Ugli Fruit and Purple Cows.

May 7, 2012 No Comments by Anthony

Ugli Fruit
As I meandered through the produce department, there they were. Oranges, oranges, oranges – a sea of oranges. Then out of nowhere, boom! Not oranges. They looked orange in color and were about the size of a grapefruit, but I could not get past the fact that they seemed very bruised and just, plain, ugly. What was this mysterious citrus called “ugli fruit”, and why was I so captivated by it? Good question.

Purple Cows
Seth Godin introduced the marketing world to the concept of a “purple cow” in 2006, with his book Purple Cow. A purple cow is something (anything really) that is remarkable. A cow on the side of the road is not very interesting, but a purple cow is worth pulling the car over for a closer look. It is remarkable.

Here’s a short talk from Seth which unpacks the concept a bit more:

Why should we care about purple cows?
In a society that is getting louder and louder, it can be incredibly difficult to be heard. What gets heard? How can I stand out? How can my company or product garner someone’s attention? The short answer is to be remarkable. I don’t really pay much attention to oranges, but I did to Ugli Fruit. These beauties hardly looked appealing, but they got my attention and made me curious about them. Why would one pay more than a typical orange for this unsightly citrus?

(Side note: Turns out, they are a hybrid of grapefruit, orange, and tangerine that was created in Jamaica, mon.)

How now purple cow
How do we create purple cows and ugli fruit in our business and our lives? Like most answers in life – it depends. First start with the kind of attention you are seeking to attract. Here are some questions to consider:

  1. Who is the audience you are trying to attract?
  2. What do they care about?
  3. Why do they care about it?
  4. Why do you want them to notice you?
  5. What message will you send them once you have their attention?

Indeed, I agree with Seth Godin. Be remarkable. This is a very good thing. However, knowing your audience and what matters to them is imperative to your success. Attention alone doesn’t create a large amount of value unless the “remark” is a positive one. As an example,’s commercials are truly remarkable, they push the envelope. These commercials either draw you in, or push you away – and there’s not much margin in between. After you make your statement to the world, be ready for both positive and negative feedback.

Go forth and find your ugli fruit to show the world. With a thoughtful plan and proper execution, you will pull in an audience that is all that much closer to purchasing your product, service, or asking you to join their team. A great book coming out for those looking to stand out is Michael Hyatt’s new book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. Check in out on May 22.

Question of the day:
What are some purple cows you’ve seen recently? Have you created any? Feel free to link below.

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