Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Are you a purple cow?

In his phenomenal book, “Purple Cow”, marketing guru Seth Godin ( has many great examples of how companies need to market themselves in today’s ever changing world. No longer can a company just purchase advertising and have their products be an overnight success. Consumers are bombarded with advertising to the point that most of it just becomes noise. The premise of his book is that you need to be REMARKABLE or you are INVISIBLE. He cleverly states that when driving through the French countryside, his family was amazed by the beauty of the scenery and all of the cool brown cows that were grazing along the side of the road. At first they could not get enough of the cows. They loved the cows. However, as their drive continued, the cows all started to look alike. They no longer even noticed the cows. One brown cow looked pretty much like the next brown cow. There was not much about a cow that could capture their attention. But, he states, if they saw a purple cow, that would be remarkable… and they would have noticed.

His book is a well written tome for business marketers, but I think that it is also an important read for individuals. The same theories that he announces to companies as important to succeed in the crowded and competitive marketplace are also true for you and me as we try to excel in our careers. What makes you better than the salesperson at your competitor? What makes your clients and prospects want to do business with you? What makes you a purple cow?

We all must strive to be remarkable in our own lives, less we will just be like everyone else. We all have seen people who have been laid off in the economic downturn the last few years. Some people bounced back and found new opportunities quickly, others languished in unemployment for far too long. I believe that those that were known to be remarkable were the first to find new jobs. (Not that others who had long periods without jobs are not remarkable, they had just not made sure that everyone knew it).

My own book, “Some Assembly Required” is a how to guide to building a professional network of contacts. It includes many examples of ways that you can stand out from the crowd and make people see you as a resource. And a resource is a valuable asset. Do your contacts see you as an important part of their own network? It has been a lot of fun to write this book, and I am excited that it will be released this summer. More information is available at

Thom Singer

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