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The Purple Cow is a Dog!

Why the “Purple Cow” is a Dog!

Challenging Seth Godin’s Book, Purple Cow, and the power of REMARKABLE.

How a book on this topic could sell a quarter of a million copies is beyond me. First of all, claiming that there is a “6th P” and calling it “Remarkable” is ludicrous. I do believe in REMARKABLE and all it entails. However, just because you have a remarkable purple cow doesn’t mean you have a good product or good marketing.

Every good marketer knows that “REMARKABLE” starts at your marketing strategy. It is defined by solving a customer’s need and positioning you in the marketplace. Then the remarkable strategy should transcend your entire marketing mix. If it doesn’t, than you probably won’t have a lot of success.

As an example, let’s look at Seth’s own marketing of the book, “The Purple Cow” and how he used “REMARKABLE” and the 5P’s (NOT 6). You will see that he used REMARKABLE in many ways.

The Product:

The Purple Cow” is a book about the marketing mix and making it remarkable. Seth added controversy by pulling out a characteristic of good marketing and re-introducing the concept as a new element of the marketing mix, calling it the 6th P. This really isn’t a new concept, nor a new element of the marketing mix. It’s an old concept, just reintroduced in a new and controversial, if not REMARKABLE, way.

The author offered a return policy, which was REMARKABLE at the time.


The price was average price for this type of product. It was NOT remarkable.

Placement (or distribution):

He originally self published the book. This was not an unusual way to distribute the book. However, he primarily used the internet and direct sales to find customers (this was a bit remarkable at the time.)


He got written up in Fast Company, not remarkable, but not so easy either.

His packaging was quite REMARKABLE. He packaged each book in a cardboard milk carton with a purple cow print on it. The box itself attracted attention. He used the purple cow box to attract attention. People would open the box, take the book out and leave the box on their desk, thereby attracting more attention. The box created a viral marketing component. The packaging was consistent with the brand and message and remarkably attention grabbing.


How would you say the people involved were REMARKABLE? What makes Seth Godin REMARKABLE to you?

Not every aspect of the marketing mix needs to be remarkable. You just need to pick one way to be remarkable and carry it through your whole marketing mix. You’ll notice that the Purple Cow’s REMARKABLE-ness started with the strategy: Make something remarkable to prove the concept of remarkable. Seth chose the Purple Cow and then leveraged that theme and created a brand, The Purple Cow, around the premise of being remarkable.

So, while the Purple Cow is not a 6th P, I do think it is an excellent example of remarkable-ness and how to permeate remarkable-ness through your marketing mix.

If interested, you can order the redux of “The Purple Cow” on Amazon…

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