How To Build Brand Cults

There's a flattering amount of retweeting of the There Is This Company post and the follow-up going on (thank you!), and one of the angles people suggest is that you don't really need involvement in social media to succeed in the marketplace if your products are as good as Apple's.

Maybe there is something else going on.
A reader sent me an email today asking about the book I mentioned in the comments to one of the posts but couldn't remember at the time. It's Douglas Atkin's The Culting of Brands (aff link), where he draws parallels between different religious cults and brands that enjoy very enthusiastic following, Apple in particular.

What you see above is a screengrab from a deck I presented years ago on the Cult of Mac, and the ten "easy steps" of brand culting (click image to zoom) are from the book's now defunct but archived microsite

The point about exclusivity is dead on.

And so is the part about creating an enemy -- maybe that's what all those Mac vs PC spots really are?

Here's the book's summary I found on Book Rapper along with a bunch of interesting charts. Also see this Business Week's article from back when the book came out.


  1. yourself, have a cause, don't please everyone, but follow us, do as we say,and make sure you have a group identity? Summed up in nearly 300 pages of broken sentences? Interesting.

  2. Very interesting piece and presentation. I like this idea of creating a brand cult. However, I would have to disagree with the notion that you don't need involvement in social media. Most companies products aren't as great as Apple. With that being said, this makes participation in these mediums necessary to build that brand cult.

  3. Thanks for the info about the book!
    G. Night!


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