Too many brand stewards (and subsequently their budgets) are seemingly addicted to certain marketing behaviors and woefully under-invest in some of the most impactful, yet least appreciated, marketing activities. The newly refreshed FIX book offers a new prescription with more in-depth case studies, insights to apply to your business and a deep dive into Cult’s eight cult-brand principles including, Be Remarkable, Co-Creation, Pick a Fight, Congregate, Build From Within, Have Purpose, Be Relatable and Create Rites & Rituals.
Consider yourself a marketer, business executive, entrepreneur or intrapreneur? We’ll consider this book sold!
Here’s the gist of FIX in a nutshell. The world’s most successful and significant businesses known affectionately as cult brands given their irrational levels of adoration and affinity typically display five key attributes:
- They enjoy above-average brand attachment, which is a specific metric measuring audience engagement (more so than popularity or likelihood to refer metrics). People don’t just like cult brands, they love them.
- They benefit from above-average word of mouth. Their businesses thrive from enviable levels of advocacy and earned media.
- They spend less on traditional advertising. They don’t rely heavily upon paid media campaigns to stimulate demand.
- They preserve margin by discounting less. Most of their customers are willing to pay full price (and oftentimes a premium one).
- They benefit from heightened internal engagement, resulting in increased productivity from staff willing and able to do more with less.
With such desirable benefits, why don’t more brands achieve cult-like status? In our experience, the answer revolves around three common characteristics.
Executives don’t truly understand what good looks like
Too many business leaders are content with modest year-over-year growth, or believe their job is to satisfy shareholders’ expectations more than properly engage customers. More leaders should be exposed to how cult brand leaders think. For example, Tim Hortons became an iconic cult brand by doing more than selling coffee and donuts. They aligned themselves to local communities and became a symbol for Canadian values.
Too many leaders act out of fear, rather than a burning desire to do something great
As businesses grow, founders leave, new executives take their place. These new leaders are usually more worried about maintaining the status quo rather than disrupting it. Conversely, cult brand leaders find ways to rally people around the brand’s original ideal and expertly expand upon the brand’s ethos. As result, employees turn into evangelists and customers into cult followers. For example, whether a brand’s true purpose is to save the planet, like Lush, or to help people support each other in living their best lives, such as Orangetheory Fitness, or to improve a business’ marketing ROI, such as Hootsuite, cult brand leaders understand people care more about what they stand for than what they sell.
Many leaders simply don’t know how to become cult-like
Most executives over the age of 40 have an unholy fixation on mass media and markdowns. If you want to achieve the same brand love by customers as exhibited by cult-brands around the globe, FIX challenges you to rethink your brand’s marketing paradigm – or better yet your entire marketing playbook. For example, one of Cult’s first clients was Harley Davidson. Harley Davidson’s Global CMO championed spending only 15 percent of his marketing budget on awareness and acquisition-based activities. The lion’s share, 85 percent, was spent getting existing customers to buy more products, more often, and to refer their friends to the brand.
Co-authors, Chris Kneeland, Ryan Gill and Rob Howard wrote FIX to help more brand leaders display greater courage, dream bigger, and expect more from themselves and their organizations. Brands need raving fans who are hyper-engaged and capable of producing predictable profits, year after year. The eight attributes of cult brands discussed herein are the most dominant activities your brand should involve itself with in order to increase your odds of success.
Purchase your copy of FIX for only $29.99 USD (includes shipping & handling) and learn our prescription for curing disengaged customers, prospects and staff.
Looking for more? You’re in luck.
Learn about FIX: the webinar. Take a deep dive into Cult’s eight cult-brand principles and find out how they can be customized to suit your brand.
What to go even further? There’s more!
Find out if the FIX: the workshop is right for your brand. Learn what it takes to create more meaningful engagement amongst your brand’s customers, prospects and employees in our in-depth discovery of how your brand can elevate to cult-like status.