A fun, wisdom-filled book about differentiating your product or service is: Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin. But it’s not just about standing out, it’s about delighting your customers in a memorable and remarkable way. He writes:
Cows, after you’ve seen one, or two, or ten, are boring. A Purple Cow, though…now that would be something. Purple Cow describes something phenomenal, something counterintuitive and exciting and flat out unbelievable. Every day, consumers come face to face with a lot of boring stuff-a lot of brown cows-but you can bet they won’t forget a Purple Cow. And it’s not a marketing function that you can slap on to your product or service. Purple Cow is inherent. It’s built right in, or it’s not there. Period.
In Purple Cow, Seth Godin urges you to put a purple cow into everything you build, and everything you do, to create something truly noticeable. It’s a manifesto for marketers who want to help create products that are worth marketing in the first place.
Sunny Kobe Cook is one of our local gurus. I like to cite her success, because she transformed selling a commodity (mattresses) into remarkable customer experiences and then thrived on the word-of-mouth publicity. Earlier I wrote this…
I had lunch with Sunny Kobe Cook, founder of Sleep Country USA, to learn her secrets. Her top priority: word-of-mouth by employees and customers. “Each customer will talk to about seven others if they have a great experience. Look for where the bar is low and focus on that.” For her it was their installers rolling out red carpet and wearing booties so not to track in dirt. For her it was getting rid of the old mattresses for their customers. For her it was showing up within an hour of a delivery time.
Since then, I have read her book Common Things Uncommon Ways: Proven techniques to grow any business through your staff. It’s full of great tips for making every single employee an ambassador for the company. She’s brilliant.