Amid the typical scene of farm life, a purple cow stands out against its brown comrades. The lilac beast is different and exciting. You want to get a closer look - touch it, smell it (that one's risky) and maybe even snap a selfie with it.

This is the secret to successful marketing strategies, according to best-selling author Seth Godin. Marketing works to generate interest and be remembered. Run-of-the-mill tactics simply won't cut it in this endeavor. Each company must be a purple cow, able to make folks do a double take and rise ahead of competitors. We've gone back to this classic booklet to do a Wrike book review of Godin's purple marketing concepts.

Mooo-ve Over Tradition: The Innovative Concept of Purple Cow

In his 2003 book Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, Godin discusses how something normally bland can be made brilliant with a bit of innovation. However, it's not as simple as painting an animal a beautiful shade of lilac. Being new, different, and unique needs to be built into the business model. Marketers must think outside the box, so to speak, in every facet of their work.

To demonstrate this, Godin cites well-known and fast-growing companies like Krispy Kreme, Apple, and Starbucks. These businesses left behind just-OK customs for practices that are well outside the norm. Consider Starbucks' ambitious Teavana projects. According to Inc., the brewing behemoth embraced the idea of reinvention, looking for the next big trend in tea. To do this, the company also opened Teavana tea bar outlets in an effort to avoid becoming complacent with its booming success.

Just like a purple cow, the best new marketing ideas are more than exciting — they are wildly imaginative and nearly unbelievable. That's why they work so well.

Seth Godin: The Purplest Purple Cow

Perhaps no one is better suited to write Purple Cow than Seth Godin. He is, after all, an embodiment of the book's sentiments. Speaking with Forbes magazine, Godin said it's important to be the exact opposite of normal. It's easy to live in the confines of the customary, but breaking away from these restraints takes us in a positive direction.

Godin's message has proved beneficial to many entrepreneurs: in their own book reviews, many consider Purple Cow to be one of the best books on project management, product management, and marketing. Per data from Seth Godin's website, over half a million copies have already been sold.

In fact, it made the Forbes list of "books recommended by Shark Tank entrepreneurs." Specifically, Lori Cheek, founder of dating app Cheekd, cited one of many Seth Godin quotes to applaud his uncanny ability to articulate the big picture of innovation:

"You must design a product that is remarkable enough to attract the early adopters — but is flexible enough and attractive enough that those adopters will have an easy time spreading the idea."

cover of the book purple cow by seth godin - a book review

Book Review: Key Takeaways

Is being innovative a totally new idea? Absolutely not. However, just because being remarkable is not a remarkable concept doesn't mean it shouldn't be discussed. According to Inc., many companies could stand to improve their ability to be innovative.

How so? For one, Godin urges marketing folks to dump the traditional Ps of marketing: Product, Price, Promotion, Place, Packaging, Positioning and People. Instead, focus on the following:

  • Purple cow
  • Purple marketing
  • Innovation
  • Collaboration

Additionally, Godin advises marketing departments to stock their teams with "sneezers," folks who are willing and ready to spread the "Ideavirus." That is, they excitedly talk about products and services.

Finally, take risks! The only way to shake up the norm is to step out of your comfort zone and stand out from your competitors.

As one of the best-selling books in the marketing category, Purple Cow isn't meant to be deep analysis. Rather, it's a light read meant to be consumed easily and instantly inspire you to take action.

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