If you’re a small business owner, you know that standing out from the competition is key to success.
To get noticed, you need to be a Purple Cow.
What does that mean? It means being remarkable somehow – so different and unexpected that people can’t help but take notice.
So how do you become a Purple Cow? It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
Here are a few tips to help you get started.
What is a Purple Cow?
Marketing guru Seth Godin coined the term Purple Cow in his book of the same name.
Godin argued in the book that businesses need to create goods and services worth noticing.
He explained that a product or service that isn’t somehow remarkable is unlikely to sell, regardless of how effective its advertising or marketing is.
The analogy is simple; it’s nothing remarkable when you see a field full of cows.
But spot a purple cow among that herd, and it stands out – you want to tell everyone you meet that you saw something special.
We can add a purple cow to the traditional five P’s of marketing – product, price, place, promotion and people.
The purple cow concept makes a lot of sense. After all, we are constantly bombarded with an exponentially rising number of marketing messages each day.
With limited attention spans, we need remarkable things (purple cows) to rise above this noise.
How can you make your business stand out from the rest of the pack and be seen as remarkable?
Small businesses need to differentiate from the competition to ensure success.
Better isn’t good enough, but different is.
Good places to start include customer service, branding and your online presence.
You need to master the basics first; walk before you run.
Creating a user-friendly website that reflects your brand and consistent activity on relevant social media channels are great places to start.
With ticks in these essential marketing boxes, brainstorm some ideas for doing things differently from others and standing out from the crowd.
What are some examples of businesses that have successfully become Purple Cows?
Often, the best inspiration for becoming a Purple Cow comes from how other businesses demonstrate their remarkable status.
Take BrewDog, for example.
This Scottish brewer established itself as a ‘cool’ brand by rewriting the marketing rulebook and presenting an unapologetic tone of voice.
The BrewDog brand has described itself as a “post-punk, apocalyptic motherf*cker of a craft brewery”.
Less controversial is Blendtec, marketing its blenders with the “Will it Blend?” video series on YouTube.
Blenders might not be exciting, but they become far more interesting once you start using them to blend a variety of objects, including iPhones and iPads.
Which businesses do you know that do things differently? Remarkable companies?
How can you create a culture that embraces creativity and innovation within your company?
Becoming a Purple Cow requires a different business culture.
You need to encourage radical thinking and for your team to stray from the well-trodden path of conventional marketing.
It takes boldness and bravery to experiment with marketing approaches to earn you Purple Cow status.
We’ve all got a creative spark. Harnessing that spark and turning it into a creative flame takes practice.
Expose yourself to new ideas and creativity from within and outside your business sector.
You need to exercise your ideas muscle by coming up with as many ideas as possible regularly, even if most of those new ideas never see the light of day.
Author James Altucher writes here about becoming an idea machine. Some great suggestions in that blog post.
What are some tips for marketing your business to get people’s attention and help it stand out from the competition?
If you decide to become a Purple Cow, you need a clear strategy.
Start with a deep understanding of your existing business along with your competitors.
You can’t be different from the rest if they are already doing what you plan to do!
Speak to other people about your ideas. What feels like an inspired idea to you might be challenging to present to the uninitiated.
Once you have come up with many ideas and discounted most of them, start by selecting the one point of difference that will make your business a Purple Cow.
So, what’s the takeaway for small business owners? You need to be a Purple Cow.
It won’t be easy, but it’s worth it.
The first step is deciding that you want to become a Purple Cow.
Once you make that decision, you need to develop a clear strategy and put in the hard work required.
What steps will you take today to ensure your business stands out in a crowded market?
We hope this article has given you some ideas, and we can’t wait to see the amazing things you achieve.