Hundreds of people lined up at the Apple store on Fifth Avenue at the launch of the latest iPhone in September 2015. The number ran in the thousands around the world as the various launches rolled out. A couple of years ago, a teenager in China, Wang Shangkun, had sold his kidney to buy Apple products.
What is it that makes people brave the cold, long queues and even (scarily) be willing to sell their organs to pay top dollar to Apple when technically superior and less expensive alternatives are available? The answer is uncertain.
But what we do know is that brands such as Apple and Harley Davidson, Lego and Ikea no longer sell mere products. They sell an identity, an affiliation to a tribe and consumers pay to be part of the tribe.
Invent Your Own Language
Few people use tissues these days. Everyone has Kleenex. Looking up something on the Internet is considered passé in an age when you can Google it: you Hoover a carpet and Xerox a document. Samsung manufactures smartphones but Apple’s products are iPhones. Do you notice the thread?
As brand management consultants we know that each of these popular brands has developed its own language. You can do it, too. It will not be easy and it will not be quick, but if you define your target market well and manage your brand experiences effectively, it is certainly within your reach.
Make it All About Your Customers
Any brand marketing consultancy worth its salt will tell you that cult brands don’t brag about them but they still possess a massive followings. How do they do it?
It’s simple: they focus on and talk about their customers. Harley tells us how cool it is to be a rider and Apple promises exceptional customer service using highly effective user interfaces. Technical specifications are rarely emphasized. The stress is always on the experience and how it will change the lives of the user - adding to it, enhancing it, making them a part of an exclusive club.
Successful brands are born after years’ of hard work. They don’t fall from the sky. Using these tools will definitely help you build your brand but it is definitely not all you need to do. To build a truly cult brand for your business, speak to a strategically focused brand marketing agency and build your brand into an experience for your customers that, a competitive advantage that is virtually impossible to match.