Can you accurately describe the last cow you saw? How about a cow from five years ago? Ten years ago? Chances are you can’t even remember what color it was.
Let’s say you’re driving on a country road, and you come across a farm with a sea of cows munching on grass. All the cows are white and brown, except for one cow. It is purple.
Years later, you reminisce about that drive. Which cow would you be more likely to remember, a brown and white cow that happened to capture your attention for a second, or the purple cow?
There are over 500,000 restaurants in America. The city of Chicago alone has 6,000 restaurants. That means a person has thousands of restaurants to choose from when they don’t feel like cooking. This can be a little daunting to a restaurateur whose goal is to rise above the sea of restaurants in the community.
Reaching that goal has a few obvious steps, like serving good food, offering reasonable prices, and having stellar customer service.
However, because every restaurant owner strives to accomplish these three qualities, we still have a slew of good restaurants to choose from. What many restaurant owners don’t realize that there is still a way to stand out, and it’s quite simple. All you have to do is…
Be remarkable. Be the purple cow.
It’s easier than you think.
J.R. Cohen, the manager of CoffeeGroundz Café in Houston, turned the café into a purple cow with just one tweet.
On October 31st, 2008, a customer was jonesing for a CoffeeGroundz breakfast wrap, but he didn’t have enough time to wait on his order. He shot a tweet to the café and asked if he could pre-order a breakfast wrap and “zip through the drive-thru”. Not even a minute later, Cohen replied with, “Wi. What do you want on it?”
This simple exchange got a lot of attention on Twitter, and was recognized at the first time a to-go order was placed via Twitter. Cohen saw this as an opportunity and started taking to-go orders via direct messages.
Customers using the café’s free Wi-Fi can even place an order on Twitter without even getting up. This turned CoffeeGroundz into a purple cow.
Seth Godin, the marketing guru who applied this philosophy to the business world in his book titled Purple Cow, says the fastest way to build your business is to do something remarkable, and your customers will remember you.
Actually, what he didn’t mention is that you can also apply this philosophy to your every day life.
Don’t be the purple cow just to get others to remember you.
Be the purple cow to make yourself a better person. Be the purple cow to make a positive difference in other people’s lives. Be the purple cow to make the world a little brighter.
Instead of partaking in a negative activity or behavior enjoyed by the masses, be nicer, wiser, and more positive. For example, befriend a person who’s bullied by everyone else. Pick up the litter left behind by other people. Hug a person who’s having a rough day. Be kinder, brighter, and more understanding.
Be creative. Dare to go where no one else has gone. Be the purple cow.