Catherine's Reviews > Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

Purple Cow by Seth Godin
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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 would be the perfect follow-up. And it is, but not in the way I expected. The Dip had instructions, steps to take to move forward. Purple Cow has the same direct writing approach, but the instructions were lacking. I understand why. He's saying there is no "right" way or easy answer. If there was an easy answer to success, we'd all be successful. But we know it's not just a lottery, either. You can work towards being successful. His main point, is that humans are overwhelmed with products, choices, and ads. If your company doesn't have something that stands out, you'll get lost in the middle. This is what's happened to me. I provide a great product. But I wasn't the first, I'm not the biggest, the smallest, the cheapest, the most expensive, the easiest, the most difficult, the craziest, the prettiest packaging, the most illusive, the best placement, the fastest, the slowest.....This makes me unremarkable. I'm good, but that doesn't matter. I'm not remarkable. I fall into the wasteland of Google, I'm just another photographer on a page. I can't blame people. They don't want to spend all their time researching the middle. They want someone to tell them what's best, cheapest, etc. I find myself falling into that sometimes as well, though I try to find the people in the middle, because I know what it's like. The quickest answer isn't always going to serve me best, but I admit it saves on time and frustration. And that's what people want.

What I found most helpful about this book is the examples he gives of successful companies, why they became successful, how they've stayed successful and why some of them are no longer successful. He breaks apart the product from the marketing, saying that the marketing is important, but the product is more important. This is good! Who wants to be sold crappy products with great advertising?

Bottom line, if you're in business for yourself, or if you are an influential person in your company, this is a good book to read. Though it's frustrating and isn't full of easy to-do lists, it's probably the best piece of advice I've heard. And I hate Seth for it. Hopefully one day I'll thank him instead.

Favorite Quotes:
"Are you obsessed or just making a living?"
"Let them see that every single industry is feeling the same pain you are."
"Well, if you don't have time to do it right, what makes you think you'll have time to do it over?"
"Cheap is an easy way out of the battle for the Purple Cow."
p.93 "The sad truth, though, is that it may be quite a while before the {cell phone} market generates the attention it did five years ago." This made me laugh out loud, because it was written in 2002, but the smart phone was unforeseen. Wow, if we only knew then....
"So the question you need to ask yourself is this: If only 6 percent of the most valuable brands used the now-obsolete strategy of constantly reminding us about their sort-of-ordinary product, why do you believe this strategy will work for you?"
"Will any business that targets a dying business succeed? Of course not. But...targeting a thriving niche in a slow-moving industry can work-if you're prepared to invest what it takes to be remarkable."
"No one will argue with you if you claim that Wal-Mart is the biggest, most profitable, scariest retailer on earth. So, when Wal-Mart was frantically trying to catch up with Amazon.com, what did they have plastered on a banner in their offices? "You can't out-Amazon Amazon."
"You have to go where the competition is not. The farther the better."



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Reading Progress

Started Reading
February 28, 2011 – Shelved
February 28, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Jewishbozo (new) - added it

Jewishbozo Nice...!!


Fiki Firmansyah Just give him teh goddamn star. 5stars because 4 is'nt Remarkable.


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