Bay Area Research Blog: The Purple Cow has left the building
When Seth Godin first published his seminal book, neither Facebook nor Twitter was around. The idea then was to create purple cows to stand out in a sea of ordinary looking cows.
A lot has changed since then. Not only is it more difficult to make your purple cow stand out in the age of proliferating digital media channels, but all cows are purple cows now. The bar has been raised and the tools and technologies to superior products and apps means making your purple cow stand out even more difficult.
A good example in the technology world is the pace of innovation with mobile devices. The cows are all purple yet there are winners and losers.
Which phone to buy is as always a complex decision, so it’s not just the fact that the cow is purple, there are a lot of factors and influences that impact that individual consumer's decision. These factors don't just come about by accident or luck; marketers have a deliberate and intense role to play.
What role do marketers play in making their purple cow stand out in a sea of purple cows? What social conversations do they initiate? How do they interact with customers? What is the total experience do they create around their purple cow?
Assuming all cows are purple forces marketers to think better and ask better questions? They move the conversation away from product and towards experience. They forge innovation at the periphery of the product, the flanks where other purple cow marketers are not innovating. They make marketers focus as much on the buying experience as they product.
Do you agree that the purple cow era is over? Do you agree the level of marketing thinking gets elevated when marketers assume all cows are purple?
In the coming weeks, I will be interviewing some seminal thinkers in the world of brand marketing. In the meantime, please join the conversation.