When you’re building a business, odds are that you aren’t trying to create a “so-so” brand that people tend to forget about. Instead, I’d venture to say that you want to reach cult brand status — or a brand that customers and clients are so loyal to, they forget everything else.
Sound about right?
See, cult brands are the ultimate goal. Cult brands know how to sell a lifestyle that makes their customer want to be a part of, and it works. When a brand is able to cross over into cult brand status, they’ve created an army of people who will buy from them and listen to them… and it’s a big honor to do so.
Here’s how to create your own.
What You Need To Know About Cult Brands
Investopedia (yes, really!) has a definition that I think really encapsulates what cult brands are about:
“A cult brand refers to a product or service that has a relatively small but loyal customer base that verges on fanaticism. A cult brand, unlike more traditional brands, has customers who feel a sense of self-ownership or vested interest in the brand’s popularity and success.”
Can you imagine anything better as a business owner than creating a customer base and a client roster that truly cares about your brand’s success — and loves everything you do? I’d bet not. You probably have some cult brands in your mind as you read this, and that’s the point. A great cult brand is recognizable to almost anyone, regardless of whether or not that person loves the brand.
Here are some of my favorites:
- Glossier: From its origins as a beauty blog all the way to its Instagram-friendly packaging and labels, Glossier is one of those brands that has become instantly recognizable and completely indispensable to the people who use it.
- Peloton: So much of creating a cult brand comes down to the feeling people get when they interact with it, and Peloton has managed to strike a balance between luxury and self-empowerment to create a brand that people would follow into the dark.
- Outdoor Voices: By creating a largely user-generated social media presence and constantly driving home their brand message — to Do Things — Outdoor Voices has created a brand that keeps people coming back… and then going outside.
- Trader Joe’s: While some people may think of Trader Joe’s as just a grocery store, a lot of people think of it as a lot more than that — which is the point! From colorful graphics to friendly staff, Trader Joe’s has built a community of customers that simply won’t shop anywhere else.
5 Ways to Craft a Cult Brand
Being at the helm of a cult brand requires a lot of responsibility, and it requires consistently showing up for each and every person that touches your business… which is something that a lot of brands can’t honestly say that they do. When you’re trying to build a cult brand, it’s your job to pay attention to your people — and then to remind them how great you are.
Here are 5 things to remember as you work to create a cult brand.
Be Unabashedly Value-Centric
When building a cult brand, it’s imperative that people know what you stand for… and that you keep standing for it, no matter what. The best cult brands make it very obvious where they stand on everything from social issues to customer service, and it’s the reason that they’re cult brands. As you start to build your business, create a set of values that you love — and wholeheartedly bring them into every aspect of your brand’s day-to-day. (Pssst… that includes your customer experience!)
Make Your Brand a Lifestyle
Cult brands are cult brands because they manage to sell a lifestyle that people want to live — and they also manage to make people feel like they’re a part of that lifestyle. Ask yourself the lifestyle you want your brand to promote, find out how your brand can help your audience move towards that lifestyle, and then go absolutely all-in on weaving it into every aspect of the business. After all, your product or service should exist to help someone meet some part of a lifestyle — so make it an ideal, recognizable one.
Take Feedback to Heart
When you’re striving to build a cult brand, nothing matters more than the people that are following you. Make sure that your audience and customers are active participants in your brand’s evolution, and bring them in whenever you can. By listening to customer feedback and paying attention to what it is they want (and don’t want), you’ll start cultivating immense loyalty… and that’s the most important piece of the cult brand puzzle.
Bring Community Into the Mix
Community is absolutely key when you’re building a cult brand, because it consistently reminds people of your business and drives home that they’re not alone in their love for it. Whenever you can, offer opportunities for your audience to connect with each other (and with you). That might be as simple as a Facebook group, and it might be as huge as putting on an event. Either way, keep community at the forefront of your brand… and let people keep your brand at the forefront of their minds and social interactions.
Be Open to All People.
Exclusive brands aren’t cult brands — they just aren’t. Cult brands offer an avenue into a lifestyle that anyone can reach, and that means that the brand builders behind the best of them offer that lifestyle to everyone. When creating your mission statement and your values, make inclusivity a huge piece of the puzzle — and then live it. Plus, by being open to all people, you’re much more likely to build a cult following… and isn’t that the point?
At Uno Dos Trae, one of our biggest goals is to help people like you craft cult brands out of their businesses the right way — because, the way we see it, building a cult brand is simply the very best that it gets. A massive piece of building a cult brand comes from creating a standout brand statement that makes your business irresistible, and we’re all about sharing the goods.
Download our free resource here for building an impactful brand statement that can elevate you to cult brand status.