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The Dove Effect

The Purple Cow was a concept popularised by marketing and sales expert, Seth Godin. The notion is that we see brown cows all the time and don't give them a second glance. However, if you were to see a purple cow you'd likely stop and have a look, take a photo, and tell your friends about it.

If the strongest and most predictable source of incoming lead generation is referral business, we have to get your people talking about you, and they're not going to do so until they have something extraordinary to talk about. The opposite of extraordinary is what everybody else is doing.

Pictured is a 1957 ad for Dove soap that positions as a moisturising beauty bar. Ogilvy (advertising agency) essentially made other soap seem inferior by positioning Dove in a product class of its own. The pictured advert clearly targets women and emphasises the moisturising quality of the soap rather than its cleansing quality (at a time when woman did the shopping). Positioning can change a product that is otherwise neutral and turn it into something special. Sales positioning isn't used as widely used as it once was; modern digital marketing tends to target a known audience rather than making a product 'different' (and different isn't always better, and it runs the risk of introducing exclusion to your market).

Your 'Point of Differentiation', 'Sales Positioning', and 'Unique Selling Point' often overlap in a blur but it's still important to identify each. Even today, Dove positions itself as a beauty bar. More recently, Dove have attached themselves to the growing trend of creating a movement (or riding the coat-tail of one that already exists). In the case of Dove they now promote the following: "Imagine a World Where Beauty is a Source of Confidence, Not Anxiety". This ability to change focus without compromising on positioning is often called "The Dove Effect".

It's no longer acceptable to be just a purple cow - you need to be *the* purple cow people want to talk about.

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