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The most effective way to Market: Use the “Purple Cow” Model

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The Purple Cow


You may be acquainted with the traditional “4 Ps of marketing”, famously referred to as the marketing mix as first propounded by E Jerome McCarthy in 1960. It identifies as product, price, place and promotion as the four pivotal elements in the successful marketing of any product or service.

Well, I doubt if you are acquainted with the concept of the purple cow in marketing. Sounds unusual right? This term was originally coined by Seth Godin, a marketing expert. It’s amazingly incredible that there is any such thing as a purple cow. Have you seen one?, I haven’t. Purple is an unthinkable color for a cow. White, black and brown are the common colors associated with the mammal, so what’s up with the purple cow?

Yes, the purple cow in marketing is a huge point that most marketers miss out on as companies pump amazing sums into their marketing efforts.   The usual, conventional means of promoting products and services include the T.V and radio advertisements, use of the print media (newspapers), the more modern means-internet and of course, bill boards. Seth Godin argues, and I agree totally with him, that there is a subtle means of promotion for a product and it lies completely on the product itself. I can bet on your reaction the day you see a purple cow. That’s because a purple cow will be absolutely “remarkable”. It must be outstanding and catchy and I tell you, people can’t just help it but to take adequate notice of it wherever it may be. I mean, it will become news. Now that is exactly the sense beneath the unannounced promotional idea-“purple cow”.

Products that are remarkable sell faster and better. Products that are absolutely outstanding practically stand out from the pack and are generally catchy. Why spend a lot on T.V and radio adverts when the product that is being promoted is with little or no difference from the existing ones in the market. The key word is “remarkable”. The idea of the purple cow argues correctly that the producer/manufacturer of a product or service should spend more resources on the product itself and make it absolutely remarkable, so as to effectively differentiate it from others already in existence. People (consumers) are drawn to the new, the unheard of, the unusual, the outstanding, and the remarkable. They want your product to satisfy old demands in a new, better and faster way. The products that do well in the market are not necessarily the ones that were expensively promoted through T.V and other traditional means. The best products are the ones that market themselves because of their uniqueness and remarkableness.

As an entrepreneur, don’t be so consumed with the marketing (promotion) of your product or service as you should be consumed with trying to make the product or service remarkable and unique. Make your product remarkable and invest less in promotion, you will be amazed with the remarkable sales you will generate. Always ask yourself-and I personally do this-“what is the purple cow in my product/service?”


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