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Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  46,817 ratings  ·  1,526 reviews
The acclaimed Wall Street Journal and Business Week Bestseller.

You're either a Purple Cow or you're not. You're either remarkable or invisible. Make your choice.

What do Starbucks and JetBlue and KrispyKreme and Apple and DutchBoy and Kensington and Zespri and Hard Candy have that you don't? How do they continue to confound critics and achieve spectacular growth, leaving b
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published May 12th 2003 by Portfolio Hardcover (first published 2003)
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  46,817 ratings  ·  1,526 reviews

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Feb 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
I'm being kind with a 4 star rating. While it's a well written book, and I believe most of what Seth says to be true, I was hoping for a guidebook. Instead, he affirmed what I already knew-marketing isn't as effective as it was 10 years ago, marketing doesn't guarantee you'll get noticed, and all of the normal avenues of marketing are no longer the powerhouses. It's not even print vs. digital. It's the remarkable vs. the unremarkable.

After reading The Dip (also by Seth Godin), I thought this one
Jul 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
Now I know that making my business a purple cow is important. It's critical. My future and the future of the world depends on it. Nothing matters more. I get it.

Unfortunately, I have no idea how.

And that in a nutshell, is this book's problem. It keeps telling you "be excellent and be memorable" in so many different ways. I could have figured that out myself. Without a step-by-step plan customized to my particular situation that tells me *how* I can be excellent and unique, merely telling me to b
May 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
An unremarkable and dated book. A quick read, but I don't feel like I came away from this book with anything.

Let me summerize the book in a few sentences:


Which is all fine and dandy, but I'm not entirely sure who the hell this book is supposed to help.
Heidi The Reader
Jun 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: business, non-fiction
The world has changed. There are far more choices, but there is less and less time to sort them out." pg 13

Seth Godin, prolific author of business blogs and books, shares his insights about why a product must be remarkable to cut through the noise and get an audience's attention. He opines that this remarkable "Purple Cow" quality is the only way a business can succeed in the modern world, as the old methods of mass marketing through expensive television ads is going the way of the dodo.

Dec 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book is really a Purple Cow :) !

In a "remarkable" way, Seth sending a message that: if you don't convert your business into a Purple Cow (being Remarkable), most probably you'll not succeed.

He clarifies how the world of business have changed & how marketing of old days doesn't work anymore.

A LOT of good advices with evidence and study cases in this book.

I totally recommend it for people interested in business, sales and marketing.
Laura Noggle
~ Marketing 101 ~

Extremely basic, and mostly common sense at this point, Purple Cow was surely more essential when it was first published in 2003. Today, it's a decent reminder to stand out from the crowd, and recommended reading for anyone unfamiliar with marketing, or looking for a refresher.

I've officially drunk the Seth Godin kool-aid: this was my 7th Godin book and definitely not my last. (I liked Tribes, This Is Marketing, and The Big Moo more.) He knows his stuff, and is exceptionally ma
Foad Ansari
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
با خوندن 30 صفحه از کتاب میفهمی که قضیه چیه و بقیه کتاب تکرار مکررات و مثالها ی متنوعه
به این نتیجه رسیدم که ست گادین مرد نوشته های کوتاه و کتابهای خیلی کوچکه و اگر بخواهد کتابی را عمیق تر وطولانی تر بنویسد حوصله سر بر است
در حد 2 ستاره خوب بود
نظر یکی از خوانندگان که واقعا نظرم من هم بود

Now I know that making my business a purple cow is important. It's critical. My future and the future of the world depends on it. Nothing matters more. I get it.

Unfortunately, I have no idea how.

Aaron Maurer
Jul 16, 2013 added it
Shelves: 2013
This post started out as a book review for Seth Godin's book Purple Cow, but morphed into something much more. If you have read Purple Cow, then this post will resonate. If you have not read Purple Cow, then read this post and then go read the book.

This book is over 10 years old and yet it still speaks to me on many levels. Like all the other marketing business books I have read this summer I read the material through the lens of education. Instead of worrying about how to make money, I read the
Gisela Hausmann
Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: marketing
Seth Godin’s book “Purple Cow” is still as much fun as it was when I read it first. And with that Godin proves the his “Purple Cow” is a purple cow in itself. Marketing books are supposed to talk about campaigns, analyze data, show proven ways. Godin does the opposite. He invites the reader to go for the unknown, the things that have not been done before. The most important factors being, “don’t try to target everyone. - - The mass market is dead. - -The mass product is unremarkable. - - Nobody ...more
Alain Burrese
Dec 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really liked “Purple Cow: Transform Your Business By Being Remarkable” by Seth Godin. It's a simple book with a powerful message supported by examples. Godin is right on the money with trying to get people to change the way they think about business and marketing. That's the key to this book, it gets you to think a different way. The tried and true marketing strategies of years gone by just don't work like they once did. If you really want your business to thrive, you must discover your own Pu ...more
David Yeo
Aug 23, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Purple Cow tells how the traditional 4-Ps of marketing is lacking to move consumers in current day's media noisy market place. Marketing Guru and author, Seth Godin defines a new ' P ' that stands for 'PURPLE COW'. He coined the term PURPLE COW to mean a product or service having achieve huge differentiation, innovative and scores high on wow factor. On this point, Seth describes that the PURPLE COW will first attract the early adopters who will then take it through into the masses. He reasons t ...more
Dec 11, 2015 rated it did not like it
Godin is rambling on and on till page 30 about the same thing- how marketing doesn't work too well anymore and one might has well create a product that itself has a talking point (hence the purple cow). He literally need two pages for that, considering that 1.5 out of these 2 pages could have been short examples.

Horribly written and a true test of patience. Godin could hire a better writer to do his bidding instead. He surely lacks the purple cow-esque writing talent.
Oct 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, business
I have literally had this book on my book shelf for years, and I'm glad to finally be able to say that I read it! If you are looking for the "how" behind making a Purple Cow, you may be disappointed. This book only introduces the idea and explains the "why" behind it. Looking briefly through the reviews here, I feel the people that found the book unsatisfying were looking for a how to guide. I plan to read Free Prize Inside soon, which boasts on the cover that it will tell you "How to make a Pur ...more
Zacharia Lorenz
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I've read by Seth Godin and, I must say, I'm definitely eager to read more.

As an advocate of inbound marketing, I was thoroughly impressed by Godin's observations of the direction that marketing was heading in 2003. He knew that more and more people were demanding transparency, that they no longer listened the outbound advertising strategies that dominated marketing budgets in the second half of the twentieth century. Ten years ago, Godin's understanding was leap and bound
The Duke
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
In a field of black and white, be the purple cow. Either your business is remarkable or it dies. You need to be bold and take risks in order to stand out. Information is consumed so frequently that most people subconsciously block it out. The strategy of the purple cow preaches the need to be a leader; the need to make your innovations the marketing strategy itself; and the need to pursue the right customers (going after people who are ahead of the curb and will bring your product to the majorit ...more
Apr 08, 2017 rated it liked it
I listened to Purple Cow's audio book read by the author. While much of the content may have proven fresh in 2003, the book feels dated to read at this time and age. That is the content is true and relatable, but you may have read or heard about it a dozen times already in a more contemporary light.

The message of the book is summerized by the author as per the following:
1. Don't be boring
2. Safe is risky
3. Design rukes now
4. Very good is bad
Azita Rassi
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very interesting book, but what was more interesting to me was the fact that I was enjoying listening to a marketing book of all things. If you had told me a few years go that I’d actively seek audiobooks on marketing, I’d have thought poorly of your divination skills :-)
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
main idea is to make your product remarkable (purple cow). do not compete by features.
Micah Elliott
Jan 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
At the heart of this book is the notion of "Moore's idea diffusion curve". It's just a bell-curve that shows innovators (sneezers), early adopters, early/late majority, and laggards. The central theme of the book is that you need to target the front of that curve by appealing your "remarkable" product to them as a niche, and treat them very specially.

Contrary to the most popular review here (quite negative) calling this book an unnecessarily expanded essay, I would argue that Godin covers a lot
Dec 11, 2017 rated it liked it
I read it first 12-14 years ago. It was a blast! Unfortunately, it did not age too well. Even though key messages are still valid - the case study examples no longer reflect the world out there :)

If you fancy yourself little Seth Godin - go for All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World instead or The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit
Dil Nawaz
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“You can’t market to the masses “

You can do something unique in your niche

Here are few points i have selected from this book

If your offer isn’t remarkable then it is invisible

One hundred years of marketing thoughts are gone

Stop advertising start innovating

Before advertising there was word of mouth

After advertising we are almost back where we started

Old marketing strategy is not working

You just went from an audience of everyone to am audience of a fraction size

There are far more choices and t
Scott Haraburda
Mar 02, 2013 rated it liked it
This was an interesting book that many people I know recommended to me. It has an interesting cover, with a remarkable background of a purple and white cow design. The author states that most products today are boring, quickly forgotten by customers. What we need is a product that people remember and will talk about it. As implied by the title of this book, when you see a Purple Cow (a remarkable product or idea), you won’t forget it. That’s because products are like cows; they’re either remarka ...more
Chad Warner
Mar 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Seth Godin provides a refreshingly simple but effective alternative to traditional advertising: build marketing into your product (or service) by making it remarkable and worth talking about. You’ll stand out like a purple cow in a plain herd, and people will notice and spread the word.

Godin, a renowned marketing expert, offers straightforward, actionable advice and plenty of examples of entrepreneurs and companies, both good and bad. I highly recommend it to marketers, especially entrepreneurs
Samson Sunny
May 24, 2017 rated it liked it
The book is all about being remarkable. Old days we used TV, newspaper and magazine ads to promote the product and it helped many big products succeeded. But now promoting the product in TV will not give any profit to their company. Because customers don't care about you and they won't have to buy your product.

So the author Seth Godin says your product should be remarkable and you should target the early adopters. Because TV ads don't have a specific target they just show ads. But it won't reach
Amanda Young
Jan 07, 2013 rated it liked it
I'd probably give this 3.5 stars. Good business book, some wonderful points, and definite food for thought for any entrepreneur. Main idea: Even being a "very good" business is bad - businesses/products have to be REMARKABLE to succeed.

My main complaint is that in the author's attempt to drive key points home there were parts of the book that just felt like they were going in circles. The whole book could probably be condensed to about 5-10 solid pages (a long essay?) and have made the same amo
Jul 17, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: marketing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feyzan - The Raven Boy
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
A nicely written book with some interesting examples but nothing that we don't already know. ...more
Peep Laja
Jun 03, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: marketing people
THE marketing book out there, I think. Main message is that in order to win clients and enjoy success, you have to be extraordinary, different and most of all remarkable.
Ernesto Mendez Chiari
May 28, 2021 rated it it was ok
Outdated. Stale. Boring. No insights on customer experience management, branding, reputation or purpose and how these influence the businesses bottom line.
Yevgeniy Brikman
Feb 29, 2020 rated it liked it
This book offers a small amount of solid, valuable advice:

1. The purple cow. Imagine you're driving down the road and see a normal white/black cow. Do you stop and pay it any attention? Probably not. But what if you saw a purple cow? That would almost certainly catch your attention. At least, for a while. If all the cows for the next several hours of your drive were purple, you'd stop noticing them too. The world of marketing works the same way. If you want people to notice your product, it must
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Goodreads Librari...: Merge books 2 17 Dec 14, 2018 02:12AM  
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Seth Godin is a bestselling author, entrepreneur and agent of change.

Godin is author of ten books that have been bestsellers around the world, and he is also a renowned speaker. He was recently chosen as one of 21 Speakers for the Next Century by Successful Meetings and is consistently rated among the very best speakers by the audiences he addresses.

Seth was founder and CEO of Yoyodyne, the indust

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His Favorite Business Books: Creativity meets business acumen in the marketing guru's new release, The Icarus Deception, and in his top five recs.
25 likes · 12 comments
“If you’re remarkable, it’s likely that some people won’t
like you. That’s part of the definition of remarkable.
Nobody gets unanimous praise–ever. The best the timid
can hope for is to be unnoticed. Criticism comes to those
who stand out.”
“In your career, even more than for a brand, being safe is risky. The path to lifetime job security is to be remarkable.” 11 likes
More quotes…