Whenever I was travelling, I used to observe how the various brands of the world are being talked about. This observation was transformed into thoughts as I got a chance to interact with visionaries like Baz Luhrmann & Suhel Seth. This interaction made my belief in ‘cult culture’ for brands much stronger. A brand should always evolve in a way that it appeals to the customers to the limits of love. 15 years of Soulflower has made me realize how our customers have become shareholders in our brand equity. They consider Soulflower their own and share things beyond the limits product experience with us. This is what cults are all about.
Have you ever wondered what makes ‘Sholay’ a cult? How is ‘Gabbar Singh’ discussed even today?
Moulin Rouge, Harley Davidson, James Bond, Beetle, Linux and many others have successfully evoked fanatic behavior among their consumers. This is not just a game of pumping money to achieve maximum reach. There is some unique connection they share that reaches the bottom of the hearts of their followers. No competitor can successfully challenge this differentiation through merely adding features to their products.
A cult is loyal to an extent that will amaze you.
Members of a cult love to belong to a lifestyle, something they really believe in. A cult is usually characterized by that one differentiating factor which separates the members of that cult from the rest, and more importantly, defines them. You can call it your key uniqueness point (KUP). Some ride on bikes to show it while some use an eaten apple. My point is, they use not only a particular style, but also a certain brand of products or services to express their uniqueness.
What is it that makes a brand a cult?
Firstly, it depends on the perception of your brand. It then, is about the trust on the brand to deliver what is known for. The most beautiful thing about a cult is that it is created by the people according to what connects to them. It is up to you to connect to your customers and show them what they can connect to. Successful cult brands are well known for catering to a particular aspiration of their customers really well. A brand is always owned by the customers. We are mere custodians. We co create and co curate experiences which will take the brand to a next level of the cult tribe.
A brand successfully becomes a cult brand only when:
- It appeals to a certain major aspect of the customer’s personality
- It inculcates a sense of pride amongst people using that brand
- It makes the customers feel unique, in a way they believe they are
- It inculcates a sense of belonging in the mind of the customer
- It finds its way in the lifestyle and behavior of the customer
- It adds value to others’ perception of them
We all are well aware what a cult could do to a brand. It goes beyond mere preference. It is an opportunity to have support and love as we face the challenges of the marketplace. It is a beautiful feeling to know that there is someone who believes in you beyond bounds. It gives you the energy and zeal to go beyond your perceived capabilities to deliver something more than their expectations. And why not? Don’t you do anything and everything in your power to bring happiness to the ones you love? Especially for the ones who stand besides you through your thick and thin?
So, what are you waiting for? #BeTheCult