Purple Cow (2002) by Seth Godin. I read this book for the first time last year, and I just reread it again now. It's still worth reading.
Seth Godin's basic premise is the following: "Something remarkable is worth talk about. Worth noticing. Exceptional. New. Interesting. It's a Purple Cow. Boring stuff is invisible. It's a brown cow."
Godin adds, "Remarkable marketing is the the art of building things worth noticing right into your product or service. Not slapping on marketing as a last-minute add-on, but understanding that if your offering itself isn't remarkable, it's invisible."
Godin points out it is safer to be risky - "to fortify your desire to do truly amazing things" - than it is to play it safe. Most everyone needs to be investing in the Purple Cow. That is, investing in "Products, services and techniques so useful, interesting, outrageous, and noteworthy that the market will want to listen to what you have to say."
And yet, Godin notes, the Purple Cow is rare "because people are afraid." People are afraid to fail. They are afraid that some people won't like them. They are afraid of criticism. So, they play it safe, forgetting that "in a crowded marketplace, fitting in is failing. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible."
Reading Purple Cow is energizing. It reminds you that there are two choices: "to be invisible, anonymous, uncriticized, and safe, or to take a chance at greatness, uniqueness, and the Cow."
Below, Seth Godin talks about the importance of being remarkable to be successful.