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Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable--Includes new bonus chapter Hardcover – Nov 12 2009

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Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable--Includes new bonus chapter + All Marketers Are Liars: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works--and Why Authen ticity Is the Best Marketing of All + Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio; New edition (Nov. 12 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591843170
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591843177
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.9 x 18.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Seth Godin is the author of more than a dozen bestsellers that have changed the way people think about marketing, leadership, and change, including Permission MarketingPurple CowAll Marketers Are LiarsSmall is the New BigThe DipTribesLinchpin, and Poke the Box. He is also the founder and CEO of and a very popular lecturer. He writes one of the most influential business blogs in the world at

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By wayde on Oct. 21 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Easy to read as all Seth Godin's books are, not always easy to implement. So many of his other books are references to this book. a must read if you market any service, product or business. Look past when it was published and see the gems that are still relevant in 2013.
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By TyKeJa on Sept. 5 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was my first read from Mr. Godin. A great book with many ideas causing you to think about your own product or business. It really pushes you to think outside the box.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A must read book for anyone who owns a business or wants to own one.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By IB40 on July 13 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A classic.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 131 reviews
209 of 235 people found the following review helpful
Overrated, Generic & Forgettable March 16 2010
By Tahj - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I agree with the majority of the points made in the book but I didn't gain anything by reading it. I can quote books that I have read in high school school but I can't quote anything from this book. It was very generic information that isn't unique to the book. That is ironic because the PURPLE COW is centered around being uniques. This book is everything but unique or special. It drags on even though it is very short. I can summarize the entire book for you:

TV and mass media were new frontiers 50 years ago so fortunes could be made by putting a lot of money into advertising mediocre products. Today people have seen it all so they don't notice ads anymore. To be successful you need a PURPLE COW, meaning something shocking that causes people to tell their friends. Word of mouth is the BEST marketing because it is effective, economical and hard for competitors to duplicate. Most important it comes from a trusted source, your friend. THE END!
56 of 61 people found the following review helpful
Must Do, Step 1, for ANY Business Dec 11 2012
By Chris Reich - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There seem to be two camps reviewing this book. One say that is brilliant and their favorite book of all time. The other says the book is shallow and void of original ideas. Both are right...and wrong.

The main idea of the book is spot on. If your business is not unique, it will be invisible. Marketing an invisible business is tough.

To the critics who say the basic idea is simple and therefore not ground breaking, I agree. But Godin manages to clarify a simple, very important idea that most business owners overlook. There is an elegance to his clarity.

Godin writes books that have a single core idea. He writes in a conversational tone. His books are short and readable. By the way, all of Godin's books make great audio books because they are in his conversational voice.

There are two categories of business books. There are the big serious tomes about how somebody saved ABC Corporation from disaster and made billions in the process. And then there are books for the rest of us. Purple Cow is a "rest of us" book. Years after reading the book, I still struggle with developing my own purple cow. It isn't easy.

Add this to your library.

Chris Reich
Business Consultant
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
A "Fun" Read with No Nuts-and-bolts June 9 2011
By Scott - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have to admit, I like marketing books. In graduate school, my favorite classes had a marketing focus. So when I saw this book about marketing I felt a strong pull to read it. Maybe it's the fact that I live in Vermont where black and white cows are everywhere. Maybe it was the intriguing purple cow milk cartons that were around to initially promote the book. Maybe it was the purple cow on Seth Godin's website. Whatever it was, I was sold and got the book.

I would label this book as a "pop" marketing book. This book is to marketing like a mass-media self-help book is to psychology. If you are a business owner or solo entrepreneur don't look to this book to really help you build a market strategy. If you are looking for a nuts and bolts marketing book, this book is not it. David Bangs' "Market Planning Guide" is what you need.

This is a "fun" book: a book to put on your night stand and read a few pages before you go to sleep; a book to supplement what you already know; a book to reinforce your existing strategies. This would be a good book to read on a plane flight or on vacation while sitting around the pool drinking margaritas. It is cute enough to be entertaining while being wrapped in some thought-provoking concepts.

There is nothing "new" in this book. No comparative studies document the purple cow phenomenon. The examples seem only to illustrate the author's ability to come up with clever terms to apply to pre-existing concepts. For example the "sneezer" metaphor just presents as silly and distracting. I can't see anyone seriously discussing how to mobilize the "sneezers" in a business meeting with other executives.

But I could see a CEO asking people on the executive team read it before they go on the next company retreat. It might provide a good entrance to brain-storming before doing the next year's marketing plan.

Overall, this is a good read - a quick read - an easy read. I would recommend it to any individual responsible for marketing a concept or product -- or even trying to get the edge on their competition. The purple cow concept stuck with me weeks after reading the text -- probably because of a great introductory story. I like the purple cow.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A Big Moo for Purple Cow Sept. 8 2013
By kriyayogagirl - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Being a new small business owner with little to no marketing experience I surfed the internet in hopes of finding anything of value that could make a difference for my newly blossoming skin care business. Was delighted to come across this purple gem of a book, purple Cow by Seth Godin. I began reading it and did not put it down until it was finished, each page became a journey to discover a new gem to highlight with my pen.

Seth first covers how the long standing traditional marketing checklist ( the P's of marketing) is now no longer enough. This new P he states is even more important. It's the P for Purple Cow. What could be more remarkable than a purple cow? And being and finding a way to have your business be remarkable is what this book is all about. Seth's style of writing was informative while entertaining, it held my interest without being boring and full of statistics.

What I most enjoyed about the book was that it didn't say 1+1=2 (or otherwise lay out a specific strategy), but more importantly got me to really start thinking creatively, to really start thinking out of the box. A most poignant section of the book for me was "In Search of Otaku." As Seth states, "Otaku, it turns out, is at the heart of the purple Cow phenomenon." not gonna spoil the surprise and explain Otaku....much better for you to discover this magical Japanese concept yourself.

Also very helpful are the numerous actual case studies of businesses who have in their own way found a Purple Cow. To me it was like experiencing one idea after another of what really works in the world of marketing and what made each business find its own remarkableness. I highly recommend this book for anyone new to marketing and are looking for new and creative ways to approach this most important aspect of your business. I got the newer edition with the bonus section...more great gems!

Purple Cow concept....perfect name, perfect vision! Have I found my purple cow yet for Divine Glo Natural Skin Care....still chewing the cudd on that one, but not a day goes by without the phrase "Purple Cow" popping up somewhere in my mind. Now that's effective marketing!!!

Cynthia Gilbert
Owner of Divine Glo Natural Skin Care
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Pleasantly written, concise but lacking substance Sept. 4 2014
By Gerard Cunningham - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Seth Godin has a gift for branding the ideas he wants to convey in pithy, memorable terms, the phrase 'Purple Cow' being a prime example.

A Purple Cow would be a remarkable thing. Hence Seth's invocation to marketers and innovators: build the 'remarkable' into your products and services and do so from product inception and design. Do not wait until the product is made to apply your marketing magic to sell the product. The reason the remarkable is necessary is that consumers are saturated with both information and products and that it is hard to attract their attention or interest. You should aim to win over a niche market with your remarkable offering first and to use the buzz generated to attract the attention of the larger market.

Seth asserts that there is not a lack of remarkable ideas, rather a lack of the will to execute them. He states that practitioners have to be brave to stick to the Purple path because conventional business practice will steer them to develop products which are careful to offend nobody but which are likely to be boring.

This is the third Seth Godin book I have read, after Lynchpin (four stars) and Poke The Box (four stars), yet, I want to give this book only three stars. Seth writes as stirringly as ever and the physical book is as remarkably well-produced as his other books. While I agree with the main theme, there is little tactical advice to help the innovator build and manage a Purple Cow process. The edition I read had a 'bonus' chapter of post hoc examples of businesses and organizations offering remarkable products and services. I felt this was just padding.

If you are looking for a more comprehensive knowledge resource for this subject area, one which is full of tactical advice, I recommend Geoffrey Moore's masterful, 'Crossing The Chasm', which is itself referenced multiple times by Seth in Purple Cow.