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.