What Small Businesses Can Learn from Seth Godin’s Purple Cow

Purple CowBeing exceptional is not so easy. For many, it’s the biggest hurdle to standing out in a crowded market place.


Staying exceptional in a world where culture, society and business evolve at a pace rapidly accelerated by technological innovation is even harder.


Nonetheless it is the pursuit of being exceptional that the Purple Cow by marketer and best selling author Seth Godin (http://www.sethgodin.com/purple/) explores. The book reveals a process that has the potential to transform your business by being remarkable. Godin exposes conventional “me too” marketing techniques to prove that being “very good” simply isn’t cutting it anymore. It is crucial that business owners stop solely focusing on advertising and marketing and really start to place an emphasis on innovation. After reading Purple Cow, here are our top 10 takeaways for Small Business Owners…


  • If you come to the realization that the product you are working with is outdated and no longer remarkable, it’s time to stop what you are doing and focus on changing your situation at hand. Rather than investing your time into a failing product, take your profits and what you have learned to reinvest in a new and exciting product.


  • All people are not going to eagerly adapt to your product, so seek out customers who like change, want to embrace your product, and ultimately will spread your ideas to others.


  • Since you can’t make everyone listen to what you are trying to say, you need to figure out who is listening in order to market yourself in a way that is truly captivating and will allow customers to come to you time after time. Remember you can’t cater to everyone, so hone in on the group that will make you most profitable.


  • Playing it safe and following the rules can actually lead to failure in the long run, so it is extremely important to think outside of the box and be willing to take risks.


  • Although it is important to take risks, your risks have to have purpose and shouldn’t be outrageous for the sake of being outrageous.


  • It goes without saying that doing something is better than doing nothing. However, marketing just to keep busy can actually be more damaging than doing nothing at all.


  • Being cheap is no longer a guaranteed way of claiming that your product is remarkable. Actually, being cheap can come across as being lazy and is increasingly becoming the last refuge of product developers and marketers who are running out of exceptional ideas.




  • A tremendous amount of marketing does not guarantee that customers will buy your product and moreover does not guarantee that customers will even notice your product. Services that are worth talking about will get talked about, so make innovation an even larger priority than marketing.


  • People are more commonly ignoring advertisements and thus can’t be easily reached by mass media. This being said, it is pivotal that your product is remarkable, not just your advertising and marketing.


  • Overall, if you want growth, it’s time to stop following basic marketing conventions and start embracing an exceptional mindset to create a remarkable service or product.


What would you add? How do you make your business remarkable?


Special thanks to Matt Traina for his thoughtful analysis and writing…and of course, Seth Godin, who is a marketing master and a real thinker we can all learn from.