What is a Cult Brand?
It’s the secret cult that all the most prominent corporations are apart of where they sacrifice the lower working class to the almighty dollar! I’m just kidding. Maybe.
Well, in reality, a cult brand is actually a prime example of effective marketing. They are the crème de la crème of brands. You’ll see what I mean.
So, what exactly is it?
So, it has a few meanings in the marketing world but does come down to one basic concept. A cult brand is a symbol-intensive brand with a loyal and invested customer base that creates a strong sense of belonging and dedication with its audience. So, in normal people terms, it means a brand with a huge following that is generally recognizable by everyone and has very dedicated customers. Almost to the point of fanaticism.
What’s the difference?
Each brand is different and trust me when I say more brands are floating around in the world than you can even think of. Most successful brands have a clear focus, pleasing aesthetics and consistent messaging, all of which are entirely created to reach the target audience.
Cult Brands do the same, but the difference is they find the way to perfect the whole process. Cult Brands are able to cultivate incredibly dedicated consumers and authentic brand loyalty. Their audience is dedicated to the product/service or the brand itself, but either way, the consumer is fully invested.
How do you create a Cult Brand?
That’s something every marketer in the world wishes they knew how to do. There this great post, I read about the subject that explained The Seven Rules of Cult Brands. You should definitely give it a read. As of today, there is no exact science on how a brand can garner a cult following, but we can look at some examples and try to figure it out.
Amazon is an excellent example of how keeping your eye on the customer will create brand loyalty. Amazon has been dedicated since it’s opening in 1994 to be entirely customer-focused. They are continually working to improve the customer experience with innovation and a focus on their consumers’ needs. They do this by offering customers fast shipping, free returns and best of all, reviews. They have direct contact with the consumer to focus on the audience’s needs and wants.
Apple has done a great job of creating a following by selling consumers a lifestyle along with their products. They sell not only the tech but the idea of what owning that tech means, including themes of exclusivity, innovation and connectivity. This is how they are able to pump out new phone types so quickly and have flocks of people rushing to buy them.
Vans is a brand well known for its killer style and a symbol of alternative sports. Vans was able to tailor itself to the needs of the consumer, helping them create a dedicated fan base. The real genius move was sponsoring and organizing so many alternative sporting events and influential figures that Vans was able to turn itself into an integral part of that community. This guarantees them a dedicated customer base as long as the alternative sports community thrives.
There is so much more detail the goes into cult branding, but I hope now you get the gist of it. Do you have a brand you have an unhealthy dedication to? Of course, you do. Let me know about some of your favourite cult brands in the comments below.