Purple Cow Book Summary - Purple Cow Book explained in key points
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Purple Cow summary

Seth Godin

Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

4.3 (363 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

Purple Cow by Seth Godin is a marketing book that encourages businesses to embrace innovation and uniqueness.
Godin argues that in a crowded marketplace, a company must stand out with a remarkable product or service that creates word-of-mouth buzz and attracts loyal fans.

Table of Contents

    Purple Cow
    Summary of 7 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 7

    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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    What is Purple Cow about?

    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.

    Purple Cow Review

    Purple Cow (2003) by Seth Godin presents a compelling argument for why businesses must embrace innovation and stand out in the crowded marketplace. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • This book challenges conventional thinking by emphasizing the importance of being a remarkable product or service, captivating customers and differentiating from the competition.
    • Godin explores the power of word-of-mouth marketing and the potential of creating extraordinary experiences that generate buzz and attract loyal followers.
    • Through extensive real-world examples and insightful analysis, the book inspires readers to embrace creativity and take risks, offering a fresh perspective on marketing and business success.

    Best quote from Purple Cow

    The Purple Cow is not a cheap shortcut. It is, your best (perhaps only) strategy for growth.

    —Seth Godin
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    Who should read Purple Cow?

    • Entrepreneurs
    • Marketing professionals and executives who believe that they can survive by not standing out of the crowd
    • Anyone interested in why traditional advertising no longer works

    About the Author

    Seth Godin is an entrepreneur, author and marketing guru. He has created such popular websites as Yoyodyne and Squidoo, and his previous notable works include Permission Marketing and Linchpin, both also available in blinks.

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    Purple Cow FAQs 

    What is the main message of Purple Cow?

    The main message of Purple Cow is to stand out in a crowded marketplace and be remarkable.

    How long does it take to read Purple Cow?

    The reading time for Purple Cow varies, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Purple Cow a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Purple Cow is a must-read book for anyone in business or marketing. Its insights on how to create something remarkable are invaluable.

    Who is the author of Purple Cow?

    The author of Purple Cow is Seth Godin.

    What to read after Purple Cow?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Purple Cow, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • This Is Marketing by Seth Godin
    • Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
    • All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin
    • Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout
    • The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout
    • The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
    • Anything You Want by Derek Sivers
    • Influence by Robert B. Cialdini
    • How Big Things Get Done by Bent Flyvbjerg and Dan Gardner
    • The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss