Cult Brand Profiles

Which companies have “Cult Brand” status?

There are many weak brands and Average Joe brands out there. There are even numerous iconic brands in the world, which most other companies aspire to.

But few brands ever develop a deep, penetrating relationship with their customers. Few brands truly win the hearts of their customers, which breeds authentic customer loyalty. Few brands ever adhere to the Seven Rules that define Cult Brands.

We present you with profiles of eleven of the world’s greatest Cult Brands.

Apple Cult Brand ProfileApple Cult Brand Profile

Apple Computers is the epitome of self-empowerment and self-fulfillment combined in one brand. How else to describe a Cult Brand whose original slogan for the Macintosh was, “the computer for the rest of us”?

Oprah Cult Brand ProfileOprah Cult Brand Profile

It’s hardly an accident that Oprah Winfrey has maintained such a fervently steadfast and devoted fan base during her career. She has used her talk show as a daily platform for holding heart-to-heart discussions with her audience.

Harley Davidson Cult Brand ProfileHarley Davidson Cult Brand Profile

To say that Harley had fallen on hard times by 1981 would be a drastic understatement. Japanese companies were destroying the company on pricing and Harley-Davidson’s bikes had lost the quality that made them famous.

Jimmy Buffett Cult Brand ProfileJimmy Buffett Cult Brand Profile

When an unknown Jimmy Buffett moved to Nashville in 1969 to take his shot at making it in the music business, he was not embraced with open arms.

IKEA Cult Brand ProfileIKEA Cult Brand Profile

People are camping outside. Traffic jams are so severe that highway exits must be shut down. Traffic lights are rendered useless requiring police to direct traffic. Is it a new Star Wars film? No, it’s the opening of a new Ikea store.

Linux Cult Brand ProfileLinux Cult Brand Profile

In 1991, Linus Torvalds, a twenty-one-year-old college student, set out to change this picture and develop a “cheap alternative” to UNIX.

Southwest Airlines Cult Brand ProfileSouthwest Airlines Cult Brand Profile

In the wake of September 11th, airlines suffered a major setback. Even after a $15 dollar attempt by the government to save airlines, American, Delta, and United collectively lost $4 billion; the major airlines laid off 16% of their workforce.

Star Trek Cult Brand ProfileStar Trek Cult Brand Profile

Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry couldn’t have been further away from fitting the mold of the typical Hollywood director. He wasn’t born into a Hollywood family, and he didn’t have any connections in the film industry.

Vans Cult Brand ProfileVans Cult Brand Profile

While Vans is today known as a symbol of alternative sports like skateboarding and snowboarding, the company didn’t start out this way.

The Volkswagen Beetle Cult Brand ProfileVolkswagen Beetle Cult Brand Profile

Today the Beetle is regarded as arguably the best-selling car of all time, but back in 1948 it was unknown in the U.S., and many sales types believed no one would ever buy, partly because of its association with Nazi Germany.

World Wrestling Entertainment Cult Brand ProfileWorld Wrestling Entertainment Cult Brand Profile

World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) Vince and Linda McMahon are both masters at challenging and shattering conventional wisdom. They prove that anyone can build a Cult Brand.

MINI Cult Brand ProfileMINI Cult Brand Profile

The Mini became an icon of the 1960s, and its space-saving front-wheel-drive layout influenced a generation of car-makers. The vehicle was produced in many limited edition designs and was easily customizable making it a fun car to make your own.

Zappos Cult Brand ProfileZappos Cult Brand Profile

Founded in 1999, was the product of Internet entrepreneur Tony Hsieh’s Venture Frogs venture capital firm. Focusing on being the best in customer service propelled Zappos to $1 billion in gross sales in 2008, 2 years ahead of schedule.

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