Sneezers, Idea-Viruses and Purple Cows

Today’s blog comes from our Spring Intern, Katie.
Each semester the HMA Intern does a book report. After hearing about this book from one of my professors, I knew I had to figure out what all this purple cow mania was all about.

I know what you are thinking. Is that some kind of illness or something? No, not an illness but a concept that best-selling author Seth Godin deems as necessary in order to have a “remarkable” business.
When the opportunity presented itself to read Seth Godin’s book Purple Cow, I was excited to say the least. If you have read any of his other books, such as Tribes and The Dip, you would know that his ideas and concepts are far from boring. This one was no different.
The main idea behind Purple Cow rested solely on one question- how do you stand out in your business?
By being a purple cow of course!
In a pasture, white cows and brown cows are expected- but a purple cow? Now that would turn heads; that would be remarkable. That was essentially Godin’s point. Being good is not good enough anymore.
His book lists a short set of ideas on presenting yourself to prospective clients in a more remarkable way, thus grabbing their attention and separating yourself from others in your field.
So, how does one become a purple cow? Let me tell you.
Be Unique
Sure this seems obvious- but let me point out. Making your business unique is something we all try to do but when it comes down to end, more often than not we find ourselves doing the opposite. We go with the trends, stick with what we know. The key to being a purple cow is by being unique. Mimicking what has already been done or what others are doing is not unique. Godin suggest showing personality; that will not only set you apart but will make you memorable. I suggest the same.
Create an Idea-Virus
Unlike other viruses that we all dread having, an idea-virus is something you actually want to catch. The concept behind an idea-virus is to be the one to spread the word about your products, services or whatever it may be – “because ideas that spread are more likely to succeed than those that don’t.” Being a purple cow at your business is more than just being different but it is standing behind your services, products and spreading the word about them.
This leads me to the next point.
Be a Sneezer
No, No, No… that doesn’t mean literally going around and starting to sneeze on everyone.  Instead, you should be talking (sneezing) up your business, your product and your services and figuring out who else you can talk to that will also talk up your business. Godin suggests that those people, businesses or media professionals are your sneezers and the ones that will help your business succeed.
Moral of the story, businesses are always evolving and clients are always getting looking for the next big thing. Even the most talented of businesses can have a hard time getting noticed if there is nothing remarkable about them. You and your business need to think consciously about how you can be making clients/public take notice of you.
Here at HMA, I would like to think of us as Purple Cows but we can always be better!
So what are you doing at your business to set you apart and make people take notice? Are you Purple Cow Worthy?

Written by
at Apr 12, 2012

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