Cult Brand – Understanding the Unique Business Rarity


A cult brand garners loyalty from customers and in return delivers a consistent product or service that keeps them happy. Read how a cult brand comes to be and ways a business could aim to develop one.

What Is a Cult Brand?

A cult brand captivates its customers at a dogmatic level. It has such a loyal following due to the fact their target market believes the company, product or services are a lifestyle choice rather than a mere purchase. A cult brand creates strong feelings of inclusion for customers.

An example of a cult brand is Harley Davidson motorcycles. Buying a Harley Davidson bike is like entering a family of loyal riders who share something special together on the road. Their base would never buy a motorcycle other than a Harley, and they bond with one another as if they’ve grown together as people due to the fact they both have bought into a culture. Harley Davidson also brings to light the idea that a cult brand isn’t a short-term craze, like a fad diet. Their customers are fanatical over a lifetime of purchasing, rather than a few short years.

Bikers traveling on the road in a pack.
Harley Davidson is a good example of a cult brand.

How to Reach the Status of Cult Brand

Most companies share the goal of reaching cult brand status, even if subconsciously. The idea of creating such a powerful brand that customers choose it over any other out of pure loyalty seems like a sound business decision. However, developing a cult brand takes out-of-the-box originality and higher-level understanding. A brand can be successful without being a cult brand. This happens when a brand has recognizable logos and strong brand recognition but fail to reach the level of fanaticism a cult brand has. For example, a lot of people trust the Coca-Cola brand to deliver a delicious product, but if Pepsi products are on-sale at the grocery store for the month, they have no problem switching over for the time being to save money.

A cult brand found a way to elicit powerful emotions and allowed customers to find meaning in their brand or product. They did this in numerous ways – through publications that painted vivid life pictures and subtly tied in their product, or by creating a service that was massively different from other similar companies. The common denominator is the idea was unique and set it apart from other companies.

A woman shops at a grocery store.
A cult brand involves a unique idea.

Why Would Developing a Cult Brand Be Beneficial?

A cult brand maintains a long term loyalty of customers to your brand and yours alone. Rebranding becomes less of an issue, and your direct competitors pose much less of a threat to you. It also means your efforts to come up with new ways to renovate your product or methods of branding is less important. Certainly things like rebranding, aggressive marketing and product renovation will still be part of your company – but on a much smaller scale than average businesses.

By the same token, any changes that brand or product undergoes won’t be met with as much skepticism from your target market. Often times change is necessary due to the climate of a product or service, and explaining its value is time-consuming and costly. A cult brand maintains its customers with minimal marketing campaigns designed to justify a decision.

A cult brand is hard to create, due to the many unique circumstances surrounding each one. However, if you have a business idea that potentially stands out, you could progress your brand into a fanatically-followed enterprise.