When I finish reading great books I often like to share my enthusiasm here, and the latest to join the list is Purple Cow by Seth Godin. I’m a little late to the party with this – the book was originally published in 2003 – but I think the advice still stands.
So what do I like about this book?
It offers a new twist on a favourite theme of mine – the importance of having great product. Plus it was short and very easy to read.
In a single word Seth’s advice is that you make your product “remarkable”.
To expand on that a little, he believes:
- remarkable products get talked about – generating word of mouth marketing and advocacy, which is about the only way to drive sales these days
- safe incremental product innovation has become boring and won’t work – consumers are becoming immune to the effects of big ad campaigns
- being remarkable often means heading for the extremes – best quality, fastest, cheapest, most fun etc.
- or it means doing something very different
- and this all starts with product design – not in marketing (despite the fact he is a marketeer
I think all of this is particularly true for startups, for whom the number one challenge is often getting heard above the noise on a shoestring budget. That said, Seth targets his advice as much at big companies as small.
Ultimately it all starts and ends with product.