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Salim Bueno

Unlock the Power of Cult Branding with BJ Bueno

BJ Bueno Speaker

Brands, like stories, have the power to captivate and inspire. They can become the core of cultures, conversations, and communities. And no one understands this more profoundly than the Author of Cult Branding himself – BJ Bueno.

Why BJ Bueno is Your Ideal Speaker

As the pioneering mind behind the concept of Cult Branding, BJ Bueno has cemented himself as a thought leader in the world of marketing and branding. His insights, strategies, and rules are not just theories—they’re proven formulas that have stood the test of time and brought success to many businesses globally.

What The Leaders Say

Julie Gardner, former Chief Marketing Officer, Kohl’s Department Stores says, “BJ Bueno’s process provides a deep understanding… and positive results are achieved.”

Bert Jacobs, Chief Executive Optimist, The Life is good Company states, “BJ Bueno and his team… have a proven track record of building healthy, sustainable businesses for some of the best brands in the world.”

Al Reis, author of The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, remarks, “After reading The Power of Cult Branding, you are going to want to create one as soon as possible.”

Eric Roads, CEO/Publisher, RADIO INK Magazine proclaims, “BJ is to marketing now what Trout and Ries were 20 years ago.”

Elevate Your Team

Instead of just hearing about it, give your business team the chance to experience it firsthand. Dive deep into the world of Cult Branding with BJ Bueno, elevate your brand’s reach, foster a stronger connection with your customers, and refine your marketing strategies like never before. 

His passion, backed by a profound understanding of human nature, brings transformative value that every team member will benefit from. His presentations transcend typical lectures, evolving into engaging experiences that encourage fresh, innovative perspectives on branding and marketing.

From understanding the power of a cult brand, as Jack Trout, coauthor of Positioning, points out, to the masterful communication prowess that even impressed David Copperfield, the most commercially successful magician in history, BJ Bueno’s expertise is unparalleled.

Bring Cult Branding to your next event and get ready to unlock the secrets of Cult Marketing and revolutionize your team’s perspective on building a brand with loyal followers.

3 Lessons from Nintendo’s Fun-Focused Philosophy

Over four decades, Nintendo has developed a Cult Brand following due to its memorable game franchises, a fun-focused philosophy, and an engaged community. Iconic series like “Super Mario,” “The Legend of Zelda,” and “Pokémon” have created multi-generational appeal while consistently delivering quality experiences.

Nintendo’s philosophy centers around creating “universal joy” for all players, opting for innovative gameplay over cutting-edge graphics. Their “lateral thinking with withered technology” approach has led to breakthrough games like “Wii Sports,” which blurred the line between gaming and physical engagement.

Cultivating a strong relationship with their community has been vital to Nintendo’s success. They listen to player feedback, host annual events for fan engagement, and recently ventured into the cinematic universe with “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” reaping enormous commercial success. A partnership with Universal Studios for a Nintendo-themed park represents another innovative step toward fostering community.

Despite technological advancements and increasing competition, Nintendo’s dedication to fun and inclusivity has sustained its devoted fanbase and a top spot in the gaming industry.

Three Lessons from Nintendo’s Journey:

Create Memorable Experiences: Like Nintendo’s beloved game franchises, creating products or services that resonate deeply with your audience can foster long-term loyalty. Consistent quality, nostalgia, and the ability to create new memories with your brand are critical.

Prioritize User Experience Over Technology: Unlike chasing the latest tech trends, Nintendo focused on innovative gameplay and creating joy for all players. Prioritizing enjoyable and accessible user experiences can set your brand apart from competitors.

Engage Your Community: Listening to feedback, providing platforms for interaction, and continually introducing experiences that strengthen the bond between your brand and its users can cultivate a dedicated community. This can lead to a robust and loyal following and a sense of shared ownership in the brand’s success.

Despite the rapid advancements in gaming technology and increasing competition, Nintendo’s focus on fun and inclusivity has helped it maintain a devoted fanbase and a prominent position in the gaming industry. This journey showcases that while trends and technology may change, the universal appeal of shared fun will always have a place in people’s hearts.

Empowering the Workforce: How Leaders Can Foster Growth and Resilience

In today’s workplace, leaders are facing the challenge of managing teams that are stressed out and struggling to stay productive. With economic uncertainty, layoffs, and geopolitical instability, it’s no wonder that many employees are feeling burned out. As a leader, it’s important to recognize that this is a common issue that requires attention and action. Here are some ways leaders can re-energize their teams and promote positive energy in the office:

Prioritize goal setting 

A leader’s primary responsibility is to set clear objectives for their team. When the goal is clear, it’s easier for team members to focus their energy and make progress toward achieving it. Make sure that the objectives are ambitious but also achievable. Don’t overload your team with too many goals at once.

Encourage breaks and downtime

It’s essential to allow your team to take breaks and have downtime during the workday. Research shows that regular intervals improve productivity and creativity. Encourage your team to take short walks or simply step away from their work for a few minutes when they feel overwhelmed. Consider incorporating mindfulness activities like meditation or yoga into the workday.

Foster a positive work environment

A positive work environment is crucial for promoting energy and creativity. Leaders can create a positive environment by recognizing and rewarding team members’ efforts, offering praise, and being approachable and available for questions or feedback. Celebrate your team’s successes and encourage collaboration and open communication.

Empower employees

When team members feel empowered and have autonomy, they are more likely to be energized and motivated. Encourage your team to take ownership of their work and give them the freedom to make decisions and implement their ideas. When employees feel like they have a say in how things are done, they are more likely to be engaged and productive.

Create opportunities for learning and development

Learning and development opportunities not only help employees grow their skills and knowledge but also promote a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Offer training programs, mentorship opportunities, or workshops to help your team members develop new skills or improve existing ones.

Leaders have a vital responsibility in fostering positive energy and revitalizing their teams. With these strategies, you can help your teams flourish and achieve maximum success.

Interested in cultivating a more resilient, productive, and positive team? Visit us at to discover how we can work together to implement these strategies and others, transforming your leadership and creating an empowering environment that drives success.

How Jimmy Buffett Built a Cult Brand and Became a Billionaire

Jimmy Buffett, the legendary musician known for his songs about partying and the laid-back island lifestyle, has officially joined the billionaire ranks. Through his expanding hospitality empire, personal real estate, song catalog, and private investments, Buffett has successfully built a cult brand that has made him one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the entertainment industry.

Buffett’s empire includes over 30 restaurants and hotels, with his signature Margaritaville chain being a fan favorite among tourists and locals alike. The hotels offer guests a chance to experience the carefree island lifestyle that Buffett has made famous. In addition to hospitality ventures, Buffett has also invested in other industries such as owning a stake in the Miami Dolphins NFL team, a large stake in the sunglasses company Warby Parker, and a partnership with Anheuser-Busch to produce LandShark Lager. He even part-owns the St. Paul Saints minor league baseball team.

One of the biggest assets of Jimmy Buffett’s success is his devoted and largely older “Parrothead” fan base. These fans tend to have plenty of disposable income, and they like to spend it at Buffett-owned properties. Millions of Parrotheads from all over the world stay in Margaritaville hotels every year, gamble in a Margaritaville casino, retire in a Margaritaville community, or shop at Margaritaville retail stores in shopping malls and airports. One can even go on a cruise on the Margaritaville Paradise with Margaritaville at Sea.

Buffett’s success began with his love for Key West, Florida. He opened his first restaurant, Margaritaville Cafe, in Key West in 1985, and it quickly became a hit. From there, he continued to expand his restaurant chain, opening locations in popular tourist destinations. He also started investing in hotels, opening the first Margaritaville resort in Pensacola Beach, Florida, in 2010. Since then, he has opened hotels and resorts in various locations.

One of the keys to Buffett’s success has been his ability to create a cult brand experience that his fans cannot get enough of. His empire offers a chance for people to escape from their everyday lives and embrace a more relaxed, carefree lifestyle. Additionally, Buffett’s hospitality empire is built on a strong business foundation. His team is dedicated to providing top-notch customer service and creating a strong brand that resonates with consumers. With his diversified portfolio, Buffett has weathered economic downturns and other challenges.

Finally, Buffett’s most popular and well-known songs, known as “The Big 8,” have been his core canon. These include “Margaritaville,” “Come Monday,” “Fins,” “Volcano,” “A Pirate Looks at Forty,” “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” “Why Don’t We Get Drunk,” and “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes.” Last year, Buffett’s song “Margaritaville” was added to the Library of Congress as a significant piece of cultural work.

Overall, Jimmy Buffett’s success can be attributed to his ability to create a cult brand that resonates with his fans, as well as his diverse business portfolio and dedication to providing an exceptional customer experience.

“Who wants a cult brand? After reading The Power of Cult Branding, you will want to create one as soon as possible. The logic, the strategies, and the tactics are spelled out for you in comprehensive detail.” —Al Ries, author of The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding.

Join us in our quest to create a cult-like following for your business, and let’s redefine success together! Don’t miss out—your brand’s future awaits at

Creating a Winning Company Culture

The Psychology of Winning by Denis Waitley is a classic self-help book that outlines the mindset necessary to achieve success in all areas of life. Although the book is primarily focused on personal achievement, the insights it offers can be applied to creating a strong company culture. 

Focus on the Positive

One of the main themes of The Psychology of Winning is the importance of focusing on the positive. According to Waitley, success is not just about achieving goals, but also about developing a positive attitude and mindset. In the workplace, this means creating a culture that celebrates successes and encourages employees to focus on what is going well rather than what is going wrong. This can be achieved through regular recognition and rewards for outstanding performance, as well as creating a culture of gratitude and appreciation.

Embrace Change

Another key principle of The Psychology of Winning is the importance of embracing change. Waitley argues that success requires a willingness to adapt and change course when necessary. This principle is particularly relevant in today’s rapidly changing business landscape, where companies must be agile and adaptable in order to survive. Creating a culture of innovation and experimentation can help foster this willingness to embrace change and help employees feel comfortable taking risks and trying new things.

Build Resilience

Resilience is another important characteristic outlined in The Psychology of Winning. According to Waitley, successful people are able to bounce back from setbacks and failures, and use these experiences as opportunities for growth and learning. In the workplace, building resilience means creating a culture that encourages risk-taking and experimentation, while also providing support and resources to help employees overcome obstacles and challenges.

Develop a Growth Mindset

The concept of a growth mindset, popularized by psychologist Carol Dweck, is also relevant to creating a strong company culture. A growth mindset is the belief that intelligence and abilities can be developed through hard work and dedication. This mindset is in contrast to a fixed mindset, which assumes that abilities are fixed and cannot be changed. Creating a culture of learning and development can help foster a growth mindset among employees, and encourage them to continuously improve their skills and abilities.

Foster a Sense of Purpose

Finally, The Psychology of Winning emphasizes the importance of having a sense of purpose in life. According to Waitley, successful people are driven by a sense of purpose and meaning, and are motivated by a desire to make a positive impact on the world. In the workplace, this means creating a culture that values and supports employees’ personal and professional goals, and aligning these goals with the company’s mission and values. This can help employees feel a sense of purpose and fulfillment in their work, and ultimately lead to a more engaged and motivated workforce.

By focusing on the positive, embracing change, building resilience, developing a growth mindset, and fostering a sense of purpose, your organization can create a culture that supports employee success and drives business results.

Elevate your team’s potential with the transformative power of the Brand Vision Workshop. This experiential team-building program is designed to unite your team around a shared brand vision, cultivate unwavering brand loyalty, and drive sustainable growth. Engage in immersive sessions, strategic discussions, and creative brainstorming activities to co-create a powerful brand vision that deeply resonates with your target audience. By partnering with us, you’ll gain invaluable insights and strategies to shape the future of your brand and turn your customers into passionate brand evangelists. Discover more about this one-of-a-kind opportunity to empower your team and elevate your brand at

From $8 to $102 per Share: The Incredible Rise of WWE Through Cult Branding

During the early days of wrestling, Vince McMahon and Linda McMahon pioneered using cult branding tactics to build a loyal following. They created larger-than-life characters, intense storylines, and unique marketing strategies that made fans feel like they were part of an exclusive club. This approach helped transform professional wrestling from a regional attraction to a global phenomenon, with the WWE now boasting an incredibly passionate fan base. The McMahons’ innovative branding techniques enabled them to construct a wrestling empire that has experienced phenomenal expansion, as evidenced by the WWE’s stock price surging from $8 in 2002 (when we initially covered the brand in our book The Power of Cult Branding) to an astonishing $100 at present. Such success has put the WWE in a position to be acquired by Endeavor Group Holdings Inc, the owners of UFC, a brand that also leverages cult branding tactics to cultivate its devoted following.

So what is cult branding, and how has it helped the WWE to grow and succeed over the years? Cult branding is a marketing strategy that focuses on building a devoted following of fans who are deeply committed to a particular brand or product. These fans are not just loyal customers; they are evangelists who will go to great lengths to promote and defend the brand they love. They are passionate, engaged, and emotionally invested in the success of the brand.

The WWE has been incredibly successful in building a cult brand over the years. They have cultivated a passionate following of fans deeply committed to the company and its wrestlers. This has been accomplished through a variety of tactics, including creating compelling storylines and characters, engaging fans through social media and other digital platforms, and hosting live events that provide fans with an immersive and unforgettable experience.

One of the key elements of the WWE’s success has been their ability to create larger-than-life characters that fans can connect with on an emotional level. From the iconic Hulk Hogan to Stone Cold Steve Austin to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the WWE has produced a steady stream of wrestlers who have captured the imaginations of fans around the world. These wrestlers have become household names, and their popularity has helped to elevate the profile of the WWE as a whole.

The WWE’s cult branding tactics have also attracted the attention of celebrities and artists outside of the wrestling world. WrestleMania, the WWE’s biggest event of the year, has featured appearances by notable names such as Snoop Dogg, Bad Bunny, and Logan Paul. These celebrity appearances not only bring added star power to the event but also help to expand the reach of the WWE’s brand to new audiences. By attracting mainstream attention and breaking into popular culture, the WWE has solidified its status as a cultural phenomenon and cemented its place in the entertainment industry.

Another important factor in the WWE’s success has been its embrace of social media and other digital platforms. By engaging with fans on social media, WWE has been able to build a strong sense of community around their brand. Fans interact with wrestlers, share their own content, and stay up-to-date on the latest news and developments in the world of professional wrestling.

From the very beginning, WWE has been successful in creating live events that provide fans with an immersive and unforgettable experience. From WrestleMania to SummerSlam to Monday Night Raw, the WWE has created a series of events that are more than just wrestling matches. Combining athleticism, storytelling, and entertainment, these spectacles entice fans to travel the world to witness the event firsthand.

The WWE’s success is a testament to the power of building a cult brand. By building a devoted following of fans who are emotionally invested in the success of the brand, WWE has been able to grow and thrive over the years. With an acquisition by Endeavor Group Holdings Inc on the horizon, the future of the WWE looks bright, and fans around the world are eagerly anticipating what comes next.

With over 20 years of experience as The Cult Branding Company, we’ve honed our strategies and methods to help companies identify their brand’s DNA, gain deep consumer insights, and understand the marketplace ecosystem. We are an independent agency that creates strong and provocative relationships between good companies and their customers.

The Cult Brand Mindset: Focus on Being the Best Version of Your Brand

In today’s highly competitive business environment, brands are constantly looking for ways to stand out from the crowd. One strategy that has proven successful for some brands is to become a “cult brand.” Cult brands are those that have a dedicated and loyal following of customers who are not only repeat buyers but also advocates for the brand.

However, in the pursuit of becoming a cult brand, many companies make the mistake of focusing on trying to be the next “iPhone killer” or “Tesla killer.” They want to take down the top dogs in their industry and become the new leader. While this may seem like a good strategy, it can be a recipe for disaster. Instead of focusing on becoming the next big thing, brands should focus on becoming the best version of themselves.

What does it mean to be the best version of your brand? It means focusing on what makes your brand unique and valuable to your customers. It means identifying your strengths and weaknesses and working to improve them. It means constantly listening to your customers and striving to meet their needs and exceed their expectations.

One example of a brand that has successfully become the best version of itself is Patagonia.

Patagonia is a clothing and outdoor gear brand that has a strong commitment to environmental and social responsibility. Instead of trying to take down other outdoor gear brands, Patagonia focuses on being the best at what they do: creating high-quality products that are sustainable and ethically made. This commitment to their values has helped them build a loyal following of customers who appreciate their brand and what it stands for.

Another example is Zappos. Instead of trying to beat out other retailers like Walmart, Zappos focuses on creating an outstanding customer experience. They offer free shipping and returns, a 365-day return policy, and a customer service team that is available 24/7. This dedication to customer service has helped them build a loyal following of customers who trust and appreciate the brand.

Becoming a cult brand is a goal for many companies, but it’s important to approach it in the right way. Instead of trying to be the next big thing, brands should focus on becoming the best version of themselves. This means identifying their strengths and weaknesses, listening to their customers, and committing to their values. By doing so, brands can build a loyal following of customers who appreciate and advocate for their brand, which is ultimately what makes a brand successful.

With over 20 years of experience as The Cult Branding Company, we’ve honed our strategies and methods to help companies identify their brand’s DNA, gain deep consumer insights, and understand the marketplace ecosystem. We are an independent agency that creates strong and provocative relationships between good companies and their customers.

Top 5 Cult Branding Blogs of 2022

Cult Branding's Top Loyalty and Crisis Blogs of the Year

Below are the 5 most popular blogs of the year.

They cover everything from social media to customer trust to the power of gratitude.

If you’re reading them for the first time, we hope you find new insights. If you’re reading them again, we hope you find a valuable reminder that you can put to action in the new year.

We wish you and your family a happy, healthy, and fantastic New Year.

Is Your Social Media Strategy Really A Social Media Strategy?

The social media landscape changed a lot in 2022. But its core function hasn’t changed. In “Is Your Social Media Strategy Really A Social Media Strategy?” we look at the core function that many businesses miss.

Three Vitally Important Lessons I Learned About Trust While In a Filthy Gas Station Bathroom

A lot is written on customer loyalty. But most of it ignores the precursor to loyalty: trust. Without trust, you can’t get to loyalty.

In “Three Vitally Important Lessons I Learned About Trust While In a Filthy Gas Station Bathroom,” we look at how easy trust is to break and how competitors can use another company’s failure to gain trust to wow their own customers.

Can Customers Trust Your Brand?

Another article on trust. We expect to see a lot more articles written next year on trust (and we plan to write a few ourselves).

In “Can Customers Trust Your Brand?” we look at how brands are outpacing governments in their ability to create trust.

Where Is the Love? Understanding What Went Wrong for Netflix

Even big brands with a lot of customer data can make big mistakes (just look what happened to the ones featured in Good to Great).

In “Where Is the Love? Understanding What Went Wrong for Netflix,” we look at some of the missteps Netflix has made lately and how it could affect customer loyalty.

Four Ways to Make Gratitude a Daily Practice

There’s plenty of research out there showing how adding daily practices of gratitude can improve your well being.

In this “Four Ways to Make Gratitude a Daily Practice,” we describe four ways to easily incorporate gratitude into your daily life.

Four Ways to Make Gratitude a Daily Practice

When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.                    —PAUL COELHO

When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.Paulo Coelho1

Life truly is a gift, regardless of how great or troublesome life and business may appear. Below are four tips to improve your attitude about gratitude and make it a daily practice.

1. Schedule Time to Give Thanks

Incorporate more gratitude into your daily life. Schedule at least a few minutes to feel grateful. Make it a daily appointment with yourself. When the alarm sounds, think of three things you can be thankful for and write them down in your journal. These moments of gratitude will shift your focus from feeling stressed to feeling uplifted.

Another approach is to start and end the day with this gratitude exercise. Being thankful first thing in the morning is optimal because it starts your day with positive energy and primes you for the rest of your day. Reserving time before bed can help put your mind at ease and be a catalyst for a good night’s rest.

2. Write Thank You Notes

Saying thank you is an excellent way to show your appreciation for all the small things people do for you. But the sentiment can lose power when spoken often. Giving a speech on Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetary, less than two weeks before his death, President John F. Kennedy, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

Express gratitude through writing. At the end of your day, write a note, send an email, or text the words “thank you” to a colleague whom you are grateful for. Writing will allow you to reflect on why you are genuinely thankful. The letter will also serve the recipient as a token of your appreciation.

3. Stay Present

In The Artist is Present, Marina Abramovic writes, “We always project into the future or reflect in the past, but we are so little in the present.” We are all accomplished multi-taskers, always analyzing past decisions and projecting future consequences.

Unfortunately, divided attention makes it hard to feel genuine gratitude. Take time to be present. Appreciate the person you’re with instead of the phone in front of you, the flowers outside the window, and even a hot cup of coffee. Being in the now is not easy, but tools like meditation can help you stay present, allowing you to focus more on gratitude.

4. Celebrate Thanksgiving Every Day

Every day is a holiday, and every meal is a feast. Think of your lunch break as a giving-thanks break. Sit down for lunch with your colleagues and treat it as Thanksgiving. Share what you are grateful for in your personal life. Take turns talking about what you appreciate about each other.
Offer specific examples, such as, “I appreciate all the hard work you’ve done to help me with my report, despite your demanding schedule.”

Not only is sharing a meal great for establishing a thriving corporate culture, but it also will make colleagues feel more connected.


What you focus on grows. When you focus on the many gifts you already have, you create more of these gifts. Maintain these practices every week, and you will cultivate a grateful attitude year-round.


Top 5 Cult Branding Blogs of 2021

Cult Branding's Top Loyalty and Crisis Blogs of the Year

Taking into consideration your opens, shares, and clicks, below are our five most popular blogs of 2021.

We thank you for your continued readership. We wish you and your family a happy, healthy, and fantastic New Year.

BJ, Salim, and Aaron

Make Business Matter

In August, we launched our podcast, Make Business Matter with two episodes:” What is the Purpose of Busines?” and “What is Branding?”

We will return with more episodes in 2022, including some episodes featuring guests that we’re fans of.

The Power of Thank You

In a year that refocused many people and organizations on what is meaningful, it’s not surprising that our post “The Power of Thank You” was one of the most popular of the year. Sometimes simple gestures can have meaning that far outweighs the effort.

Seven Easy Ways to Make Customers You Meet Feel Important

Customers are increasingly looking for businesses that value them and their business. In “Seven Easy Ways to Make Customers You Meet Feel Important,” we reveal seven ways anyone in an organization can make customers they encounter feel valued.

How to Start a Cult … Brand

If you want to do something well, it helps to study the best. In “How to Start a Cult … Brand,” we discuss 5 things Cult Brands do to create high levels of loyalty that can be applied to any business (even if you don’t want to go full-on Cult Brand).

How to Put Archetypes to Work in Your Business

Archetypes are like software programs that come preinstalled on your computer (mind). You may not know they exist, but they are always either running in the background or ready to run after a single click.

In this blog, we show how you can mimic great brands and use archetypes to create and keep customers.