The Oxford English Dictionary defines cult as "something fashionable or popular among a particular group of people".
But when we are talking in reference to Brands it is much more. It means fascination towards these brands not because they deliver distinctive benefits, trustworthy service, or innovative technologies (though they may provide all of these). Rather, this brand fanaticism is due to the reason that these iconic brands forge a deep connection with the culture. In essence, they compete for culture share. (Holt, 2003)
It means being passionate and being proud to own them. It’s not how the brand performs; it’s about what the brand stands for. Icons are valued because, through them, people get to experience powerful myths. Even a seemingly unremarkable product like Mountain Dew - water, sugar, green dye, and carbonation-can take on iconic power and keep it. (Holt, 2003) In a net shell “Cult Brand - ‘one’s icon, one’s ultimate desire.’”
When the consumers of a brand start feeling these kinds of emotions inside them, it can be said that the brand has started to emerge as a cult brand. Take for example, Harley Davidson or IPod or Mountain Dew, there consumers worship their brand not because they are the best or they are of most utility to them but due to the fact that their possession or usage gives them a feeling of pride, a feeling no other brand can give them.
What is Brand?
Many organizations use the term “product manager” interchangeably with “brand manager”. While most of us could think through the semantic difference between a “product” and a “brand”, it seems that (with a few exceptions) the two concepts are not distinguished when used to describe their management. This is a mistake. (Chevron, 1998)
The product is defined by its form and function, what it is and what it does. The product is physical attributes, such as formulation, performance, price, style, design and ease of use. What a product is can be... [continues]
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(2008, 09). Cult Branding. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 09, 2008, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Cult-Branding-163738.html
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