Cult has a 600lb gorilla of a presentation that gets into what makes cult brands different a lot deeper, and with way more highfalutin words than I will here.

But, since this is prompted by a small nugget of delicious brand goodness I saw on the weekend, and since this, then, is about the small things that great brands do, a short blog seems rather more appropriate.

This is about things that aren’t corporately mandated. These little acts are not expressly written into some Vision, or Mission or Values Statement. But those guiding principles and the culture they have helped breed are most certainly at the root of them, or at least empowered the employees to do them.

These little acts are not expressly written into some Vision, or Mission or Values Statement.

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What am I talking about? There’s the time the Fedex guy chartered a helicopter with his own money to get packages that absolutely positively had to be there overnight. There’s the time the Panera employee broke all the rules, and made Clam Chowder on a Friday, for a woman who’s grandmother was dying of cancer in a local hospital, and craving her favourite soup.

And there’s this time. The time last week when a Shopper’s Drug Mart pharmacist took it upon himself to prescribe a monster- suppressant spray for a mother who couldn’t get her child to sleep. It’s not a big thing, it’s not an expensive thing. But it got lots of attention.

It’s something everyone who sees it will remember and perhaps share (so far over a thousand times and counting).

So next time someone says they don’t get what makes cult brands different, point them here. These are the types of little things that help companies build this intangible and illusive irrational loyalty. They are not written into the corporate culture, but they’re definitely encouraged and incubated by it.

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