Being Remarkable

Enka is a traditional ballad-style genre of Japanese music. Historically, enka has only been popular among older generations. Over the last few years, however, the popularity of enka among younger Japanese has increased. A large part of this increase can be attributed to Jero, the first black enka singer in Japanese music history. To add to his uniqueness, Jero has insisted on maintaining his hip-hop image rather than wearing the traditional kimono during performances, and this has added greatly to his appeal.

In Purple Cow, Seth Godin argues that in order to be noticed, you must create something remarkable. That is to say, you need to create something worth making a remark about. He gives the example of driving down a country road and seeing cows out the car window. After seeing a few cows, seeing another one is boring. But if you saw a purple cow, now that would be remarkable.

Jero could have tried being a rapper in the United States. He looks like a rapper. He probably would have been decent at it. But by doing so, he would've gotten lost among everyone else who looks just like him. Instead, he chose to stand out. Instead, he chose to be remarkable.


Michelle said...

A rapper singing Enka? Must be a sight to see. It must have been pretty big the first time someone started singing rap in America dressed like that. And then everyone was doing it. Seems like everyone wanted to be a purple cow and now what we need is a neon green one. So what are some other examples of purple cows?

Bucky said...

Lush, Apple, LittleMissMatched, My Carnivore, Lounge Around, Cold Stone, Nintendo, to name a few.