Monday, January 16, 2023

Review of Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin

This review was written by Eugene Kernes   

Book can be found in: 

Watch Short Review


“Cows, after you’ve seen them for a while, are boring.  They may be perfect cows, attractive cows, cows with great personalities, cows lit by beautiful light, but they’re still boring.  |  A Purple Cow, though.  Now that would be interesting.  (For a while.)” – Seth Godin, Page 3

“Most people can’t buy your product.  Either they don’t have the money, they don’t have the time, or they don’t want it.” – Seth Godin, Page 13

“The new rule is: Create remarkable products that the right people seek out.” – Seth Godin, Page 21



Marketing used to be simple.  Produce a mass product, with mass advertising, which leads to mass sales and profits.  Those products have become boring.  Products now have to become Purple Cows.  They have to become remarkable.  There might be nothing wrong with regular cows, regular business products, but they have become boring.  Purple Cows are interesting, but that interest is temporary.  Businesses need to constantly find ways to be and stay remarkable. 

Marketing the advantages of the product no longer works, for most people do not want a different product for various reasons.  They are already happy with a similar product.  They do not have the money for the different product.  They do not have time to consider the advantages of the different product.  Most people will not eagerly familiarize themselves with a different product.  Marketing now has to be combined with a remarkable product that the right people will seek out.  A product designed to target influencers, called sneezers.  Because they will spread the product or idea with an ideavirus.  Early adopters who do not spread the product are not sneezers. 



The book is comprised of mostly examples.  Not much systematic explanation of the content.  Some advice seems to be contradictory, such as claiming boring products are not remarkable, but can be.  While disapproving of boring mass produced products, but claim that they are easier to sell.  There is other empirical research indicating that the traditional advertising works.  Does not work for every product, but does work.  

Questions to Consider while Reading the Book

•What is the raison d’etre of the book?  For what purpose did the author write the book?  Why do people read this book?
•What are some limitations of the book?
•To whom would you suggest this book?
•How to design a product?
•What marketing strategies no longer work?
•What marketing strategies work?
•What are Purple Cows?
•What does it take to be a Purple Cow?
•What is wrong with boring?
•What are the implications of mass designed products?
•What are sneezers?
•Why do people not adapt to different products?
•What is an ideavirus?

Book Details
Publisher:             PORTFOLIO [Penguin Group]
Edition ISBN:      9781591843177
Pages to read:       206
Publication:          2009
1st Edition:           2002
Format:                 Hardcover

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    5
Content          2
Overall          2