23. Purple Cow


I’d rather see one than be one.

YOU HAVE A good story. Covered all the right topics. You’ve refined that story a dozen times. You’ve pruned it down to the proper length. You’ve practiced your delivery.

The problem is… so has everyone else.

Imagine a beautiful weekend, taking an old-fashioned Sunday drive in the countryside with two happy children in the back of the station wagon. You pass a farm, and there are some cows. You point them out, the kids get excited, but you don’t slow down. Two minutes later, you pass another farm, more cows, and the kids are quite a bit less excited. Ten minutes later, three more farms, dozens more cows, and no one bothers to notice.

If you follow all of the rules and advice in this book, your pitch still might not stand out above all the others. What you need, as defined by master marketer Seth Godin, is a “purple cow.”

Back to that Sunday drive. You’ve passed five farms, and the excitement of the cows has passed. But now imagine that on the next farm there are cows, but the cows are purple with white spots. Purple cows? That is not just worth pointing out, it is worth stopping and taking pictures! That is a story you will tell your friends and coworkers on Monday.

purple cow (sm)RULE 44:
Your presentation needs to stand out.
Be a purple cow.

That is your challenge in putting together your pitch. Be the purple cow. Be the pitch that the audience remembers the next day. The pitch that they tell their friends about. The pitch that makes you stand out above all the “noise” of those thousands of others pitches.

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you exactly how to do that. Just that your pitch needs to be unique and thus nothing I’ve seen before.

It could be adding an evocative image. A video. Animation.

It might be through an object you carry with you or one you leave behind.

Perhaps you break the rules and deliver your pitch from ask to problem, rather than from problem to ask.

Open your mind, think out of the box, and be creative.

And lastly, since this will be something unexpected and out of the ordinary, before you try it out on an investor, sales call, or recruit, test it out with a few trusted advisors. There is a fine line between a purple cow and making a fool of yourself.

Further Reading

Purple Cow by Seth Godin


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