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Notes on a Book - Purple Cow

I generally had a much better experience reading Purple Cow than reading my previous Seth Godin book, The Big Red Fez. That’s all I have in the way of a review. Once again, Godin uses a pretty abstract concept, the titular purple cow, throughout the book. I never really felt comfortable with the purple cow as, well, marketing speak for the idea of “remarkable.” Enough said on that front.

Generally I think this book would be most powerful for someone who finds himself having already launched a successful product or service. From there, what does one do to continue innovating while milking the currently successful product? Purple Cow seeks to slap Mr. Success in the face and wake him up.

One last thing: I picked this book up at the library. I think Minnesota’s library system is wonderful for someone in my situation. While I need to purchase reference books, marketing books like Purple Cow are good read-once, note-once, and return books. This particular book came from the Austin public library. I have also received books from the University of Minnesota and The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth. What a deal!

On with the brain dump:

TV industrial complex - find a large, undominated niche. Build a factory. Buy TV ads. Ads lead to sales. Sales create profits. Profits buy more ads. A virtuous cycle. This doesn’t work anymore.

Key to post-TV age - Remarkable rather than average products. Advertise to early adopters rather than to everyone.

Paradoxically targeting a niche is the best way to get to the mainstream. Overwhelming a small part of the market generates a strong response. This niche’s early adopters are more than willing to spread the idea.

Ads should cater to customers you’d choose if you could choose customers.

Go for the edges. Find the edges then test which edge will deliver financial results.

Slogans should be true and worth passing on.

Make it easy for early adopters to sell your idea.

Get permission to tell those you impressed the first time when you have something new and remarkable to share.

Design should build the product’s marketing into itself.

Remarkable often comes from passionate people making something for themselves.

In your business, or in your career, being safe is risky.

It’s not about being weird. It’s about being irresistible to a small group of rabid early adopters.