I recently watched a video on the story and creation of Scientology performed by its’ creators’ great-grand son, Jamie DeWolf. It gave me an amazing insight on business and marketing and realized that there is a “Rise of Cult Marketing”.
What is Cult Marketing you say? It is a marketing practice where a company develops it’s branding and policies so much so that it starts to imitate a belief system, or culture within its’ consumers. There are many examples of this now-a-days especially with social media. The biggest two I think are Apple consumers versus Microsoft consumers.
In the video DeWolf states, “if you really want to get rich, you start a religion.” In the same breath he says, “if you have facts, all you need is a little faith.” That really woke my mind up. Why? If you think about a large company, say Apple – each company has a certain aura around them. Apple was geared towards the general PC user and wanted to create a user-friendly computer for the average American. However, it’s consumers appear to be more influenced by artists, designers, students, ‘hipsters’ and the average American… Microsoft – while is still used in many homes because the price of PC products are more budget friendly, have consumers who are more into computer programing and electronics.
This practice has gone into cosmetic companies as well, there’s an indie brand called Lime Crime Cosmetics that features bright and high-pay off makeup. The CEO, Doe Deere is notorious for her specific style and visual elements and encourages their fans to follow their styling. I suppose cult marketing is a mixture of style and quality – but the definition of style is usually described as the voice of the artist or designer.
Each artist or designer has their specific style and technique to create their art, and when a company is born and grows, it takes on an image (brand) of it’s own as well – that the artist or designer has created based on the company’s policies and beliefs.
In this day and age of social media, it becomes clear that consumers become followers (or “believers”) of the company’s product and image. If you find a good company or product that you want to invest your money in you become it’s “follower”. Just like in a religion has it’s followers.
If you create a stigma or personality around your product, and believe in it strongly and market it as so and make it convincing, you’ll attract the same type of thinking in your audience/consumers.
Marketing isn’t just about advertising your product and trying to convince your consumer that it’s the best on the market, marketing has become more about creating a following and that following will be your returning customers. It is something that artists who are musicians who are active in the industry have always known – create a following and the rest will follow you.