Amid the typical scene of farm life, a purple cow stands out against its brown comrades. The lilac beast is different and exciting. You want to get a closer look – touch it, smell it (that one’s risky) and maybe even snap a selfie with it.

This is the secret to successful marketing strategies, according to best-selling author Seth Godin. Marketing works to generate interest and be remembered. Run-of-the-mill tactics simply won’t cut it in this endeavor. Each company must be a purple cow, able to make folks do a double take and rise ahead of competitors.

Mooo-ve Over Tradition: The Innovative Concept of Purple Cow

In his 2003 book Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, Godin discusses how something normally bland can be made brilliant with a bit of innovation. However, it’s not as simple as painting an animal a beautiful shade of lilac. Being new, different, and unique needs to be built into the business model. Marketers must think outside the box, so to speak, in every facet of their work.

To demonstrate this, Godin cites well-known and fast-growing companies like Krispy Kreme, Apple, and Starbucks. These businesses left behind just-OK customs for practices that are well outside the norm. Consider Starbucks’ ambitious Teavana projects. According to Inc., the brewing behemoth embraced the idea of reinvention, looking for the next big trend in tea. To do this, the company also opened Teavana tea bar outlets in an effort to avoid becoming complacent with its booming success.

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