Tip 28: Be a purple cow

Me-too is lame. And you are too unique to be just a carbon copy of other options that are available to meet your customers’ needs. The more differentiated you are, the more you are able to endear your business to the customers who are likely to appreciate your kind of awesomeness.

Marketing guru Seth Godin refers to this as the purple cow. It’s all about standing out in a way that people notice. Customers are much more likely to be delighted by a purple cow (because hey, you just don’t see those every day), than by another plain old black and white one.


  1. Virgin Atlantic is an airline that takes being different to a whole new level. I’ve flown with them multiple times to and from London in their Upper Class seats. From the fabulous red uniforms of the flight attendants, the cartoon safety video, to the sleep suits they passed out for passengers to change into for the long flight, I have yet to come across another airline quite as unique as Virgin Atlantic.
  2. I showed up a while back at my friend Fimo Mitchell’s book launch, and was presently surprised when the book reading was turned into the theatre. Instead of just reading passages of his story like at other book readings, he had actors perform several scenes to bring the story to life. It was brilliant.


  1. Differentiate yourself in a manner that feels authentic to you. When you’re operating as yourself, and injecting your unique personality into what you do, the customers who appreciate your kind of awesomeness will eat it up.
  2. Plan how you will be different in advance. That way, you are able to build that uniqueness into all aspects of what you do, as a greater source of competitive advantage.

Application for your business

  1. Write down three of the top options for your customers to get their problem solved. How is your business different from these other three options?
  2. Brainstorm three ways to apply the level of differentiation in all aspects of your business. For instance, if your point of differentiation is “mind blowing customer service”, how can that be applied throughout your business, instead of just when your customer has an issue?

Previous tips

1-22. Build a relationship with your customers (series)

23. Solve your customers’ problem

24. Know your stuff

25. Add value

26. Do what you say you’re going to do

27. Exceed your customers’ expectations