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How to Be the Purple Cow

July 11th, 2017   •   no comments   

by Emily D. Tisdale


The business world has become a maze of competition, with multiple companies offering services in the same niche while trying to put their best foot forward and stand out against the competition.

Many times organizations think that the best way to avoid this overlap is to extend their product lines or list of services. And while that may be a good start, the competitive edge really springs from the internal intangibles that only your business can provide.

Seth Godin coined the term “purple cow” in his book “Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable.” Simply put, the purple cow is a business that’s known for doing things differently. These companies set themselves apart in a number of ways, whether it be their customer experience, their marketing, their internal relationships, or another area.

Want to be the purple cow in your industry? Turns out, it’s just like mom said: it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Here are a few internal areas to focus on that can help your organization stand out among the crowd.

Go the Extra Mile with Your Customers

Every organization claims to have the best customer service possible, but how many really live up to that promise? Taking a page from the “purple cow” philosophy, how can your employees engage with customers in a way that’s truly exceptional?

If you think about it, many interactions with your customers can be classified as transactional moments, and how you choose to go the extra mile makes a huge difference. What would it be like if you communicated with your customers proactively, like sending out emails when a project starts or confirming appointments with 100% consistency? If something goes wrong, does your organization own up to their part and try to make it right, or does the buck get passed somewhere else?

Really living out the promise of exceptional customer interactions can lead to an incredible surge in business. Word of mouth travels fast – and so will the news that your organization truly cares about their customers.


Build Up Your Internal Relationships

It’s no secret that happy employees create happy customers. Fostering a positive company culture and building strong relationships with your employees can create amazing customer experiences that will yield impressive results within your bottom line.

With this focus on relationships within your organization, your employees will genuinely have good things to say about the organization and why they choose to work there, whether they’re at a networking event or chatting with a stranger in line at a coffee shop.

Not only does your organization’s reputation travel far and wide among your current customers, but potential customers also see what it’s like to do business with you based on your relationships with employees.


Define Your Unique Market Position

A “purple cow” is an extraordinary creature, one that often bucks the status quo while influencing future trends. As a purple cow, your organization should make an effort to own and influence your position in the marketplace.

What can you do to stand out from the herd? This may mean that you create new and innovative approaches to connecting with your employees or serving your customers. It may also mean taking the time to evaluate their needs to formulate a unique marketing strategy. Perhaps it could mean something else entirely.

Whatever your industry, you can set yourself apart from the rest by coming up with unusual and fresh ways to excel.



When it comes down to it, embracing and executing a “purple cow” mentality is all about the attitude you take toward setting your organization apart. Standing out from the pack must become part of your organizational culture.

Don’t stop at a one-time initial marketing plan that falls by the wayside after you build your client list.

Being a “purple cow” means living and breathing the mindset with each organizational decision that’s made. This focus on standing out from the crowd and finding your own solutions will go a long way toward achieving organizational success.


Next Time: The Employee Engagement Problem Even Great Managers Can’t Fix

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