Purple Cow – where’s the beef ?

I spent a few minutes yesterday reading some of the blog posts from Byron Sharp (the author of the MUST read “How Brands Grow”) and came across this post, which I share with the following comments:

1. 84% of everything is mediocre or worse (i.e. <= +1 std deviation from the mean).
2. Therefore it's unlikely that everything I read about "incredible" teams, "awesome" products etc. is true.
3. We are not very precise in our use of the English language.

Marketing Science

There is a small, nay large, industry that makes claims like:

“consumer behaviour has changed radically”
“marketing doesn’t work anymore”

And yet then presents nothing more than a repackaging of the orthodoxy.

For example, Seth Godin’s “Purple Cow” says that marketing is “broken”, that advertising could once turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse but has lost its effectiveness due to clutter and ad avoidance. This is spite of research that shows advertising continues to perform as well as ever (1) (2) (3).

So says Seth, companies need to adopt his radical new marketing strategy which is…wait for it…. to produce remarkable products and market them in remarkable ways. Wow. I don’t remember my old Uni textbooks saying anything like this, they only used words like “great” not “remarkable”. What a step forward in thinking.

Seth’s a great story teller, his books are entertaining. But it is a sad…

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