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Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable [Hardcover]

Seth Godin
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 2003
Full of marketing ideas, this is a book about what it takes to create and sell something remarkable. It is a manifesto for marketers who want to make a big difference to their company by helping create products and services that are worth marketing in the first place.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio (May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159184021X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591840213
  • Product Dimensions: 18.3 x 13 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 553,128 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 seven books that have been bestsellers around the world and have been translated into more than fifteen languages. He's been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Fast Company and Business Week. Godin was singled out by Successful Meetings Magazine as one of twenty-one top speakers for the twenty-first century. Before Small is the New Big, The Big Moo and All Marketers Are Liars, Godin wrote Free Prize Inside!, which Forbes picked as one of its books of the year (as did Fast Company). He is also the author of Purple Cow, the bestselling marketing book of the decade, and Permission Marketing. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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First Sentence
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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
233 of 246 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Brief Essay Stretched into a Short Book 4 Jun 2004
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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A purple publication! 9 Jan 2004
Seth Godin continues to provide inspirational work. This easy to read book puts together a thesis which we should all consider if we want to grow in this information overload world. Simply speaking, his argument states to win, our products/services/individuality must be remarkable: worth making a remark about. Will you be the best, the most different, the wackiest? The parody? Each of these approaches set you aside from the 50 percentile: those companies who are "justa", average, standard. If you are remarkable, you are talked about and remembered. Tie a quality product/service with this and you can improve success. Look at Yo Sushi!, Virgin Atlantic, The Geek Squad.
I had the pleasure of hearing Seth speak at a recent conference. This book shows he practices what he speaks. A purple performer. Recommend the book to your friends. Give a copy to your Marketing department. Give a copy to your Web designers. Give a copy to everyone. Being purple is inspiring.
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57 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dissent and Debate 4 Feb 2004
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Marketing Classic 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:

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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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Smart Thinking 4 Feb 2004
How many marketing books have you read that are actually enjoyable? Not just interesting. Or merely thought provoking. Enjoyable.
Seth Godin is one of the smartest marketing thinkers around and one of the most influential. His previous books (Permission Marketing, Idea Virus and Big Red Fez) have all caused waves through the marketing world and they are all a good read too.
His new one, Purple Cow, is no less challenging. And no less enjoyable. Based on the premise that the standard five Ps of marketing are no longer sufficient, Godin adds a new one - Purple Cow. Basically if your product isn't remarkable - as a purple cow is - you're going to have a big problem getting consumers to notice it. Simplistic as it sounds, Godin
backs up this idea with some smart thinking and lots of great examples.
Enjoyable it may be, but this is not a comfortable read as he believes that advertising (in the way we know it now) is basically dead. But there is an exciting role left to marketers; to make a big difference to their company by helping create products and services that are worth marketing in the first place.
He says "...you must develop products, services and techniques that the market will actually seek out"
If you're interested in where marketing is going, it's a must read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent content well presented on 3 CD's
An enjoying audio presentation which I am listening to in my car. Lots of tips and keeps my attention.
Has a similar feel to 'The Tipping Point'
Published 14 days ago by Mr. S. Loofe
4.0 out of 5 stars Just read it
If you're interested in how you think, and why it might not be as smart as you think, read this.
Published 2 months ago by John
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas gift for a business acquaintance
A request from him for Christmas - not hasn't finished as yet but is thoroughly engrossed in it. Settled down Christmas afternoon with his nose in it.
Published 5 months ago by Wellington
4.0 out of 5 stars Marketing at the edges
Seth Godin simply written book hails the death of the TV advert and give real insight why companies need to look for niches and look for groups to spread their story. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Bruce Kirkwood
2.0 out of 5 stars Repetitive
I like Seth's blog and books, this one too is not bad, but very repetitive. I got a bit bored reading it. May be I am too late to read it now, hence, the boredom. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Tarek
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
I love this book. I have studied marketing for years, but this book is a real game changer. Read it before your rivals.
Published 12 months ago by John James that sonofagun
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy read
A previous reviewer has summarized the book - and I had never gotten around to reading The Purple Cow previously ... although as you can tell by this review - finally I did. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Suzanne Hazelton
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes the less than obvious... OBVIOUS
A great book, based on a simple but often overlooked principle.

In some respects, a whole book isn't necessary, but the book itself was necessary to highlight the... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Urban Chic
5.0 out of 5 stars Blue elefant
I have picked this book by recommendation of Derek Sivers - best selling author of "Anything you want".

Great core idea. Create extraordinary products. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Viktar Zaitsau
5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality - looking forward to reading it
The product arrived on time - and it's really good quality, would buy the same product from the same people again.
Published 18 months ago by Matthew Zipfel
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