top of page

Purple COW: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

In the marketing world, "Purple Cow" by Seth Godin and his other books have become a modern marketing bible. Those attached to the traditional doctrines of marketing, the Psalms of pricing, promotion, publicity, packaging, and the like that have remained unchanged for decades are now stepping on risky ground. The key to success and the ultimate goal of standing out in a crowded marketplace lies in being a 'purple cow' – a remarkable, phenomenal, and exciting presence at the core of your product or business. In this summary, we'll delve into the groundbreaking ideas presented in "Purple Cow" and how they can revolutionize your marketing approach.

This is my book summary of Purple Cow by Seth Godin My notes are informal and contain quotes from the book and my thoughts. Each book summary has a short description, top lessons from the book, chapter-by-chapter summary, and favorite quotes. Enjoy!

Top 10 Lessons from the Book

Embrace Remarkability: In a world where consumers are bombarded with choices, only those who stand out, like a purple cow in a field of brown cows, will capture attention.

Traditional Marketing is Dead: You must think beyond these traditional paradigms to be remarkable.

Differentiate or Die: Differentiation is crucial; you need to find what sets you apart and amplify it.

Safe is Risky: In today's fast-paced world, staying and playing in your comfort zone can lead to stagnation.

Creating Purple Cows: Innovate continuously and don't settle for mediocrity. Find new ways to make your product or service remarkable.

Market to Early Adopters: Focus your marketing efforts on early adopters and innovators. These are the people most likely to spread your remarkable offering.

Tell a Story: Storytelling is a powerful way to make your product memorable. Craft a compelling narrative that accompanies your product and sets it apart.

Turn Customers into Evangelists: Satisfied customers are good, but turning them into passionate advocates for your brand is even better. Word-of-mouth and customer referrals can be invaluable.

Be Open to Criticism: Accept that not everyone will appreciate your remarkable ideas, and that's okay. Negative feedback can be a valuable source of improvement.

Continual Reinvention: Being remarkable is an ongoing process. What's noteworthy today may become ordinary tomorrow. Continually reinvent and adapt to stay ahead.

Interested to read more? Click to expand chapter by chapter summary

Before, during and after

In the not-so-distant past, the TV industrial complex ruled. It bloomed on the symbiotic relationship between consumer demand, TV advertising, and the growth of companies fueled by ever-increasing marketing budgets. However, we've reached a point where consumers have what they need, desire very little, and need more time to research products or services.

Marketing departments used to take almost-finished products or services and spend money to communicate their benefits to a broad audience. But this approach no longer works. We've entered an era where we can't market directly to the masses. In a world where most products remain invisible, it's no surprise that marketing has undergone a shift.

Long before the age of advertising, word-of-mouth was the driving force behind products and services that could genuinely solve a problem. As prosperity increased, consumer desires seemed boundless, and the advent of television and mass media led to a magic formula: advertise directly to consumers, team up with the right agency and bank, and you could grow a company to unprecedented heights.

Fast forward, and we've almost come full circle. Now, instead of products slowly gaining popularity through word of mouth, the power of our modern networks allows remarkable ideas to spread like wildfire through different population segments.

This is where the concept of being a Purple Cow comes into play. Instead of relying on traditional TV and mass media, it's time to stop advertising and innovate.

Case Study "Poilâne"


These are just a few examples that showcase the remarkable and the extraordinary, proving that the spirit of the Purple Cow can be found around the globe, inspiring innovation and excellence in all corners of the world. Now curious to hear from you. What are the purple cows you appreciate in your country?

Favorite quotes from the book:

Seth Godin “Tiffany’s blue box is a slogan without words. It stands for elegance and packaging and quality and “price is no object.”
Seth Godin "We run our schools like factories. We line kids up in straight rows, put them in batches (called grades), and work very hard to make sure there are no defective parts. Nobody standing out, falling behind, running ahead, making a ruckus. Playing it safe. Following the rules. Those seem like the best ways to avoid failure."
David Packard "Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department."

67 views2 comments


Oct 15, 2023

These summaries are very easy to follow and remember, thank you so much! They provide value especially to get a great insider look to many books all at once with your trustworthy selection. Congratulations Ivana!

Replying to

Thank you for your kind words! I'm glad you find the summaries helpful. If you have any specific book requests or suggestions, feel free to share. Happy reading!

bottom of page