A Purple Cow Practice

‘Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable’ is a 2003 book by Seth Godin. The book advocates that companies produce remarkable products and target people who are likely to spread word of mouth about the product. It reminds business people of the tried-and-true path to success: make a great product.

To make a Purple Cow practice is extremely difficult and probably only one in a thousand practices will be able to achieve this. Practice owners need to think about how they can make their services or client experience remarkable. You are only remarkable if your peers, competitors, and clients think you are remarkable. The key is to stop advertising and trying to sell to clients, and start making services that are worth talking about. Being remarkable is not easy, but if a practice can nail it, their profits and growth will also be remarkable. Even if you know your practice will never be a Purple Cow practice, the Purple Cow concept is still valuable to you. It focuses you to think about the clients, not yourself, and work out what they would think is remarkable, or at the very least, what they desire, need and value.

If a Purple Cow practice is not achievable, then being part of Sturgeon’s 10% of practices would still be a worthy goal. This would be financially rewarding of course with annual principal profits of $1m plus. If you are already achieving this, well done. If you are not, how do you get there? Firstly, you need to start with your strategy. If you currently have a stuck-in-the-middle strategy, you need to take Michael E Porter’s advice and chose one out of overall cost leadership, differentiation, and focus. Possibly ‘differentiation’, but most likely ‘focus’. Secondly, you need to be manic about adding value to clients in everything you do. Thirdly, you need to think about what you could do for clients and practice employees that would be remarkable.