What’s Your Purple Cow?

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Your purple cow

What’s Your Purple Cow?

Create the Purple Cow

First of all, if you haven’t already read Seth Godin’s book Purple Cow, get a copy and read it today. Until then, I’ll cover the important part: Seth refers to creating a purple cow for your company. You might now be wondering what a purple cow is. Something exotic? Not quite. ‘Different’ is good enough. Americans see thousands of cows every day—black cows, brown cows, spotted cows—and don’t think anything of it. However, if we saw a purple cow we would immediately stop and take notice. We would take pictures, spread it to our friends and family, share it on social media, and probably even call a few reporters to get pictures for the local paper. The following is an example of a purple cow from a business perspective:

A local restaurant offered wine with every meal. They didn’t charge by the glass or by the bottle. They merely had a note with a bottle of wine at each table that said “Please enjoy the wine with your meal. Just let your server know how many glasses of wine you’ve enjoyed and he or she will add $3.50 per glass to your ticket accordingly.” The reality is their customers may have never ordered wine with their meal. However, since it was right on the table it was easy to enjoy. They also found that most customers, once the bottle was opened, wanted to take the entire bottle home and paid for it. In addition, an average bottle of wine cost the owner $7.00. With a $3.50 per glass charge, if the customer said they’d each only had one glass of wine the entire bottle of wine was paid for by the consumer. If they said they had two glasses of wine each the owner made a great profit. And their customers told everyone about it! One of the first questions customers asked when walking in the door was, “Is it true that we can tell you how much wine we have and you’ll only charge us for what we say?”

With that in mind, what about your product or service has a purple cow effect? What makes your customers want to talk about it, share it, or sneeze it all over everyone they know?

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