Be remarkable. In a phrase, that is what you have to do in order to stand out. Master marketer and best-selling author Seth Godin says that companies that resist innovation are like brown cows—after a while, they all look the same. If you’ve seen one brown cow, you’ve seen every brown cow there is to see. You don’t notice them even when they’re standing on the side of the highway. They might as well be invisible.
But when a purple cow comes on the scene, it stands out at once. You can’t take a brown cow and paint it purple, Godin explains. Purple cows are purple from the inside out—or they might be blue from the inside out, as in the case of JetBlue Airlines, a company that meets Godin’s criteria for excellence.
What is Seth Godin trying to teach us about marketing this time? If I’ve learned anything from Godin since his 1999 Permission Marketing, it is that he doesn’t waste his readers’ valuable time. So I’ve learned to listen to what he has to say. What does he have to say in Purple Cow? It all comes down to two words: Be remarkable.
I hope you’re listening, too. “You’re either a Purple Cow or you’re not,” says Godin. “You’re either remarkable or invisible. Make your choice.” I think you have made the right choice; otherwise, you wouldn’t be taking the time to read this. You’ve taken the first step toward becoming remarkable. This report will show you how to separate yourself from the millions of invisible brown cows on the Information highway.
When you finish this this Blog Post Series, you won’t be a brown cow any more. You may discover that you’re not a purple cow either. You might be a blue cow, a red cow, or even a pink cow. But one thing is certain: You’ll know what it takes to build the kind of list that can skyrocket your Internet business. You’ll know what it takes to be remarkable.
Forget the Advertising — Innovate
It would be easy to notice a purple cow if we suddenly encountered one, of course. But how do you spot purple cows in the business world? To be a purple cow in the business world, Godin explains, “Stop advertising and start innovating.”
Consumers are immune to most of the advertising that reaches them, but they are hungrier than ever for real solutions to real problems. The secret of successful Internet marketing is to create and drive word of mouth.
When fifty-two JetBlue planes were frozen on runways in an ice storm, passengers were stuck inside the grounded planes for hours. Other airlines cancelled flights in anticipation of the winter storm, but JetBlue vowed to get customers to their destinations.
When it didn’t work out as planned, the company had a customer service nightmare to deal with. Police were called in as irate passengers argued with JetBlue employees at airport check-in counters.
At the height of this public relations disaster, David Neeleman, founder and CEO of JetBlue Airlines, posted a video message on YouTube to apologize to customers. As far as I know, this was the first time the CEO of a major corporation posted a video message on YouTube directed at customers.
In his YouTube message, Neeleman explained that steps were being taken to prevent the same thing from happening again. And he outlined a new customer protection plan with enough substance behind it to show customers that he wasn’t just blowing hot air.
Customers may not have forgotten what happened, but they seem to have forgiven JetBlue. When the situation got out of control, Neeleman didn’t do what other corporate leaders have frequently done. He didn’t call in his staff to manage the crisis. He didn’t hire a public relations expert. He did what Purple Cows do—he innovated. He created an innovative information product. And it worked.
You should get a copy of Seth’s book, Permission Marketing, over at Amazon.