The “Purple” Purple Cow

Written by Kelly Pierce, Chief Marketing Officer at Advisors Excelpurplecrayon

It’s quite possibly one of the most important items a restaurant has.

No, I’m not talking about free refills or great service. It’s the crayons and paper that keep my girls entertained that make for a happy experience eating out with the family. Often times, what makes us remarkable is not WHAT we sell but HOW we make our customers feel.

Last week, we checked out our newest restaurant in town – Powercat Sports Grill. It’s your quintessential sports bar dedicated to all things K-state including memorabilia, photos of the university’s sports legends, menu items named after K-State greats and of course, PURPLE – everything in the place is decked out in our school colors, purple and white.

Well, almost everything …

After the waitress seated us, she handed the girls a coloring sheet of the K-State Powercat, our university logo and one of the most recognizable athletic symbols in the country.

She gave the girls three crayons to color the Powercat – a blue one, a red one and a yellow one.

No purple one.

Really, no purple crayon?

We all four just stared at one another in confusion for a minute until Stella broke the silence to ask what we were all thinking, “How am I supposed to color my Powercat with these colors?”

And the only answer we could come up with (well, the only right answer from true K-staters) was, “You’re not. You certainly can’t use the red or blue, and yellow would just look strange.”

So we didn’t color.

And as we waited for our food, the newest place in town started to quickly feel like all the other places in town.

What a great opportunity missed to wow customers and create a truly unique experience. How cool would it have been if all the crayons in the restaurant would have been purple – maybe even different shades – lilac, lavender, plum and violet. Now, that would have been something we couldn’t have got at any other restaurant in town, maybe in the country.

That could be their purple cow, and purple crayons aren’t even on the menu.

There’s just too many choices these days to just be ordinary and do the same thing everyone else is doing. In order to truly be great, we have to be clever in our quest to stand out. Sometimes it’s the smallest thing like giving kids a purple crayon that can lead to creating an awesome experience.


Kelly Pierce, Chief Marketing Officer at Advisorskelly pierce Excel

Kelly’s entrepreneurial instincts, ability to communicate and lead rather than dictate and manage, and commitment to see the overall big picture have allowed Advisors Excel’s 50-person creative unit to run stride for stride with the company’s continued amazing growth.

A Kansas State graduate with a B.S. in Business Administration; Marketing & International Business.

Comments are closed.