sly : marketing

Why you need to turn purple

I have been a vegetarian for 12 years. I had to change my mindset for it to stop being a problem. I didn’t want people to know. I didn’t want to go to restaurants. I didn’t want to go to any parties, afraid what would happen if there was going to be food. It was hard in the beginning, until I realized that I had to embrace it. The reason I didn’t want people to know, was because I was the only one. I didn’t know any other vegetarians. I felt that I was all alone; fighting society, looking outside, without ever letting anyone inside.

Every time someone asked; I would look down, smile and say yes, I’m a vegetarian. It probably looked as if I was embarrassed or guilty of something. I would always know the next question. It was only one word, but that was the word I was most afraid of – why?

I know why. I have a “perfect” explanation of why. But, I didn’t want to tell anyone. I didn’t want them to know. They didn’t understand, no matter how hard I explained.


I believe that every human being is unique. I believe that my experience as a vegetarian can teach people something about marketing and being successful in business. If you’ve read the Purple Cow, you know that we need to be remarkable, and we need to be unique – instead most of us are afraid of standing out. It’s safe to be like everyone else. We’re thinking; if it works for them, it’ll work for us. It used to be true, but not anymore.

Think different. Why should they come to you, why should they ask you, if they could get exactly what you represent anywhere else?

Embrace your identity.

I’m not saying vegetarianism is a positive thing for you or for most people I talk to. But, what I’m saying is that it’s different, it’s something people notices and don’t forget. The people I meet keep asking the same question; why? And, when I answer, they follow up with a new question; what do you eat?

I’m very interested in why we eat what we eat. I’m not on a mission to turn people into vegetarians, but I believe that too many people are taking shortcuts, and just going with the flow and doing what is common.

Doing what’s common is not necessary a good thing.

Why purple?

You need to be strong in order to survive in business. The competition is harder than ever, no matter what your business is. As a consumer, we have close to infinite choices.

I’m not eating meat, a lot of people are like me; it’s more common in Norway than ever. I believe that soon, if your restaurant doesn’t have a vegetarian alternative, you’ll be out of business. I didn’t used to know any vegetarians, now, I’m meeting many – mainly beause of the Vegetarian festival.

The process of telling the world about being a vegetarian has been hard. Being different is not easy, no matter what the reason is. You’re afraid that people don’t understand you, and that they won’t appreciate you as much as they used to. The same goes for marketing. You won’t know if you’re going to be successful if you’re doing something brand new. But, you need to try. You need to trust your gut feeling.

The only way you’ll be truly successful, in the end, is by turning purple – being remarkable and unique.

Think about it – why hide, when we’re all born to stand out?

8 responses to “Why you need to turn purple”

  1. Mi Muba says:

    I think lack of awareness is equally another problem people have strange views about vegetarians. They think they people are an abnormal lot that is crazy to save this world by just saving the biodiversity on earth. Actually unaware people don’t know what are the havoc of consuming meat excessively. They don’t know nearly one hundred gallon water is required to make one Kg meat ready for eating. This shows how our natural resources are wasted for the sake of meat consumption.

    • I agree, awereness is important. Most people I talk to don’t know what it means to be a vegetarian, or why we’re doing it. I’m using my experience as a vegetarian as a metaphor for how businesses are marketing today, and that they should think about the importance of being different.

      Thanks for your comment.


  2. Good for you Jens! I’ve been a veggie a few years on, and months off….great lifestyle. My fiancee has been a veggie for many years on end. I do respond better to having a bit of meat here and there, health-wise, and feel much better overall since eating a spot of meat, so I go with that. But 90 to 95 percent of my diet is veggie for sure. Thanks for the share, and keep being purple dude, we all need to be ourselves and be comfy with it 😉

    • That’s great Ryan. I didn’t write the post to get more people to become vegetarians, but to be aware of the marketing principle and how powerful it is to actually stand out from the crowd (in a positive way). We all have our own methods, but we need to embrace being unique.

      Thanks for your comment Ryan.


  3. Jane says:

    Standing out is inevitable both in business and in personal life. We don’t have to try hard to stand out. We just have to be “normal”. We just have to be “ourselves” coz we all are unique! But mostly, people just do the opposite. They hide their “normal” behavior and try to “appear” normal in front of the crowd – that’s what makes them no different than the others.

    Vegetarian – good for you Jens 🙂

  4. Angela says:

    hello always be proud of being a vetran ,it is one of the most selfless and generous things one can do and it takes a great person to be that.

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