Is Your Product or Site a Purple Cow?

unique-product

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What I mean by “Purple Cow”: whatever you are selling, whether for money or for collecting loyal followers – is your product or site remarkable? Does it stand out from the masses of competition?

If you are in the midst of developing your business, which means developing your product, figuring out your niche, building your site, you may want to give this video a look.  In it, Seth Godin discusses standing out (or being a Purple Cow) as well as what otaku is and how it helped others like alternative band Pearl Jam sell 96 albums in only two years and Krispy Kreme top the doughnuts chart.

According to Godin, the key is to target those otaku markets. Solve their problems or meet their demands.

So, are you catering to an otaku market? How do you reach them? Leave a comment and we can discuss it further.

 

Keep moving forward…

 

22 Responses to Is Your Product or Site a Purple Cow?

  1. Hi Louise
    Krispy Kreme doughnuts! Yummy!!
    If you are trying to make your name now, you do have to stand out from the rest. Problem is when you are starting you don’t know how to do the things you need to. Catch 22?
    Love the new theme
    Dee

  2. Hello Dee,
    It is challenging when you are starting. But if you first find that special market that is obsessed with what you have to offer, then as Seth Godin says, you’ve got Otaku. Then you cater your offer to their needs. If you do that you’ll get lots of attention, you’ll stand out. Finding your market in one of the first steps to starting a business. I’ll be posting on that soon.

    Thanks Dee for your comments
    Louise

  3. I think its very important to not only stand out, but stand out among the stand-outs. Like the cow. The more you look at that thing, the more you get it.

    That cow’s a stand out like a human would be in a job interview naked. It’s not even any use as a cow anymore – I mean – no one’s going to want to drink the milk from it – except in some voyeuristic sense because they can’t help wanting to know what colour the milk is.

    So it’s no use to a farmer. Yet if it existed, that cow would probably be worth many times more than a standard cow, for novelty value.

    Colour for thought.

    Anthony

  4. Hi Anthony!
    What you say is true. You do have to stand out among the stand-outs.That’s why you have to focus on the “otaku”.

    You talked purple cows; I’ll talk about naked candidates!

    A naked candidate for just about any position would be in trouble, or at least escorted out the building. But that same bare candidate showing up at a less reputable business, could get the job! Dress for success (or in this case don’t dress for success).

    It all depends on what your otaku wants or what your market wants. Doing that, helps you figure it out.

    Thanks Anthony. This was fun!
    BTW- Kids would love to drink purple milk.
    Louise

  5. Hi Louise,

    Great post and great video too! As a graphic designer I’ve seen all kinds of flashy websites and in the late 90′s it was all the buzz because that’s what people wanted.

    Now it’s almost 2012 and people don’t want flash anymore. They want function. I believe that proper branding and being different is one of the best ways to become that purple cow you describe.

    By creating something worth mentioning is very unique. Because of social media, we have to get our products and services “talked about” or there is no way to make it in this industry.

    Maybe a combination of the coolest graphics along with the coolest function coupled with the best information will be enough to be a purple cow.

    Thanks for sharing this with me. I’m off to be different.

    Michael

  6. Hi Michael,
    What a great point of view…straight-up from the designer.

    I’ll have to apply the combination you suggest. As you can see, I’ve been changing things up here as far as design goes.

    Anyways, you could say, Purple is the new Black

    Thanks for the comment and visit!
    To being different,
    Louise

  7. Hi Louise

    I wondered what “otaku” was before I watched the video where Seth tells us what it is.

    I agree you have to be different and stand out from the crowd or you will get nowhere.

    Nikki Stephens alias the “Purple Minxy Witch” is an example of how to stand out from the crowd. She has a purple withch on her site which is at her name .com and uses purple for a lot of her emails etc.

    See you in the forum

    Richard

  8. Hi Richard,
    Thanks for the comment and for a great example of someone standing out.
    I have also started to post the purple cow image throughout my site.

    Louise

  9. Good post Louise – funny; it’s no accident that Seth Godin is bald…

  10. Hey Russ,
    He definitely stands-out, but I will find a different way to be remarkable!

    The hair stays…

    Thanks for the visit!
    Louise

  11. Hello, Louise…

    Seth Godin is one funny guy, and his video is a great choice for making your point that to be different is to line yourself up for success…

    But, a consideration that also has relevance is how different can you be while still being “acceptable” in the internet marketing world?

    Is there not always the danger of going too far off the norm and winding up turning your audience off. Would that not be a bad thing?

    For instance… Colour Me Purple…

    “You better hope your Purple Cow doesn’t wander onto my front lawn in the middle of the night or she could wind up on somebody’s breakfast table as ‘Purple Cow Popcorn Bits and Pieces,’ or ‘Puffed Purple Cow Udders,’ or ‘Fresh Baked Purple Cow Flaps’ to give your kids that Breakfast of Champions start on their day.”

    And the early morning reparte could go something like this…

    “Good morning, Johnny. Sit up at the table and eat your Purple Cow Udder like a good little boy. And, here, pass this udder udder over to your udder brother and we’ll all have udder udders all through the day.”

    There’s nothing like Puffed Purple Cow Udders for breakfast, lunch and supper.

    On a slightly different note… I like your new blog theme. It is clean and fresh with a hint of Arm and Hammer “The Standard of Purity” brightness to it.

    Keep up the good word, and the best of luck to you.

    Bobby Earle

  12. Hello Bobby,
    Thanks for visiting my site!

    We’ve discussed this sort of thing before quite recently…and you make a very good point. Many might fear crossing the line trying to attain their purpleness or uniqueness. But I think that if as a marketer, you constantly stay in touch with your market (hopefully an otaku market), then you’ll always get it right or at least close to right. If you’re a little too purple, your market will let you know and you can tone it down by adding a little ‘white’. There is some room for trial and error. And there’s definitely lots of room for something different.

    If you take a look around, who stands out? Only those who venture beyond the norm where the crowd is…those who stay where it’s safe, stay with the crowd.

    Louise

  13. I can see ‘purple cows’ becoming fashionable :) Maybe the new sacred cow is purple.

    It’s a very good image for a marketer making an impact – you!

    Ant

  14. Hi Louise,

    I love your post. In the music niche, or any for that matter,
    Finding our uniqueness is critically important. As you pointed out in your post.

    Just going the extra mile helping someone to solve a problem means so much. You are doing an awesome job.

    Robert

  15. Robert,
    I agree, it doesn’t matter what industry you are in, to make it big, you have to bring a unique ‘voice’ to your trade or talent. That’s what made Elvis ‘the king’, JK Rowling a novelist know by all ages and Johnny Depp a top paid star.

    Thanks for the comment!
    Louise

  16. Good video.

    I think the purple cow syndrome comes from people awakening from being ruled by the mass media.

    The standard few channels of TV are no longer the giants in shaping opinions and thoughts.

    There is no one standard average any more. People are beginning to venture out and learn new things on their own, hence the “fringes” are formed.

    No matter what, if you have an interest and passion for your field, you will recognize that fringe and those core people who participate in it.

    I don’t think you can try to market a “purple cow product”, just because it is different, without being actively involved in the product yourself.

    Cheryl

  17. Hi Cheryl,

    I don’t think you can try to market a “purple cow product”, just because it is different, without being actively involved in the product yourself.

    I agree. I also think you need to be involved with your “fringe” market. Seth Godin proved that when his record/LP flopped. Although his product was a purple cow, his market didn’t want any of it.

    Thanks for the feedback!
    Louise

  18. [...] learned about otaku from watching “Is Your Business a Purple Cow?” on Louise Mandar’s [...]

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