Can Your Brand Join the Cult of Cults?

In branding, “cult” is anything but a four-letter word.

Achieve cult status with your brand, and you’ve found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – word-of-mouth.

A cult brand brings out passion in its users or adherents. They LOVE it, need it, would never use anything else, see their choice as the source of pride. It becomes part of their lifestyle.

More importantly for you, cult users talk about the brand every chance they get, and insist – not advise, not suggest – that theirs friends, family members and coworkers use it, too. They’ll even go so far as loaning their own <your-brand-here> to other potential users to try it out.

Many cult brands start on a shoestring, with no venture capitalists financing them early on. They’re fighters, survivors, and they never stop going at the competition. They do more than what it takes, go several extra miles to make customers happy and keep them that way.

According to Jay Conrad Levinson, there are seven rules to building cult brands. You might also call them “truths of cult branding.”

  • Consumers want to be part of a group that’s different.
  • Cult brand inventors show daring and determination.
  • Cult brands sell lifestyles, not products.
  • Cult brands listen to the choir and create brand evangelists.
  • Cult brands Always create consumer communities.
  • Cult brands are inclusive.
  • Cult brands promote personal freedom and draw power from their competitors.

Remember these rules/truths. Then think Volkswagen Beetle, Macintosh, Harley-Davidson, iAnything.

And now, think your brand.