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Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable Paperback – 27 Jan 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (27 Jan. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014101640X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141016405
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 0.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Seth Godin is the author of Tribes, The Dip, Purple Cow, All Marketers Are Liars and other international bestsellers that have changed the way business people think and act. He's the most influential business blogger in the world and consistently one of the twenty-five most widely read bloggers in the English language. He's also the founder and CEO of Squidoo.com and a very popular speaker. He lives in Westchester, New York.

Product Description

About the Author

Seth Godin is the author of four worldwide bestsellers, including Permission Marketing, Unleashing the Ideavirus and Survival is Not Enough. He is a renowned public speaker and is contributing editor at Fast Company magazine. You can find him at www.sethgodin.com.

Inside This Book

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Marketers for years have talked about the five Ps of marketing. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

244 of 259 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Jun. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Purple Cow is probably the most overrated business book published in 2003.
Let me save you money and time. Read the summary below rather than buying and reading this book:
Marketing should begin with a differentiated product or service that gets attention (like a purple cow does among a field of brown ones). Be sure that those who care deeply about that differentiation learn about your product or service (as Krispy Kreme does by providing free donuts when it opens a new store). Those who care will e-mail and tell everyone they know (the ideavirus concept Mr. Godin has written about before). Keep adding new differentiated enhancements to your product or service (pretty soon you don't find a purple cow so interesting). Start looking for totally new business models that provide a breakthrough like your first purple cow did. Don't waste your time and money on advertising. Alternatively, it's dangerous not to do this because your product or service will be lost among all of the other brown cows (undifferentiated offerings).
I congratulate Mr. Godin on his marketing skill. Turning these few old saws with a few new examples into a best seller is outstanding marketing. Otherwise, I would grade this book as a one star effort. It will only be of value to those who have never read anything about the power of business model innovation. To learn how to do successful business model innovation, you will have to look elsewhere. I was particularly disappointed that he relied on examples that are so old. Starbucks, HBO and Krispy Kreme, for instance, haven't done a business model innovation in years. Only the JetBlue example is recent. Yet the world is full of new examples he could have talked about.
Actually, the book's key metaphor is flawed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lee Woodford on 10 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
The key to successful marketing is not following someone else's step by step guide on how to be successful as everybody is doing the same. What this book does is inspire you to think about your own ideas on how you and your business can be remarkable.

People who think that you shouldn't buy this book because there is nothing new about it are wrong. They are missing the whole point of it, the book is not meant to show you what to do it in a pretty little marketing by numbers kind of way. The point is to help you use the most powerful marketing tool available to you.... your brain, your own creativity, your passion and your ability to inspire and be inspired!

I have had the book for years and I have read it a few times. What's the reason I have only written the review now.... I have just read it again and found it applies as much in 2010 as it did in 2005... possibly more so!

Saying that it won't be for everybody. You need to have an open and creative mind, have a passion about your business and want to stand out from crowd!

Lee Woodford
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Format: Paperback
There is a small, nay large, industry that makes claims like:

“consumer behaviour has changed radically”
“marketing doesn’t work anymore”

And yet then presents nothing more than a repackaging of the orthodoxy.

For example, Seth Godin’s “Purple Cow” says that marketing is “broken”, that advertising could once turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse but has lost its effectiveness due to clutter and ad avoidance. This is spite of research that shows advertising continues to perform as well as ever (1) (2) (3).

So says Seth, companies need to adopt his radical new marketing strategy which is…wait for it…. to produce remarkable products and market them in remarkable ways. Wow. I don’t remember my old Uni textbooks saying anything like this, they only used words like “great” not “remarkable”. What a step forward in thinking.

Seth’s a great story teller but it is a sad reflection on our discipline that these best sellers are so shallow.

Professor Byron Sharp. July 2011

(1) Jamhouri, O., & Winiarz, M. (2009) “The enduring influence of TV advertising and communications clout patterns in the global marketplace”, Journal of Advertising Research, 49(2), 227-235.

(2) Rubinson, J. (2009) “Empirical evidence of TV advertising effectiveness”, Journal of Advertising Research, 49(2), 220-226.

(3) Hammer, P., Riebe, E., & Kennedy, R. (2009) “How clutter affects advertising effectiveness”, Journal of Advertising Research, 49(2), 159-163.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Scott G on 10 April 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the classic book on marketing for the 21st Century. Though I can save you the cash and tell you what it's about right now:

BE REMARKABLE.
Do normal things extraordinarily well.
Don't be Good, be Great.

How you do this and outside of the ambit of this book - but it probably involves common sense and understand your customer.

If you have the cash and want to read it - by all means do. But if you're read Seth's other stuff, you've already got the idea of this.
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59 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Rory Sutherland on 4 Feb. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Purple Cow is a very tightly-written, well-paced, enjoyable and thought provoking read. While it develops the ideas introduced in the author's earlier works, Ideavirus and Permission Marketing, it is perfectly readable from scratch. And, even though I dislike Godin's unceasing rubbishing of all other approaches to marketing in defence of his own, I do recommend you read it. Let's be honest, there's so little dissent and debate about the really important questions in marketing, it's easy to forgive the few dissenters for being extremists. Working in this business is a bit like visiting Zurich; the place is so conformist, after a few days you start looking approvingly at the drug addicts and hippies - anything for a bit of variety.
Anyhow, Godin's big thesis is that, for any new product to be successful, it must be intrinsically interesting, like the purple cow of the title, and cannot rely on subsequent marketing efforts to lend it a certain false notability. Even then, for a product merely to be interesting is not enough on its own: it must gain the attention of a particular group of innovators - those who are not merely open to adopting new ideas and products but those who also go on actively to evangelise them among the rest of the population, thereby seeding them among the early majority. Because of this adoption path, Godin avers, mass advertising can actually be counterproductive, as it effectively does the word-of-mouth brigade out of a job. And the innovators in any market, who like to discover products for themselves, are instantly turned off anything that is touted indiscriminately in the mass media.
I think he is generally right on most of this.
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