Photo: Mirka23 via flickr
In the past, effective marketing could sell even the most ordinary product or service.But that era is over. Now you actually have to create something that’s remarkable.
In Seth Godin’s book, “Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable
,” he describes remarkable as “something worth talking about. Worth noticing. Exceptional. New. Interesting. It’s a Purple Cow. Boring stuff is invisible. It’s a brown cow.”
According to Godin, it’s “the era of the cow” and no longer acceptable to even be “very good” since that’s an “everyday occurrence and hardly worth mentioning.”
Walmart, Neiman Marcus, Motel 6 and the Four Seasons have all experienced tremendous growth and success because they're outliers.
Godin says to 'go for the edges. Challenge yourself and your team to describe what those edges are, and then test which edge is most likely to deliver the marketing and financial results you seek.'
'In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible,' Godin says.
'If a product's future is unlikely to be remarkable -- if you can't imagine a future in which people are once again fascinated by your product -- it's time to realise that the game has changed. Instead of investing in a dying product, take profits and reinvest them in building something new.'
'Companies that are built around mass marketing develop their products accordingly. These companies round the edges, smooth out the differentiating features, and try to make products that are bland enough to work for the masses. These companies make spicy food less spicy, and they make insanely great service a little less great (and a little cheaper).'
'Differentiate your customers. Find the group that's most profitable. Find the group that's most likely to sneeze. Figure out how to develop/advertise/reward either group. Ignore the rest. Your ads (and your products!) shouldn't cater to the masses. Your ads (and products) should cater to the customers you'd choose if you could choose your customers.'
It's easier to be remarkable during an economic downturn because everyone else is too afraid to test the waters
'You don't need passion to create a Purple Cow. Nor do you need an awful lot of creativity,' Godin says. 'What you need is that insight to realise that you have no other choice but to grow your business or launch your product with Purple Cow thinking. Nothing else is going to work.'
If you've tried all outlets and it doesn't take off, then figure out a way to distribute it more cheaply
These companies chose the cheap route, and are still able to create demand for their products. Godin says being cheap is the 'lazy way out of the battle for the Purple Cow,' but can be used as a last refuge if you're out of great ideas.
'If you could build a competitor that had costs that were 30 per cent lower than yours, could you do it? If you could, why don't you?'
Palm, Yahoo!, AOL, Marriott, Marvel Comics and Maxwell House all did this: 'Each company had a breakthrough, built an empire around it, and then failed to take another risk.'
Maxwell House decided to play it safe pre-Starbucks invasion and now 'they remain stuck with not much more than they had a decade ago.'
Instead, they should've launched a new Purple Cow: 'Do it again (to the same audience), but also assume what was remarkable last time won't be so remarkable this time.'
NOW WATCH: Ideas videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.