In his book, “Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable”, Seth Godin introduced a new, quite surprising marketing concept, which invalidates many things we thought we knew about marketing. Basically, the new concept focuses on “being remarkable”. This simply means to offer customers remarkable products or services, especially in terms of uniqueness and usefulness.
Although Godin never mentioned that being remarkable actually means being better than the competition, the Purple Cow concept has been studied, renewed, and changed to fit current marketing strategies. In a nutshell, your products or services must be different, special, interesting, valuable, and of high quality. Furthermore, they must address and solve specific problems; other way, they are just useless, even if they are unique.
Are You a “Purple Cow”?
No one can deny it: a purple cow is distinct enough to stand out. But the question is: Who needs a purple cow? If a product or service is different, it does not mean that someone will buy it.
Therefore, offering customers unique, remarkable products or services is not necessarily the key to business success. To achieve success, you must offer them remarkably useful products and services, worthy of mention, worthy of trial. How can you do that? Well, to begin with, you do not have to reinvent the wheel. You just have to:
Establish what is wrong in your industry sector.
What problems your prospects are facing, and how you can solve them? This should not be that difficult; just talk to your prospects and customers, read their emails, and even ask them directly what they want.
Find the best solutions to problems.
Here, we are not talking about a temporary solution you can find in one hour (this is what most businesses do), but about a solution that takes weeks or months to develop. A permanent solution that addresses and solves every single aspect of a problem will definitely attract attention.
Build the solution and offer it to your customers.
This is probably the hardest part but the most important one. Once you know what your customers want, ensure that offer them the solution they expect. Even try to exceed their expectations, try to make them feel proud that they are your customers. After you have the solution they need, facilitate their access to it and create marketing messages they can easily share across social media platforms.
Additionally, creating unique, really useful products or services is one of the few things you can do to reach certain categories of prospects, such as the ones who skip your ads. As people are getting more control over what they are watching, it is very important to have a “back-up plan” – in this case, the Purple Cow model – to attract and retain even the customers who can hardly be reached.
Considering these points, the Purple Cow concept makes a lot of sense, especially in inbound marketing. Since inbound marketing focuses on capturing people’s attention, developing unique products and delivering unparalleled services is sometimes enough to attract customers. This is because extraordinary products and outstanding services will eventually end up marketing themselves. There are so many brilliant examples across all industries, such as Apple, Microsoft, Mercedes-Benz, Chanel, and Vuitton, just to name a few. We always associate these names with the best products and services, don’t we? And this is not because of the latest marketing campaigns they have launched, but because they have been offering unique, amazing products and services for years. After all, this is what the Purple Cow concept is all about.
Implementing the Purple Cow concept is not that difficult. Here are a few takeaways:
- surprise your audience by reinventing your business model and developing new, unique, high-quality products and services periodically;
- continue to market your products and services to the prospects who are most likely to buy them;
- identify your prospects, leads, and customers in early stages, and foster your relationship with them;
- do not ignore the Seven “Ps” of marketing – product, price, promotion, place, packaging, positioning, and people – because they are still valid; what you should do is to add a new “P” from “Purple Cow” to make the most of your strategy.
Seth Godin in action on TED
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Examples from our clients
We are lucky to work with clients that are passionate about their businesses. The following have Purple Cows that can be seen within the different levels of the product and services offering.
The Holst Group go out of their way to find best in class training products.
- Turning grey and dull accounting into a meaningful tool that uses colours. Now that is remarkable.
- Here they look at just how effective Steve Jobs is. Guess what, they have a product that will help you with your presentations called Think on Your Feet.
Really Simple Systems. If you know anything about CRM, you will know that these tools are complex. This client tries very hard to make their software simple and accessible.
The StudyBed Company. A truly remarkable space saving bed and desk system.
CSC Screeding. The complicated issue of floor screeding made accessible for the domestic market.