At Cult, we use six metrics to determine Culthood. Being remarkable, having purpose, being inspirational, being relatable, being involved, and being pervasive.
Most brands score high on one or two of these yardsticks. Some brands excel on three or four. A few brands can claim five. And a tiny fraction score well on all six.
Unsurprisingly, the world’s largest brand is one of the latter. It fosters what can only be described as lust and love among its customers, and hate and mistrust by its detractors. (This level of polarization is actually another good indicator of culthood.)
It’s also achieved something else that many brands can’t. Its products, their design and the way they function, in every instance, really are the instantiation of its brand. They, themselves, have a higher purpose, inspire, are instantly relatable, and are involved and more pervasive than any other group of products on the planet.
Their buyers interact with the brand almost every minute of their day. But they don’t just buy the products. They buy into the brand.
They touch people, or rather people touch them, for a large chunk of their lives. From waking them up in the morning, to guiding them where they need to go, to helping them work, to entertaining them, to helping them communicate, to literally taking their pulse every few seconds, to monitoring their sleep patterns—their buyers interact with the brand almost every minute of their day. But they don’t just buy the products. They buy into the brand.
As result, this particular brand dominates four industries and looks to be working on two more. It could buy its closest competitor, just with its cash reserves. It creates a media feeding frenzy for every product it produces. Its employees are revered and trusted by millions. Annually, it generates more revenue than the GDP of many countries. The list goes on and on.
Unless you’re a part of some religious cult, high in the Himalayas, I don’t even need to tell you to which brand I’m referring—chances are you wouldn’t be reading this blog without it. But it’s important to remember that everything the brand is today springs from its central purpose, and that fact that it is as focused and remarkable today as it was at its inception, in a small Californian garage, on April 1st, 1976.