This article was originally published on June 30th 2010. And Seth keeps pumping out insightful ideas on current marketing!
Because the modern consumer is overwhelmed by information, the most effective way to market is to create products and services that are remarkable and stand out – leading people to want to talk about them.
Ideas, Implications, and Questions
- It’s interesting that Seth focuses on a “holistic” view of marketing: instead of seeing marketing as something separate from the product development, what the product is and how it is marketed are intimately linked. You can’t just have a humdrum product and expect a glitzy ad campaign to sell it. “Stop advertising and start innovating.” (pg 4).
- “The post-consumption consumer is out of things to buy. We have what we need, we want very little, and we’re too busy to spend a lot of time researching something that you’ve worked hard to create for us.” (pg 3) Which is why traditional advertising, centered around spewing out as much noise around a topic as possible, isn’t working anymore. People don’t have the time to be interrupted anymore, and they don’t want to listen.
- A critical idea for smaller businesses is differentiation. Creating a marketing niche is important, especially for service providers, because it helps them avoid being lumped in with “the crowd”. This is often counter-intuitive: the way a company grows larger is by targeting a smaller segment of the market. It’s worth spending the time and energy up front to understand 1) what makes your company different and 2) how you can communicate that difference.
- Reading Purple Cow is a little schizophrenic, because you realize that there is no single way to create a remarkable product. Sometimes it’s about being faster, sometimes slower; sometimes bigger, sometimes smaller, sometimes cheaper, sometimes more expensive. If you’re looking for a blueprint for a Purple Cow, you’ll be disappointed. Seth points out that it’s about experimentation, and trying new ideas – and being OK with failing at some of those ideas. As he writes, “…if it was easy to become a rockstar everyone would do it!” (pg 49)
Should you read this book? Who should read this book?
For anyone who is responsible for marketing themselves or someone else, this is a valuable read. Seth points out why traditional marketing doesn’t work well, and how to explore new ways of creating products and marketing messages that could work in the future. It’s a great place to go find some inspiration and ideas to try in your business world.
Definitely read Purple Cow if you are:
- In marketing
- A small business owner marketing your own company
- An entrepreneur developing a new product or service