As I wrote this post I was working on this very website. It was probably a third of the way there, but that was ok – Rome wasn’t built in a day. I started with a placeholder of a big welcome image I pulled off Unsplash – the famous Northern Lights.

I’ve never seen the Northern Lights in person, but despite that, I have spotted them time and time again, in OS wallpapers and stock photos all over the place. Even though they are such a remarkable phenomenon, I wouldn’t dream of using them in any capacity to advertise my business.

They’ve lost their appeal. Repeated use of the same visuals will bore people, even if they were incredible in the first place. If a brand has one rare and successful product (a Purple Cow as Seth Godin puts it), the temptation is to milk it and ride on that success. By all means, do so, but be aware that the initial success will wane, and you’ll be left with a very deflated cow. Not quite how real cows work but you get the picture. Therefore – someone with one successful product, strategy & etc. will one day need a second, independent product to be another success.

There are exceptions to the rule, the coke brand has been around for a really long time, but even that has struggled in recent years: (BBC link).


Today’s Takeaway: Move with the times, and don’t put all your eggs (or cows) in one basket.


Have you read Purple Cow? I’d love to hear what you thought if so. Personally, I found lots of the examples outdated (20-year-old book), but the thinking behind the book seems to have stood the test of time.