Purple Cow

This short and thought provoking read demonstrates the need for companies to develop innovative products, services, and techniques that consumers will seek out, and provides examples of successful marketers in today's changing economy. Seth Godin's central thesis is that for any new product to be successful, it has to stand out; in other words to be remarkable - like a purple cow in a field of white ones.

In a world where the modern consumer is assailed from all angles by incessant, in-your-face and mind numbing advertising, Godin believes advertising in the "TV-Industrial Complex" is largely futile. He suggests that companies must first gain the attention of an initial group of innovators, who by word of mouth will eventually enable one's products/services to become more accepted by the public at large through "idea diffusion".

What then is the value of this book and its approach to the law firm? First, it gives an easily readable and concise overview of the current trends in marketing and also an insight into what I consider some of the biggest curses in society today. These include the futile search for novelty for the sake of novelty, the ease with which boredom pervades most of our activities and the virtual paralysis the average consumer experiences when confronted with endless choices.

The purple cow then stands for remarkability. One has to "... develop products, services and techniques that the market [client] will actually seek out". The book does not tell us how, but after many examples the reader will find himself thinking along similar lines. For instance, how would one reply to the apparently simple question, "What aspects of my conveyancing practice stand out - all the way from the care with which a document is drawn up right down to the quality of the coffee offered to prospective clients - and would they make my clients want to return?"

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