cult branding

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Information about cult branding

Published on February 7, 2008

Author: Taddeo


Cult Branding:  Cult Branding A Preliminary Research Defining CULT:  Defining CULT A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader. Obsessive, especially faddish, devotion to or veneration for a person, principle, or thing. An exclusive group of persons sharing an esoteric, usually artistic or intellectual interest. CULTS - A social analysis:  CULTS - A social analysis Cult Organisations - Jehovah’s Witness, The Moonies, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Scientologists These cults have fine-tuned marketing to hook into the nuances of human nature Cults have a closed boundary.You’re either in or out. This creates passionate solidarity. It’s actually not that easy getting into a cult. There is a definite process to joining. Cults have strong central ideology and leadership.This fosters alignment and clarity. Cults are a parallel social universe with their own rituals, relationship structures and experiences. This binds individuals to the cause. “How Cults Seduce” by Alex Wipperfurth & John Grant CULT Brands:  CULT Brands Cult brands are spheres of influence Primarily, they wield an influence over consumers’ purchasing decision. They get repeatedly chosen over competition They bring higher prices than competition Week after week, month after month, year after year Cult brand consumers not only use the product, but evangelize to the world about it. Cult brands exhibit a high degree of consumer loyalty Cult brands have a locked-in cadre of consumers who will come back with more business - a core group of happy, repeat purchasers “The Power of Cult Branding” by Matthew W Ragas & Bolivar J Bueno Case Studies:  Case Studies Global Cult Brands Harley Davidson:  Harley Davidson Harley-Davidson stirs passion in its riders, its dealers and its employees, and translates that passion into profit. More than half of new Harley sales are to old consumers trading up 886, 000 strong HOGs community HOG = Harley Owners Group HOGs organise rides, training courses, charity fund-raisers, social events Riders Edge - A 3 day driver’s training course organised by dealers for new motorcycle riders Harley's appeal straddles class boundaries, stirring the hearts of Hells Angels and corporate titans alike. Apple Computers:  Apple Computers Only controls 5% of worldwide PC market with $5 billion in sales Locked into profitable niches - the whole multimedia community Changed the relationship between human & computer - high emphasis on aesthetics & design 40% of new iMac orders come from first time PC buyers Tag line - “Macintosh. A religion. A way of life” Use cult media - Apple T-shirts / mugs - to refresh company allegiance T-shirt size field on job application Thousands of Mac users show up at computer stores and other public places all the time, for free, to evangelize about Apple’s products and their love of the Mac. Starbucks:  Starbucks The cult of coffee... The third place in a consumer’s daily existence - a familiar & welcoming refuge from work or home where they can relax in a safe public setting and enjoy a sense of community A retail experience that revolves around high-quality coffee, personalized knowledgeable service, and sociability. Consumers in a dozen countries associate the Starbucks brand with: coffee accessible elegance community individual expression control The Body Shop:  The Body Shop Famous for creating a niche market sector for naturally inspired skin and hair care products The Body Shop sells a product every 0.4 seconds with over 77 million transactions through stores worldwide, with customers sampling a range of over 600 products and more than 400 accessories Mission - To courageously ensure that our business is ecologically sustainable: meeting the needs of the present without compromising the future. Building trust through convenience, reliability & participation Convenience One click system Shunning elaborate graphics that clutter many websites, it loads up its customers with information instead Capsule descriptions & snippet reviews Space for readers to post their own reviews - lets customers sell to each other High level of customisation On selecting a book, the website is programmed to flash titles of related titles Cult Brands - India:  Cult Brands - India Source : Amul:  Amul Amul is a great brand. It has not only been a great dairy products brand but it has also been a source of income and livelihood to many people in the state of Gujrat in India... this is something which other brands fail to do. They build their own brands with all strategies and plans but fail to do much for the community. One of the many, many reasons why Amul is a great brand. I say it gently... and it releases an adrenaline rush... Its name.. sacred and sanctified... its taste... beyond every sense... its Indian-ness... a martyr anyday I know... my Lovemark. Its wit.. its knowledge of my country... its love for all I love... I salute my Lovemark... my Amul! Amul has been around for many decades, symbolised by its cute mascot - the "utterly butterly" Amul girl with her witty comments on current affairs across the globe. Entries on R K Laxman’s ‘Common Man’:  R K Laxman’s ‘Common Man’ Appearing in the 'Times of India' for decades, this cartoon commentary portrays the ills of India through the eyes of a silent sufferer of injustice, the proverbial 'common man' comes alive. R K Laxman's 'Common Man' is the silent conscience of India and strikes through the verbiage of politics to expose the stupidity and corruption of those in positions of power. Entries on Summary:  Summary Cult Brands are identified by consumer passion & excitement around the brand They are self consciously different from rivals In addition to product / service quality, cult brands fulfil the high level needs of esteem, social interaction and self actualisation found at the top of Maslow’s pyramid They form deep & lasting emotional bonds with consumers Cult brands project an aura / group identity They beget evangelists - consumers are owners - go all out to promote the brand Why do cult brands thrive?:  Why do cult brands thrive? Fragmented society - break down & distance in relationships Relationships between brands & consumers have become more complex High consumer knowledge Greater choice The death of passive consumption - consumers want their brands to become a form of self-expression Basic human need for security, belonging and social interaction Consumers look toward brands to fulfil these needs For a discussion on ‘cult branding’ contact us at  For a discussion on ‘cult branding’ contact us at

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