I’m Doug McIntyre, CEO of Cult Marketing.  When I left my prior agency to start Cult Marketing over a decade ago, I did it with the belief that all great brands share a common set of characteristics or traits. It was clear to me then and is now, that there is a path to accelerate growth and excitement for your brand by incorporating the traits that define a cult brand. 

Cult brands inspire employees and turn regular customers into devoted and passionate fans. At Cult, we define a cult as a group of people that share a passion, idea, or belief. I started Cult Marketing with the idea that we would help companies develop passionate customers for their products and services.

What is a cult brand? 

Understanding the phenomenon of cult brands starts with the realization that all successful brands have a strong customer base at their core. Many cult brands use the 80/20 scenario, where 20 percent of customers drive 80 percent of revenue. These are the most sought-after customers in any market segment. 

Who are cult customers? 

Not only do cult customers drive revenue, but they also exemplify brand loyalty and are less likely to drift and purchase from other brands. These customers strongly identify with your brand offering and understand what makes it different from competitors. This leads to less customer turnover and lower marketing costs. 

They are also brand evangelists who spread the brand’s gospel, usually by word-of-mouth. They love your brand and want to inspire others to feel the love too. A positive word-of-mouth referral from a credible and trusted source is the most powerful and effective marketing tactic your brand can adopt! 

Cult customers tend to be price averse because they see the value in your product or service. They are often early brand adopters who will pay top dollar for the latest technology, model, style, or flavor regardless of the flashy discounts your competitors might offer. 

Lastly, cult customers are emotionally engaged and constantly look for information, updates, and news from your brand to feel “in the know”. They love being a part of the “movement” and look for opportunities to join brand loyalty clubs or rewards programs. 

How do you build a cult brand?

While every brand wants a cult customer base, it takes work to build a strategy that will attract dedicated customers.

We’ve been studying the defining characteristics of cult brands for years and have developed what we call the “11 Laws of A Cult Brand.”

Over the coming weeks, we will highlight each of these “laws” and how brands have successfully exemplified these traits in their brand messaging and strategy to build a cult following. I can’t wait to share what I’ve learned over the last decade with you. See you soon.

March came in like a lion in Ohio, and the same can be said for the work we are doing at TourismOhio to aggressively market the state as a relevant travel destination.

As springtime emerges, it brings a fresh look and new hope for the future. TourismOhio is embracing this season of change as we develop new, impactful messaging for the state. One of the strategic pillars from the PlantoWin is Branding and Marketing Communications, so I want you to be assured about the work we are doing to promote Ohio through spring and summer.

TourismOhio has selected two Ohio-based marketing agencies to create the brand architecture, develop creative and buy media. Cult Marketing will assist with the branding and creative services work and Marcus Thomas LLC was selected to conduct media planning and ad placement to promote Ohio tourism. I am encouraged by the level of interest we received during the selection process and am ready get down to work on identifying an emotional and head-turning brand that will take Ohio tourism to a new level. We have a fast-paced timeline to begin rolling out a new brand and now have the partners in place to make it happen!

While the branding work gets underway, Ohio is in the mix as travelers plan their spring and summer travel. The Spring/Summer Co-Op advertising includes print, radio and digital campaigns with a call to action to order or download the 2015 Ohio Travel Guide and app. In fact, the Co-Op investment from TourismOhio and industry partners is up $250,000 from where it was a year ago, totaling $1.5 million (an increase of almost 20%). Creative was also developed for print publications such as Country Living Magazine and a regional newspaper insert which will go out Sunday, May 17. In addition, be on the lookout for a 12-page Ohio insert, featuring 20 only-in-Ohio experiences in the May/June issue of Midwest Living…


Click the link to view the full article.