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UC Purple Cow--CANCELED: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable [Paperback]

Seth Godin
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 28 2013
In May 2003, Seth Godin asked a simple question that turned the business world upside down: What do Starbucks, JetBlue, Apple, Dutch Boy, and Hard Candy have that other companies don’t? How did they confound critics and achieve spectacular growth, leaving behind formerly tried-and-true brands? Answer: They were purple cows.
 
Godin defines a Purple Cow as anything phenomenal, counterintuitive, exciting…remarkable. Every day, consumers ignore a lot of brown cows, but you can bet they won’t ignore a purple cow.
 
You can’t paint your product or service purple after the fact. You have to be inherently purple or no one will talk about you. Godin urges you to emulate companies that are consistently remarkable in everything they do, which drives explosive word of mouth.
 
Purple Cow launched a movement to create products and services that are worth marketing in the first place.

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From Publishers Weekly

The world is changing ever more rapidly, and the rules of marketing are no different, writes Godin, the field's reigning guru. The old ways-run-of-the-mill TV commercials, ads in the Wall Street Journal and so on-don't work like they used to, because such messages are so plentiful that consumers have tuned them out. This means you have to toss out everything you know and do something "remarkable" (the way a purple cow in a field of Guernseys would be remarkable) to have any effect at all, writes Godin (Permission Marketing; Unleashing the Ideavirus). He cites companies like HBO, Starbucks and JetBlue, all of which created new ways of doing old businesses and saw their brands sizzle as a result. Godin's style is punchy and irreverent, using short, sharp messages to drive his points home. As a result the book is fiery, but not entirely cohesive; at times it resembles a stream-of-consciousness monologue. Still, his wide-ranging advice-be outrageous, tell the truth, test the limits and never settle for just "very good"-is solid and timely.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

SETH GODIN is the author of The Icarus Deception, Tribes, Linchpin, and other international bestsellers that have changed the way business people think and act. He’s the most influuential business blogger in the world and the CEO of Squidoo.
 
Visit www.sethgodin.com

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Whats your Purple Cow Oct. 21 2013
By wayde
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Faaaantastic! Sept. 5 2013
By TyKeJa
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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  88 reviews
137 of 153 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Overrated, Generic & Forgettable March 16 2010
By Tahj - Published on Amazon.com
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!
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Do, Step 1, for ANY Business Dec 11 2012
By Chris Reich - Published on Amazon.com
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
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A "Fun" Read with No Nuts-and-bolts June 9 2011
By Scott - Published on Amazon.com
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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Big Moo for Purple Cow Sept. 8 2013
By Cynthia l Contractor - Published on Amazon.com
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." No...am 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
[...]
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Purple Cow Jan. 23 2010
By Ken Rochon Jr. "The Perfect Networker" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book was recommended to me by several marketing collegues as a must read. I became a fan of Seth's work after reading this book. He addresses being different, thinking different and marketing different are keys to standing out and being noticed. I already was a believer in this philosophy, but Seth's numerous examples, enjoyable writing style and wit made this book a wonderful read. I think this is a must have book for any marketing person or entrepreneur. Once you read it, you will get hooked as a fan of Seth's style, and message. This book encourages you to examine what you are doing or not doing to be a leader in your industry. It challenges you to think outside the box, and create extraordinary campaigns, messages and results. We don't live in a world that allows ordinary to last very long. If you want to prosper, you will need to become the purple cow!
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