Spotting a Purple Cow

Every week, a few people at our agency meet over lunch to talk about a book of interest. I guess you could call it a book club with a twist - someone new gets to make lunch for the group. I call it a Read & Feed.

Our book this past week was Seth Godin's "Purple Cow," which is an insightful and enjoyable discussion about the evolution of marketing. To paraphrase, "a Purple Cow is something - anything - that is truly remarkable." If you haven't read the book, I recommend it, no matter what your line of work.

While reading, we starting discussing what "Purple Cows" existed in our personal lives. Is it the car we drive? Is the name tag on the clothes we wear? The answer was yes.

Sometimes it is.

But the biggest revelation to the group was that the brands and companies that appealed to us are driven by people or groups of people who have a deep passion for what they do. They're after more than just a business or a way to make money. They believe what they are doing is worth almost any effort. It is a way of living.

Polly LaBarre does a great job of showcasing these people in her book “Mavericks at Work,” which is another must read. For those that want a quick insight into what I am talking about, download the first podcast of the 2006 festival. It is her session on these extraordinary, passionate people.

With this as background, here is my very own Purple Cow, my own remarkable brand:

The IdeaFestival.

If you have spent even 5 minutes with Kris Kimel, you will probably know what I am talking about. This gathering is a result of his desire and passion to create a community of people and ideas that enrich each other. I'm excited about what this sharing and growing of ideas and innovation will become. Right now, maybe the IdeaFestival is better described as a Purple Calf - sorry, Seth, for liberty with your language.

Whatever people decide to call it, I find myself anxious and restless in anticipation of how remarkable this Festival can become.

See you September 13-15 in Louisville. Seth, I hope you are coming too!