Make your product ‘remarkable’

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.

This is consistent with the views of Mark Earls on the power of belief businesses, and Tara Hunt, both of whom I have written about before, in glowing terms.

Ultimately it all starts and ends with product.