For centuries, philosophers have posed the question, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” The answer is that it does, but the practical effect of the sound is negated by a lack people who can hear it. It works like this with the Purple Cow too.
The Purple Cow
In our last lesson, we talked about the Purple Cow. Godin defined the Purple Cow as a product or service that is inherently remarkable.
But remarkable is not enough. If Purple Cow was written as an equation, it would go something like this:
Create a remarkable product + Be sure that the right people find it = Marketing success
This point cannot be over-stated. A Purple Cow is necessary, but if no one sees it, no one will talk about it, and it will be as if the Purple Cow never existed.
Purple Cow Spotters
Who are the Purple Cow spotters? They are the people who are interested in remarkable products in your industry. They are small in number, but they are powerful in impact.
You don’t need to advertise to everyone. You shouldn’t even try. That was a 20th Century mass-marketing approach. Today you need to focus. As Godin explained, “At any given moment, in any given market, some people are all ears.” Talk to those people.
Those people are the early adopters who are interested in truly remarkable things. Godin calls them Sneezers. He emphasized, “IT IS USELESS TO ADVERTISE TO ANYONE (EXCEPT INTERESTED SNEEZERS WITH INFLUENCE). The sneezers will reliably lead the rest of us to products that are remarkable. Godin included his own experience to explain how it works:
When I went to buy some new tools, I did something I almost never do. I went to Sears. Why? Because almost without exception, the people I like and trust who spend a lot of time with tools told me that I couldn’t go wrong with Craftsman. Why? Not because they’re beautifully designed or easy to use. Solely because they last a long time and are guaranteed forever.
As I thought about it, I realized we all have Craftsman tools equivalents. When I recently bought a new computer, I consulted a friend who works in IT. When I was looking for a great place to take my wife to dinner, I asked a foodie. When was interested in a particular book, I asked a colleague who reads a lot in the genre. They are the Purple Cow spotters.
Here is the deal. You need a Purple Cow. But you also need Purple Cow Spotters to recognize your remarkable product and tell others about it. Waste no time advertising to the masses. Seek out the influencers—the Purple Cow Spotters. Talk to them and let them talk to others on your behalf.
What About You?
If you have a Purple Cow, are you getting it in front of Purple Cow Spotters? What is your strategy to introduce influencers to what you have to offer?