One of my favorite authors is Seth Godin who has written a plethora of marketing books including Purple Cow: Tranform Your Business by Being Remarkable.
Well, what's a Purple Cow?
Picture a field of your normal black-and-white cows and then you see one PURPLE COW in the field - it would stand out wouldn't it? It sure would. And you want to be a purple cow in your field.
Apple was a purple cow when it came out with the iPod - a thousand songs in your pocket - when your only other option was a Walkman with a single CD that often skipped tracks. Southwest Airlines was a purple cow with it's casual, wise-cracking stewards, free luggage, and great customer service in a world of $50 luggage fees and atrocious service.
In business school, they call the Purple Cow concept a DIFFERENTIATION strategy rather than a low cost strategy. And why is it great to be highly differentiated from your competition? Well, for one, highly differentiated products can be offered at a higher premium - you can charge more for your brand since it stands out and delivers some special features that your target market really values.
Whether you are an online palm reader, therapist, coach or consultant, your going to want to stand out in the field of thousands of similar providers and offer a unique service that is a Purple Cow in your field. If you can do that, you can charge premium prices and have higher margins (i.e. you can keep more of the money you earn and spend less on marketing, advertising and other expenses).
I'll give you on example of this. Apple's share of smartphone sales is only 20% but their share of the smartphone PROFITS is 92%. Wow! Why? Well, they can charge a huge premium because they have a highly differentiated product - the iPhone is a Purple Cow in a field of black-and-white cows.
So spend some time thinking about how to be a Purple Cow and check out Seth Godin's blog - he's a real Purple Cow himself.