Purple Cow: Will You Help Me Make Clever Marketer Remarkable?

99 Cows, Purple Cow Seth Godin Remarkable Marketing

Purple Cow drawing compliments of my 9 year old daughter. 🙂

In a world of millions of websites, billions of choices, and trillions of distractions, making your business purple cow remarkable is essential if you want to succeed.  Being very good isn’t good enough, you have to be different, remarkable, interesting. 

As small and home based business owners branding ourselves and building our businesses online, why do so many people struggle to discover their purple cow?  It’s not that easy to see from our side of the fence!  So to help you, I’ve got 99 Purple Cow ideas for you in a free eBook from Seth Godin at the end of this post to help you brainstorm, but first…

Let’s Chew the Cud for a Little While About the Purple Cow Principle and How it Affects Your Business!

Seth Godin told a story in his book, Purple Cow, Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, about driving through the French countryside with his family and being, “enchanted by the hundreds of storybook cows grazing on picturesque pastures right next to the highway…” But after a while the cows looked all the same and were boring.  “…A purple cow, though.  Now that would be interesting. (For a while.)”  He goes on to state that the book is about transforming your business by being remarkable.

I can relate, exactly to what he’s talking about!  I live in the Midwest on the state line between Illinois and Wisconsin. I travel through farmland to reach any major town with fun places to shop, bookstores, or entertainment. Cows were only interesting when my kids were learning their animal sounds and we’d all moo as we drove by a dairy farm. 

They are very uninteresting, and even frustrating at times, like when my husband while driving home in a snowstorm came over a hill and drove into a herd of cows that had gotten loose.  His Subaru is now affectionately called “The Subarmoo” in our family.

Although there is one remarkable exception to the boring cows in our area.  When we’re driving North in Wisconsin on Interstate 90/94 past the ABS Bullboard (a billboard for a company that breeds cows).  We always look for it, waiting to see what funny slogan they are advertising.   I’ve not seen it in a while, but a couple of their slogans I could find online were: “Call the Navy – Our Bulls Make Great Semen.” and, “At ABS, a little bull goes a long way.”

This also reminds me of a funny, but personal story that has nothing to do with this post, except for sharing a little of my past with you, so you can know me better.  In our small town it was tradition when our team made a touch-down for everyone in the stands to ring the bells and moo.  My name before I was married was Heather Marshall, and after ringing the cow bells and mooing at a high school football game, one of my friends and my boyfriend nick-named me Heifer Mooshal.  Which I had to admit was very funny and rather clever, seeing is that I was a young girl who hadn’t had a baby, but still ticked me off as you can probably imagine.  We didn’t date for long after that. LOL

The moral of the story is that our marketing can be remarkably attractive like the ABS Bullboard or a turn off to our customers like my high school boyfriend.  

Let’s get back to our purple cows…

So is Your Marketing Message Purple Cow Remarkable or Does It Go In One Ear and Out the Udder? 

The answer depends on if you are giving your audience what it most desperately wants.

In a post last week, I shared a video from Gary Vaynerchuck talking about the Thank You Economy and how we can build customer loyalty by being remarkable in the way we thank our customers. In another post last week I talked about our hedgehog concept, based on the book Good to Great by Jim Collins, sharing that we need to find a way to combine our passions, the thing we can be the best in the world at, and how we make money in order to succeed in our business.

What these two posts have in common is that they are about beign remarkable. Standing heads and shoulders above our competition in the eyes of our customers who are thinking about one thing…themselves. 

You’ve heard the old WIIFM, “what’s in it for me?” phrase by now, if you’ve been a marketing student for any amount of time.  You’re thinking about you, I’m thinking about me, and our customers are focused on themselves. The world lives by the what’s in it for me principle and the only way to survive in business is to figure out what your customers want most deeply and give it to them.

So that brings us the point of my post! 

I’m Getting My Dairy-air Out There to Beef-up My Marketing Message!

Will you help me make Clever Marketer purple cow remarkable?

I’m working on some new marketing materials for Clever Marketer as well as a training program for small and home based business owners and I want to make sure it covers all the bases for my ideal customers.

So here are a few questions that I’d love you to answer.  I’ll be offering a free 15 minute coaching session to anyone who responds and chooses to leave their email by Friday, June 10th. (You can remain anonomyous if you prefer.)

Your Free Gift 99 Cows eBook & A Video:

Here’s the free gift I told you about at the beginning of the post and a video of Seth Godin talking about being remarkable in your business if you haven’t seen it yet. 🙂  Free Seth Godin eBook 99 Cows pdf 

I hope the cow puns weren’t too cheesy and that you had fun today.  Please help me by participating in the survey or in the comments below and please help me spread the word to others in social media who would enjoy this purple cow post.

♥ Heather

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  1. I always have great regard for your marketing program.We all here are service providers and working only for the satisfaction of our customer.When we get more satisfied customers, our brand travels the journey of viral marketing.

  2. Fresian-tastic. Walk under a cow and give yourself a pat on the back. Enough?
    Seriously Heather, I really enjoyed your article.
    There seem to be many who subscribe to ‘80% of success is just showing up’ and few striving for ‘remarkable’.
    I look forward to seeing what you come up with and am pleased to have landed on your site.
    Cheers, Jo

  3. Hello Heather,
    Fantastic video! The Purple Cow…well put. This reminds me of another story about a pig, but I won’t go any further in case I want to blog on it! 🙂 Hands down the point is very clear here. I would much rather focus on what was said in this post than spin my wheels on dozens of marketing methods, which I have done, and get no where.

    Thanks as always!


  4. Wow, Heather! Your posts are ALWAYS so entertaining, even as they inform & encourage. I’m so impressed by that!

    Great cow-like headlines, too. My favorites were “dairy-air” and “out the udder.”

    I am not sure I am remarkable as a marketer (though, probably, many people would say I am as a person if they watched my life long enough) but I am trying and I appreciate the reminder to go above and beyond.


  5. This is so very true, and I am experiencing it from day to day…it is just not good enough to be good, one needs to be remarkable, original and unique in order to be recognized. And that is hard to be achieved in the sea of competition.
    The idea of your coaching session is also great, I salute that!
    Best wishes to you, Heather, and keep bringing us great, entertaining posts!

  6. Purple cows rock!

    This was super fun to read; great puns and cow jokes never get old! It’s all about getting them right. We also make a game over here of finding billboards and other ads with hilarious and edgy slogans. They stick in your mind, make you laugh, and most importantly they show people that the company isn’t stuffy and serious all the time, but know how to joke like you would around your friends.

    Very powerful!

  7. Hi Heather,

    how awesome is that. You are mentioning quite a few big cows, sorry dogs in your post: Gary Vaynerchuk, Seth Godin…

    The discrepancy between more choices and less time is a challenge for anybody who wants people’s attention and to be talked about.

    I agree that being remarkable is the way to go. And being remarkable is part of a creativity process. I am wondering if it’s really possibly to design it with the old methods of statistics – these aim at average people buying average products. Waht do you think ?

    I definitely second what Seth said: Nobody cares about you and your products.

    But we can make a certain portion of them care – our target market.

    Take care


  8. Hello from here too Heather, you have a wonderful blog from what I saa and I love the way you speak out your thoughts. Being different and unique is the details that will make the difference in our businesses, given that we are regularly following through our plans and sticking up to them and our work schedule.

    The world is saturated by people who say the same things in a non-interesting tone to hear. With so many websites and choices online, the least we can do is to to have an interesting kind of uniqueness in whatever we offer out there.

  9. I don’t have a problem with Purple Cow per se, it’s just what happens if everyone becomes a purple cow? Then no one stands out. I think that as long as it is aligned with doing the basics right – ie. good product, service, looking after your clients – then it can be a useful addition.

  10. Hi Heather,

    You definitely have to rise above the “Subscribe here for thousands of free targeted lead a day using Facebook” I guess if you just be yourself, that’s pretty remarkable, since noe of us are alike. Many bloggers are trying to make some money selling something, nothing remarkable or wrong about that. The way you present yourself is what can be remarkable. Have a great day, Heather!


  11. Hi Heather,

    There you go again, looking for what your readers want so that you can provide them with more value! Do you ever stop? 🙂 Thanks for the free ebook, I look forward to reading it! I enjoyed your cow puns, even though I’m having a really challenging day today – that says something. 🙂


  12. Hey Heather,

    Being an Animal Science major in college, I love the cow/bull/moo references throughout your post. Made me feel right at home. 🙂

    I believe the subject you bring up is the key to being successful online today. It is so hard to stand out from all the background noise on the Net today. It’s a key question we all must answer for ourselves.

    Thanks for the link to the ebook. I think I will print it out and read it somewhere quiet. Too much eye strain on the computer! 🙂

    I filled out your survey. I hope my answers help in your research to find YOUR Purple Cow.

    All the best,


  13. Hey Heather!

    I’m back! 🙂 I must say that the Navy Ad and bull semen cracked me up… Too bad I can’t really laugh out loud in the office! 😀 So I’ll just have to do my “ha-has” on this blog comment.

    I remember reading purple cow last year and I must say that it’s a great book – Perhaps the first book that really got me reading the rest of Seth’s collection! I even went up to New York this year to hear him speak in person! Love it!

    There have been lots of marketing systems out there that teach people how to “brand” themselves but many times, people take the easy way out – which is the way we have been programmed to be. People choose to brand the system rather than themselves. For example, the system that I’m using – People use the iframes for their Facebook page from the system, but when someone ends up on the page, they know it’s the system that their promoting.

    Despite the higher intentions of those who created the system, people have “abused” it in a way that they begin promoting the system and not themselves. Just like the “purple cow”, many people out there think they are differentiating themselves from the crowd, but instead, they are just blending in with them! To become a purple cow, one really needs to take the guts and courage to step out and to be willing to let oneself be exposed. This is when people truly recognize you as a leader and begin following you.

    Being just a normal moo doesn’t get you anywhere, in fact, it just brings about frustration and agony. However, changing your skin to a purple one could very well bring you to places you would never expect.

    I guess we are all fans of Seth Godin here! Thanks for sharing this post Heather! 🙂

    Darren Spruyt

  14. Hi Heather,

    Loved this post so much and always find Seth Godin an inspiration!

    I think you have already done remarkable things Heather but I understand your desire for greater expansion. I believe that is why we are all here.

    If we spent less time on the ‘busyness treadmill’ and more time finding out how to be remarkable I believe there’d be no need to spend so much time on that treadmill!

    The question is how do we detach from the treadmill which has become our identity?

    I believe there is only one way and that is to disengage from all the noise.

    You don’t become remarkable by swamping yourself with more but rather becoming quiet and going within so that the the inspiration can come forth.

    When we look too much at ‘what is’ we fool ourselves into thinking that we’re coming up with something unique but often it’s just the same core with a different cover.

    May many purple cows come grazing your way Heather! They are all there you just have to allow their purple hue to show! 🙂


  15. Good post Heather. Trouble is many people are stuck in the “this is how it’s done” syndrome. They keep on doing what everybody else is doing and never venture out on an original path.

    It’s essential to carve out a niche for yourself that makes you different and follow it. Sure you will have setbacks but if it’s a viable business idea you will succeed in the end.

    Once you have decided on a formula you have to stick to it. For instance frequently wonder why blogs for companies write about issues that have noting to do with their business and will not give them more customers or sales. Why don’t they write about something that could inspire people to buy their products and services?

  16. Hey Heather,

    Your 9-year old daughter draws better than me! She sure got the creativity from you ;-). I haven’t read the Purple Cow yet, and I thank you for sharing the video , the ebook (which I will print out) and the cow jokes, hehe.

    Being REMARKABLE and CLEVER, are what marketers should aim for. As you previously wrote on a post, the shift from hype-oriented marketing to being a purple cow, is nothing but great news for all clever marketers out there. It just all the more give us the opportunity to stand out. I’ll definitely read the ebook, and I know it will spark my imagination with ideas (which is perfect on a Sunday!).

    Thanks again, Heather. You are REMARKABLE!

    – Rowena

  17. Love the picture that you’re 9 year old daughter have drawn.

    You’ve made a great point about being different and unique, Heather.
    Being different and unique is the key to online success. There so many bloggers writing about same topic again and again. So it takes a lot of errors providing quality content and create a difference.

    It is good to see you’re working on a marketing course. Looking forward to it.

    And Thanks for sharing the link to Seth Godin’s ebook.

    Enjoy your rest of the weekend, heather.


  18. efforts*

  19. Hey Heather,

    All the awesome content aside, and forgetting the fact that I am a little late to the party here, I just HAD to comment because you’re punny!!

    Dairy air beef up – out the udder…
    oh they were so bad they were good!!!

    You know – it reminds me of a zoo I went to once. It only had one animal, a dog. It was a shitzoo.

    Purple Cow is a bit ambiguous though – Cud you expand on it? Hahahahah (groan)

  20. Pun and value is you, Heather. And you are unique that way; not to mention that you are one of the rare purple cows (poof! I am not saying that you are a cow, LOL).

    Well put Heather, I love that book of Seth.


  21. Hi Heather,

    In this business it is all about stand out from the crowd. It is so easy to blend in with other marketers. Everyone is doing the same thing and offering the same stuff. Thanks for writing this and the video!

    Have a great day…

  22. Heather, I absolutely loved this post! =) One thing that shone that I feel is your “purple cow” is your warmth and realness. Those qualities are not always equated with marketers. =P I loved learning more about you, your lifestyle and how you grew up through the anecdotes in your post. As a side note, I usually shy away from longer posts, but I always know that I’m going to enjoy yours! =)

    Thanks so much for reminding me about the purple cow phenomenon! I really needed to hear this. I’ve been thinking a lot about my personal and blog brand — it’s very personal right now and I want it to be more directed toward my readers. As you say, I want to seek to “be remarkable…in the eyes of our customers who thinking about…themselves.” This is exactly what I want to keep in mind as I revamp! =)

  23. Thanks for sharing the video.

    I really find it informative. I read the purple cow a few years ago and loved it.

    We all have ways we can be remarkable. Being ourselves can also be remarkable because no one is like us.

    What story do we have to tell, what experience do we want to share? We all have ways we can be remarkable.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  24. Hey Heather,

    That picture is cute. Makes me remember my drawings when I was younger.

    Been different and unique is the way to go, Heather.

    Talking of being unique, I am on Marcus’ list and he sent out an email today and I was just blown away. I mean, the way he designed it in the trafficwave office was just brilliant.

    That’s the way to go. Too many people doing the same thing online and it is the person who takes time to stand out that makes the kill everyone is talking about.

    Thanks Heather. Love Seth too!

  25. Hi heather,

    I found the theory of purple cow when I was in the advertising agency. A marketing person in the agency told me about the theory. A product must be interesting, and different from others. And then I know that it will attract the consumers to buy it. we have to have outstanding ideas. And it needs a courage to make the outstanding products.
    Thanks for sharing it.

  26. Hi, really enjoyed your “purple cow” marketing article. Your daughter’s drawing is excellent…

  27. “I have downloaded the Purple Cow ideas ebook. You have explained The Purple Cow” really well. Thank you!

    NB. Your 9 year old daughter did a good job.

  28. Hey, Heather! I love Seth, as he is really a fresh thinker out there. His theories are creative, but extremely powerful. I always find inspiration in his work. Thanks for sharing!


  29. Hi Heather, I totally agree with the other posters that Seth Godwin is just great and funny story about the classless high school boyfriend!

  30. Hey Heather,

    Very clever post 🙂

    We definitely must stand out from the crowd in order to be successful in our business. This is true for offline and online businesses.

    And finding the answers to our target markets questions should be the first step we all take. Of course, when I started, I didn’t do that, but I have learned, in order to help someone, you must first know what they need help with.

    Seems pretty obvious right. Well, many entrepreneurs never take that step. Maybe that’s why there is such a high failure rate in our type of business.

    Thanks for sharing Heather and have a good one!


  31. Hi Heather,

    There you post a nice article again, looking for what your readers want so that you can provide them with more value! Do you ever stop? 🙂 Thanks for the free ebook, I look forward to reading it! I enjoyed your cow puns, even though I’m having a really challenging day today – that says something. 🙂


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