Seth Godin’s Purple Cow: Marketing Exercises

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Purple Cow" by Seth Godin. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Are you looking for Purple Cow marketing exercises? Do you want to know how to make your own purple cow?

Below are four Purple Cow marketing exercises that will help you create your own purple cow. These are inspired by Seth Godin’s book, Purple Cow.

Complete the Purple Cow marketing exercises below to help you create a purple cow.

Purple Cow Marketing Exercises

The point of marketing is to catch people’s attention and to get them interested in your product. However, so much of marketing consists of regular old brown cows; the ads (and the products) all look the same. They’re not remarkable enough to pull people away from their busy lives and trusted products or services. That’s why you need a Purple Cow: something truly remarkable that will catch people’s interest. Use these Purple Cow marketing exercises to help.

Exercise 1: Picture a Purple Cow

Start thinking about how to make brown cows purple.

  • Take a quick look around your desk, your home, or your office. What’s one object that you see every day, something so commonplace that you don’t even notice it anymore?
  • If you were to redesign and market that thing yourself, what could you change to make it remarkable again?

Exercise 2: Who Is Your Innovator?

Identify your ideal first customer.

  • Think about the product or service you want to sell. Imagine that your new business venture is ready to go, and now it’s time to find the innovator who will spread your idea to the rest of Moore’s idea curve. Now imagine that you can advertise your new idea to any one person. Who would it be? (This doesn’t have to be a specific person, a “type” will work just as well.) 
  • What features of your product will attract his or her attention?
  • Would your product be appealing to the majority? Why or why not?

Exercise 3: Create a Cow

The first step of creating a Purple Cow is determining where the edges of possibility are.

  • Pick one aspect of business: design, marketing, pricing, etc. What would the absolute limits of possibility be for that aspect of your venture (or your dream venture, if you don’t have your own right now)? 
  • For that same business aspect, what are your main competitors doing right now? 
  • How will you set yourself apart from them?

Exercise 4: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

Brainstorm ways to become a Purple Cow.

  • Think of a positive, but unusual, change that you can make in your life today. It doesn’t have to be business related. Write your idea below. (For example, buy a book you’ve never heard of, wear a silly accessory, or take on a new project.) 
  • What do you think the immediate outcome of doing this will be? (How do you think you’ll feel? How will others respond to you?)
  • What might the long-term effects be if you stick with it?
Seth Godin’s Purple Cow: Marketing Exercises

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Seth Godin's "Purple Cow" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Purple Cow summary:

  • Why you have to be remarkable to succeed
  • How to help your business stand out
  • How to leverage a single remarkable product for all it's worth

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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