(Chuck Muth) – “How now, purple cow?”
To close out the year, I thought I’d suggest a New Year’s resolution for your consideration…
Yesterday I had coffee with a terrific new candidate who attended one of my recent campaign training workshops. She gave me the purple cow wallet pictured above – and it was absolutely the best gift I received all holiday season!
I guess I should explain…
About ten years ago I attended a marketing conference at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. One of the speakers was a guy named Joe Polish – an EXTREMELY successful direct response marketer – who at the time was probably in his mid-40’s.
During his presentation Joe mentioned a book by another marketing genius, Seth Godin, titled “Purple Cow.” If you haven’t read it yet, get thee to Amazon.com right now.
The short explanation of what the book is all about is noted on the book jacket…
“Cows – after you’ve seen one or two or ten – are boring. A Purple Cow though…now THAT would be something different.”
Similarly, most candidates – after you’ve seen one or two or ten – are boring.
They say the same things. They do the same things. Heck, they often even wear the same things (white shirt, red tie, blue jacket). So your challenge is to rise above all the others and stand out – like a purple cow.
But back to the story…
After Joe’s presentation, a group of us gathered around him out in the hallway during the break, hoping to scoop up more pearls of wisdom from this marketing wise man.
At one point somebody asked for Joe’s business card. So Joe reached into his pocket and pulled out a … “Hello Kitty” wallet!
Talk about a “purple cow.”
You can imagine the reaction. A grown man carrying around a Hello Kitty wallet? Chuckles ensued.
Joe immediately responded with something along the lines of…
“You guys don’t understand. This wallet is the greatest icebreaker ever. The minute you pull it out, the other person can’t help but smile and a friendly conversation is immediately started.”
I understood the concept. But fancying myself a man’s man – and married with children – I was hesitant to step out of my comfort zone and give it a try.
But I went online and found the Hello Kitty wallets for sale. Bought two – one for me and one for my daughter. Figured if the ridicule was too bad, I’d just explain that it was a daddy-daughter thing.
The first time I used it I was at the grocery store. When it was time to check out, I timidly, and with a generous dose of trepidation, pulled out my new Hello Kitty wallet.
And sure enough, the cashier’s face lit up with a big smile. “Awww, a Hello Kitty wallet!”
A friendly conversation immediately started between two complete strangers. And I’ve been carrying my Hello Kitty wallet ever since – though I still haven’t screwed up the nerve to whip it out at the local biker bar!
Anyway, I told this story at a recent training class, and one of my favorite “students” – who obviously was paying attention – took the lesson to heart and bought me the purple cow wallet to go with my Hello Kitty wallet.
And I absolutely love it. A marriage made in heaven.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you “toxic masculinity” guys should similarly start carrying a Hello Kitty wallet – though I guarantee you’ll get the same kinds of reactions.
But what I AM suggesting is that you make a New Year’s resolution to look for “purple cow” opportunities in all aspects of your campaign that will help you stand out from all the other boring politicians trying to get the attention of voters and donors.
It’s a mindset perfectly encapsulated by this advice: “Arrive unlike everybody else.”
For example, if everybody else is starting their speeches from the front of the room, try starting yours from the BACK of the room. I do this often. It helps you stand out from all the other brown cow candidates.
Well, that’s it for today. Heading out to do some shopping and bring more Hello Kitty joy to the world. Happy New Year!
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
“Take classes, read, and attend seminars. I search newspapers and the Internet for new, interesting classes, many of which are free or inexpensive. I also attend and pay for expensive seminars on what I want to learn. I am wealthy and free from needing a job simply because of the courses I took.” – Robert Kiyosaki, author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”