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THE PURPLE COW: Differentiating yourself to transform your business

In this article we will talk about a topic that Seth Godin discusses in his book “La Vaca Purpura: Diferénciate para Transformar tu Negocio”, where he argues that the classic P’s (price, product, place and promotion) of marketing are insufficient to achieve the success of a brand today and differentiate yourself from your competitors.

This is why the author introduces the concept of the purple cow, which consists of turning something common into something EXTRAORDINARY.

This Purple Cow metaphor explains that if you’ve never seen a cow before, the first ones you see will catch your eye, but after a while they will all look the same. In contrast, the purple cow stands out from the rest.

We are in an era where advertising is no longer enough. You need to stand out, do different things to get the attention of your audience and differentiate yourself from your competitors. The purple cow is the differentiation of a product or service that a company offers in order to stand out from its competitors and become a leader in its industry.

Here is a practical guide that every marketer or entrepreneur should have to create a “Purple Cow” and differentiate yourself from your competitors, making it exceptional and interesting to the viewer.


#1. Find the differential value

We must find in the product or service that differential value that will awaken the consumer’s attention and make our brand stand out from the rest.


#2. Generate things your audience wants to share

Create content, ads, products and actions that your audience wants to share and become transmitters. These ideaviruses (as Godin calls them) are ideas that spread very quickly and effectively in the short term. The ultimate goal is to get your audience to spread it without asking them to.

#3. Segment your audience

We can classify consumers into five types: the innovators who are willing to experiment and try everything; the early adopters who are willing to be among the first to try new products based on the advantages they will provide; the early and late majorities who purchase products when others are already using them; and the laggards who do not like to adopt new products and who hold off until absolutely necessary.


Traditional marketing promotes attacking the largest segment first, however, Godin points out that this is a mistake since it is now possible to segment audiences and select those who will try the products and talk to third parties about their experience with them, they are the “sneezers”.

We must find the segment that is most profitable, create advertising for them and when they become customers, think of a way to reward them.


#4. Find a niche market

When you find a niche market that no one else is serving, you will discover a gold mine.

You don’t have to make something that everyone will like, but rather focus on making sure that whatever you do will appeal to your chosen market segment. Once the original niche is mastered, it will migrate to the other masses.


#5. The cow’s problem: fear

No doubt being extraordinary and doing things differently is risky, but these risks are safer than avoiding them altogether.

Traditional marketing is lagging behind and companies that don’t embrace change are the ones that will actually be at risk.

How much have you not stopped doing because you are afraid? Don’t be afraid to innovate!


#6. Evaluate everything

And of course, it is very important to always measure the effect of everything you do to improve. If we evaluate our actions, we can anticipate failures or correct them in time.


#7. Explore the limits

Experiment with being the lowest or highest priced, slowest, most popular, easiest, most efficient, most hated, new, imitator, etc.


#8. The cow cycle: an ongoing quest

Once you’ve shocked your audience with the purple cow, get permission to alert them to the next one. You can even generate variants of it to “milk the cow” and get as much juice out of it as possible.

You must be aware of what no one else is doing or is failing to do. Research companies, market niches, competitors’ actions. Find the weak spots in the market where you can stand out and launch a new purple cow to differentiate yourself from your competitors.

Remember that what was extraordinary once doesn’t have to be extraordinary now.


#9. Always speak the truth

There is no worse thing than being promised something in an advertisement and then it is not fulfilled. Those exaggerated virtues or false promises will lead you far away from success.

Always speak the truth and you will win more customers.

Differentiate yourself from your competitors

There are millions of brands that do things right, so doing things right is no longer enough. To get the purple cow you must do EXTRAORDINARY things.

It is important that when creating a purple cow you don’t lose focus. It’s not about being seen, it’s about being useful. The more useful, the more valuable, meaningful and surprising you become.

Now, if more purple cows start to appear, don’t get discouraged, work harder to keep innovating and be the leader in your industry.

And you… Do you already have your purple cow?

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