Turning Lemons into Purple Cow Aid

by Brad Isaac on March 23, 2007

A fun example of overcoming a major roadblock is posted at Seth Godin’s blog.   He is telling the story of how he wanted to market his infamous Purple Cow marketing book.   When it came down to a critical component of his marketing, he found a high-ranking executive standing in his way.   What it amounted to was the eyecatching purple milkcartons he wanted to ship the books in offended an executive of the printing company.

I printed 10,000 copies of the book. I also contacted International Paper to have them print me 10,000 milk cartons. This turned out to be more difficult than I imagined. They print almost all the milk cartons in the United States and weren’t particularly motivated by a $2,300 order. I paid in advance, though, and submitted all my materials on time.
The night before the print job went to press, the phone rang. It was my sales rep, informing me that they, “weren’t going to be able to print my job.” Uh oh. The problem? Someone high up had read some of the copy on the carton and didn’t like it.

Did he throw a tantrum?   Did he curse the world? Did he give up?

No, he simply deleted the offensive paragraph and went on with his project.   The result was a whole lot of gab about the book and it ended up on the New York Times bestseller list.

Seth’s Blog: Purple Cow Redux

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