Cult brands inspire employees and turn regular customers into passionate fans. The first law of cult branding is one of the most essential laws in putting this to practice. Brand POV is:
Having a strong and defined point of view, especially in opposition to an “enemy.”
Brands build strategies on the backbone of POV to establish their position. This is a fundamental trait of cult brands as we discussed in the first post of the series. Learn more about top global brands using POV to build their strategy.
1. Cult brands understand the importance of POV and build entire strategies on it.
Apple is a classic example of a brand that defined a strong POV. It attacked its number one enemy – IBM and the PC market – in public. Apple took the David vs. Goliath approach and launched one of the most famous commercials in the history of advertising, “1984”, an ad for Super Bowl XVIII. It depicted its “enemy” as a dystopian society that repressed free-thinking and choice. Apple showcased the Mac as a tool for combating conformity and asserting originality. What better way to do that than have a striking athlete take a sledgehammer to the face of the ultimate symbol of conformity – Big Brother?
Another brand that has taken a strong stance with its POV is Dove. Dove launched its Campaign for Real Beauty more than 10 years ago to tackle unrealistic portrayals of women in ads. Research shows that a mere 2% of women worldwide consider themselves beautiful. Dove spearheaded a dialogue targeting a woman’s perception of her body image – and it worked. Sales grew from $2.5 to $4 billion and this campaign continues to generate viral discussion today.
2. Cult brands leverage POV for brand positioning.
American Standard, a former cult client, leveraged POV to launch a successful campaign against its competitor Kohler. Kohler carved itself a niche as the leading plumbing fixture fashion brand with its “Bold Look of Kohler”. At American Standard headquarters in New Jersey, we learned of a new game-changing flushing technology. After experimenting with various flushing tests our team discovered that the new Champion toilet could flush 29 golf balls at once. A new idea was born – “Can your toilet flush 29 golf balls?” This campaign positioned American Standard as the premium high-performance toilet brand. The Champion became the best-selling toilet within 12 months and disrupted Kohler’s strategy by boldly challenging its functionality.
There’s a line we love to say at Cult Marketing, “Create something someone will love, not something no one will hate.” Brands cannot be all things to all people. Period. Establish a defining point of view based on a deep belief or breakthrough insight about your product and your raving fans will come!