The Purple Cow by Seth Godin: Book Review

In today’s post, I will share my favorite Seth Godin quotes from his best-selling book The Purple Cow. I read this book for the first time, many years ago, and have since re-read it several times. I love this book and consider it a masterpiece for any entrepreneur looking to “stand out” in the marketplace.

The Purple Cow Book Summary

“The Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable” by Seth Godin is a revolutionary marketing book that challenges traditional notions of advertising and branding. Godin introduces the concept of the “purple cow,” symbolizing something truly remarkable and unique in a market saturated with ordinary products.

He argues that in today’s crowded marketplace, being remarkable is essential for a business to succeed. Godin emphasizes that simply being good or even great is no longer sufficient; businesses need to stand out by creating remarkable products or services that capture the attention and interest of their target audience.

Through vivid examples and compelling anecdotes, Godin inspires entrepreneurs and marketers to embrace innovation, take risks, and differentiate their offerings to become the “purple cow” in their industry.

By embracing the idea of the purple cow, Godin advocates for businesses to focus on creating products or services that are so extraordinary and remarkable that they naturally attract attention and generate buzz. He encourages companies to move away from traditional marketing strategies that rely on mass advertising and instead invest in creating something totally unique and remarkable that generates word-of-mouth and viral marketing.

The book serves as a manifesto for standing out in a crowded marketplace by encouraging businesses to take risks, challenge the status quo, and continually innovate to create products or services that are truly remarkable, making them the purple cow in their industry.

Top Seth Godin Quotes from The Purple Cow

What you will find below are my favorite Seth Godin quotes from his book, The Purple Cow.

# 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, hoping people will buy your products or services.

# 2: Stop advertising and start innovating.

My Take: Create something amazing. Instead of spending your entire product budget on advertising, invest significant money in R&D to create something amazing that people are obsessed about. Companies like Apple are great 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 much easier to sell a new product to an existing or former 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. Give people what they want!

# 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 into your email list, it doesn’t mean they 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 first, 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 powerful and effective, especially with certain product lines. It’s 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 notice 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 than spend all your money on ads, go out and create something new, or 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 massive 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 will buy it. 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 could 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 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. It is available anywhere books are sold. The ISBN is 978-1591843177.

About Seth Godin

Seth Godin is a prolific author, entrepreneur, and marketing guru known for his innovative ideas in the world of business and marketing. Born in 1960, Godin has established himself as a thought leader in the industry, challenging conventional thinking and inspiring countless individuals and businesses to rethink their approach to marketing.

With a diverse background that includes founding several successful companies and serving as a renowned marketing strategist, Godin is best recognized for his insightful books, including bestsellers like “Purple Cow,” “The Dip,” and “Linchpin.”

His unique perspective on modern marketing, embracing concepts like permission marketing and the significance of standing out in a crowded marketplace, has cemented his reputation as a trailblazer in the field. Through his books, blog, and speaking engagements, Seth Godin continues to influence and shape the way people view and practice marketing, emphasizing the importance of creativity, authenticity, and innovation in achieving success.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Seth Godin is a marketing genius. His book The Purple Cow is a must read for any entrepreneur or marketer. 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 The Purple Cow I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below to share your favorite quote. Thanks for stopping by.

chuck holmes


Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional (since 2002)
Author, Blogger, & Entrepreneur

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6 thoughts on “The Purple Cow by Seth Godin: Book Review”

  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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