Purple Cow


In marketing, having the product, pricing, promotion, positioning, publicity, packaging was enough to sell a product and gain profits. It worked in the age of TV-Industrial complex - a company makes a product, buys lot of ads, markets and sells the product and using the profit, it makes even more products and buys more ads.

We have reached the age of post-consumption consumers, where the consumer has all their needs satisfied and is out of things to buy. At this point, mass marketing doesn't work anymore and the TV-Industrial complex is now dead. The new consumer either doesn't have the time to listen to you, doesn't have the need for the product or doesn't have the money to buy it.

When you make a product which does everything for everyone, it will not work because most of the needs of the consumer is already satisfied. Every one uses an aspirin. If you create a new aspirin brand for everyone in a market which is already saturated with lot of different aspirin, you are not going to win.

Imagine seeing lot of cows. It will be interesting, engaging at first but soon it will turn boring. But what will stand-out is a purple cow. A purple cow is something remarkable.

In the olden days, marketing took a finished product, bought ads and sold it. But today, it will not work. Marketing should be builtin to the product. Marketing should be involved at all stages of the product development.

Marketing today is about building a remarkable product for a niche group and selling it. Focus on the needs of small niche group. Once you have a remarkable idea, a product, look out for the sneezers.

An ideavirus is an idea which spreads through the segments of the population at rocker speed. Customes can be seperated into innovators, early adopters, the early and late majority and the laggards. Every innovation is first adopted by early adopters, then the majority and then the laggards. Target the sneezers in the innovators and early adopters. If the early adopters are not sneezers, then the idea will not diffuse through the market. Sneezers are the people who adopt the product early, share it to others. Target the sneezers and advertise to the them. And ideas that spread win.

Think how you can be remarkable. You can be remarkable by having a great customer service, building a great product etc. Build a remarkable product unless building a boring product is itself remarkable.

What worked yesterday will not work today because it is no more remarkable. When it worked yesterday, it was an outlier, remarkable. But that remarkable factor is taken out and it will not work today.

What is remarkable? Exploring the limits. Focusing on the niche group of customers which brings you the most profit and ignoring the rest. Can you do something remarkable with your product's packaging? List out ten different ways in which you could package your product differently and go do it. Think how you can add parody in the product and it's advertisements. Go the edges. Explore the limits. What if you're the cheapest, the fastest, the slowest, the hottest, the coldest, the .. .most!

What is the opposite of being remarkable? Playing it safe - being safe is risky. Follow the leader is risky. Not exploring the limit. It is being very good - stop doing the stuff which makes you very good. Do what makes you remarkable.

Selling things cheap to beat others should be the last resort.

When the profit goes down, instead of spending more on marketing, it is better to take the profits and reinvest it to build a remarkable product.

Measure. If you can measure something, you can improve it. What you can't measure, you can't improve.

Remarkable products have ideas that are easy to spread. How can you make it more easy for the sneezers to sneeze?

Otaku is the Japanese word which means something more than a hobby but less than an obsession. Your product should be irresistable to a tiny group of easily reached sneezers with otaku. The only route to a healthy growth is a remarkable product.

Every market has a sneezer. Reach out to the sneezer. Connect with the sneezers. Your product should be easy to sneeze. This makes the idea easy to spread and ideas that are easy to spread wins.

Mimic the behavior of the successful. Could you model the behavior of the successful?

When you do not have a great product, don't do promotions to market. It's okay to do nothing, at least it does not take the remarkability from your earlier products. Do nothing when you don't have a remarkable idea because the junk which you produce will get your consumers bored.

Think about how how you can make your product remarkable. Figure out 10 different ways to change the product and to make it appeal to a slive of your audience. In TV-industrial complex, it has to work for everyone. But it doesn't work anymore. Go for tiniest possible niche market and make your product remarkable to them. Once you have the ability to directly speak to your most loyal customers (collect their contacts), it gets much easier to develop and sell amazing things.

Curad made bandages with characters printed on them and kids loved them. Otis innovated an elevator where the user enter the floor which they want to go in a panel and the panel displays the elevators to choose. Instead of modifying the behavior of the product, they changed the user behavior. Is there a way you could change the user behavior? Starbucks created a remarkable product by creating a remarkable coffee bar culture. Dutch Boy reinvented paint cans by making them easy to use.