements. This has made capturing the consumer's attention almost impossible.

This is due to the fact that people are simply too busy to recognize and focus on all the advertising around them. An illustrative anecdote of this is provided by the author: Once at a nice hotel, he asked a few people around him reading a newspaper to name two companies with full-page advertisements in the paper. No one could remember even two.

This obliviousness stems from the fact that consumers ignore marketing unless it meets their exact needs. After all, you wouldn’t really take notice of car ads unless you needed a new car.

This also means that traditional advertising in mass media is becoming less effective.

Say your company buys a television ad. A mass of people will see it, yes, but only a fraction of that mass actually wants your product. And only a fraction of those people is willing to actually pay attention to your advertisement. Finally, only a fraction of this last subset is actually willing to buy your product.

Imagine you’re launching a new brand of pain relief medication and want to advertise them. The trouble is, there’s already a multitude of pain relief brands available. This means you need to overcome three obstacles:

First, you need to find consumers who want a pain reliever. Second, from this group, you need to find those customers who aren’t happy with the current options. Finally, you need to find the people who will actually listen to what you’re saying and buy your product.

These trends make it increasingly challenging to really reach your target customers and market your products.

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