Thoughts on: Purple Cow by Seth Godin

While being a short and sweet marketing book it’s main points could have been reduced to a few paragraphs:

▪️Classical advertisement is dead. Focus on people who are ahead of the curve; the Sneezers (aka. Influencers) who can give your product good word-of-mouth.

▪️Being Safe is Risky. Your product can’t be very good, it has to be remarkable.

▪️Go Niche, not Broad. The age of products that appeal to the masses is over.

This book is outdated (came out in 2002). The statements above doesn’t shock anyone.

What did surprise me though was how much I liked Purple Cow as history book. How confusing it must have been for companies when increased ads budget didn’t translate to increased sales anymore. I really enjoyed the case studies of companies that succeed—or failed miserably —in the transition from the old TV ad era to the new age of “Purple Cows”.

I learned a lot about advertisement history but I didn’t become much better at marketing. For a more current and practical book read Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller.

Ps. Have you ever been given stuff for free? With the (not so) secret hopes of companies that you will spread the gospel of their product? 🤔


Find other fascinating reads in my reading lists!

Thoughts on: “Building a Story Brand” by Donald Miller

Wow, this sucks! The book is just a long commercial for the authors other services and the concepts covered could have been a 15-page pamphlet.


Wow, this is brilliant! It’s to the point, clear and actionable.


Both these assessment are correct, depending how you look at it. But my intention when picking up this book was to learn something practical. And I did.


You brands message should be simple, clear and, most importantly, packaged as a story where the customer is the hero.


Many brands and marketers get some fundamental stuff wrong and puts the brand as the hero in their marketing instead of the customer.


📝 Story in a nutshell:

“A CHARACTER (customer) who wants something encounters a PROBLEM before the can get it. At the peak of their despair, a GUIDE (you) steps into their lives, gives the a PLAN (your product), and CALLS THEM TO ACTION. That action help them avoid FAILURE and ends in a SUCCESS.”


📝 WRONG: An example of doing it wrong was Tidal, Jay-z music service. The marketing made whining artists the heroes of the story instead of focusing on the customers needs.


📝 RIGHT: And example of doing it right is Apple with the Mac. The customer is the hero facing a problem; Complicated computers that stands in the way of the customers creative expression! Apple has a plan for our hero, the Macintosh computer.


📝 Story is the greatest weapon we have to combat noise, because it organizes information in such a way that people are compelled to listen.


When you finish this book, given you’ve done the exercises, you will have a new brand script for your services or products that capitalize on the strength of storytelling (or on human weakness to stories, hehe!😈). The book left me inspired and equipped for taking stuff to the next level!



Since I don’t really have a product to sell I’m going to use the story brand method to improve my website (hehe, will be quite easy judging from the state it is in). I will do this next week. Another takeaway is how uncomfortable selling things makes me feel. I have a really hard time with it.



Review (4/5) – Get the Book!

Check out my reading lists for more great books!