15 Lessons and Quotes from The Purple Cow by Seth Godin

I’m a big fan of Seth Godin, to include his books, videos and blog. Purple Cow is definitely one of my favorite books that Seth has written. What I want to do today is share some of my favorite quotes from the book and provide my take on each quote.  These quotes are listed in no particular order.

# 1 Remarkable marketing is the art of building things worth noticing right into your product or service.

My Take: Rather than spending thousands (or millions) of dollars on advertising expenses, create something amazing that people will naturally like and want to talk about and share with others.  This is much more effective than just spending money on advertising.

# 2 Stop advertising and start innovating.

My Take: Similar to number one.  Create something amazing.  Instead of spending your entire budget on advertising, invest some in R&D and create something truly amazing that people are obsessed about.  Companies like Apple are really good at doing this.

# 3 It’s cheaper to keep an old customer than it is to get a new one.

My Take: Never forget the life-time value of a customer.  It’s so much easier to sell a new product to an existing customer than it is to go out and find a new customer.  It’s much cheaper too.

# 4 If an audience doesn’t have the money to buy what you’re selling at the price you need to sell it for, you don’t have a market.

My Take: Find people with disposable income and create products or services they want to buy at the price they are willing to pay. This is quite perhaps the easiest way to make a sale.

# 5 Just because you have someone’s email address or phone number doesn’t mean they want to hear from you.

My Take: We live in a society where people are bombarded with advertising.  Even though someone opted in to your email list, it doesn’t mean they really want to get a bunch of emails from you.  Even telemarketing isn’t as effective as it once was.  The bottom line is that you want to get people to seek you out and contact you, rather than the other way around.

# 6 Every time you buy a box of breakfast cereal, you’re seeing the power of TV at work.

My Take: Advertising on TV is still very powerful and effective, especially with certain product lines.  It’s very cost effective if you have a product or service that appeals to the masses.

# 7 The leader is the leader because he did something remarkable.

My Take: Study the big dog in any industry or niche and you will quickly see that they do things differently than everyone else in their niche.  That’s why they stand out and make it to the top.

# 8 Instead of investing in a dying product, take profits and reinvest them in building something new.

My Take: If your product line has seen better days, create something new that people want to buy.  Don’t beat a dead horse.  Rather then spend all your money on ads, go out and create something better.

# 9 The way to break through to the mainstream is to target your niche instead of a huge market.

My Take: It’s hard to compete with the big boys who have deep advertising pockets.  Find a smaller, but targeted niche and focus on them exclusively.  The right targeted list can make you wealthy.  It’s better to be a big fish in a small pond than be a small fish in an ocean.

# 10 Differentiate your customers. Find the group that is most profitable.

My Take: Not all customers are created equal!  Figure out the demographics of your best customers and then go out and try to find more people in those demographics.

# 11 The opposite of remarkable is very good.

My Take: Don’t settle for good enough.  Be amazing.  Be remarkable!  The opposite of excellent is average.  Don’t settle for average.

# 12 Find the market first and then make the remarkable product.

My Take: Most companies create a product and then try and figure out who to sell it to. That’s a big mistake.  Pick a target market first, find out what they want, and give it to them!

# 13 Launching 10 products for $10 million each is a lot smarter than investing $100 million in TV to launch just one product.

My Take: Diversify your efforts.  Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. That way if you mess up it isn’t catastrophic.

# 14 Build and use a permission asset. Once you have the ability to talk directly to your most loyal customers, it gets much easier to develop and sell amazing things. Without the filters of advertising, wholesalers, and retailers, you can create products that are far more remarkable.

My Take: The money is in the list.  Build strong relationships with your leads and customers. Focus on cultivating those relationships by communicating often.  Find out what they like and dislike about your product or service.  Find out what products they are interested in buying but don’t have access to yet.

# 15 Copy. Not from your industry, but from any other industry. Find an industry more dull than yours, discover who’s remarkable and do what they did.

My Take: This is some really great advice.  Don’t study your own competitors.  Find successful companies in many different industries and study them.   Look at what your competitors are doing and do the complete opposite.

About the Book

The book was published on November 12, 2009 by Portfolio Publishing.  It features 224 pages.  As of August 2015 it has 130 reviews on Amazon with an average 4-star rating.  It is available anywhere books are sold. The ISBN is 978-1591843177.

Buy the Book

About Seth Godin

Seth is an author, blogger and consultant.  He is one of the world’s most respected marketing experts.  He has authored more than 18 best-selling books.  His blog is one of the most popular blogs in the world.

Final Thoughts

Seth Godin is a marketing genius.  His book “Purple Cow” is a must read for any small business owner.  It’s fun, easy to read and to the point.  These were some of my favorite Seth Godin quotes from his book.  If you’ve read “Purple Cow” I would love to hear from you.  Leave a comment below to share your favorite quote.

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6 thoughts on “15 Lessons and Quotes from The Purple Cow by Seth Godin”

  1. I haven’t read “Purple Cow” but I’m familiar with Seth Godin.

    I agree with #13. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. When it comes to building a business, the best practice is to always test the waters first before investing all your money in an idea or strategy.

    Try out a bunch of ideas first and single out the winner, then do more of the things that have proven to work for you.

  2. Innovation is what this generation is after. They want to invest their money in something new and iconic, and companies like Apple have definitely been able to innovate in a way that allows them to dominate the market in their given field. Likewise, we should be trying to put something out there that captivates people and makes them want to at least find out more about us, if not spend their money with us as well.

  3. Seth Godin, always inspiring! I remember in high school English class one classmate wrote a creative writing piece on the word “remarkable”.. Was influential and a similar message – and worth remarking on. Thank you for sharing!!!

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