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Home » Brands building affect in authenticity » To be or not to be a cult brand

To be or not to be a cult brand


Alejandro Marré draws conclusions from brand authenticity and customer loyalty.


Alejandro MarréPoet, visual artist, and publicist

Alejandro MarréPoet, visual artist, and publicist

Creative Director of www.workandfeeling.com 

To be or not to be a cult brand

There is a long and arduous history of the world’s advertising agencies to fight, in order to build, position and promote brands. Some are more famous than others, with a wide and diverse spectrum of methods and styles.

Fostering deep bonds between the audience and advertised products/services is a constant phenomenon in the business world. To achieve the coveted “customer loyalty is one of the ultimate goals, especially during a time in which people are more aware of what they purchase and their opinion is made relevant through highly social digital channels.

To stand out in this vortex of strategies and actions is ever more complex. Establishing affection from and for brands is a very interesting task, especially because we know that at the end of the tunnel there is an implied sale.

It’s worthless to spend large amounts of money on advertising if at the end of the process the consumer will not have a positive experience, when obtaining the publicized product or service. If the goods’ quality varies, if the attention is not great, if prices change all the time, it’s possible for consumers to turn around and choose other brands that do deliver what they offer.

Political parties are a good example of this, since they pay for high sums of money on advertising budgets that definitely hold audiences’ attention for a short while; but in the long run they are not very convincing, and can also be counterproductive in the public’s eye.

Cult brands are those that have managed to establish themselves almost organically in the market’s top of mind, with the help (of course) of advertising; but with a special attitude, they are unique to their consumers.

But, what does a cult brand do to position itself in the clients’ top of mind and in their hearts? What methods and marketing strategies do they practice for that very purpose? What makes the public choose to drink from the red can as opposed to the blue one, or viceversa? Which secret potion do people who sell those “little apple” computers have, or those cowboy cigarette salespeople? What caused the massive Hi5 to Facebook exodus? These are interesting questions to pose when analyzing the lovemarks’ process and success, when often money is not a definitive purchase deal breaker.

In Guatemala there are brands that have managed to sustain themselves within the audience’s hearts, even more so than their minds, achieving that emotional bond spot in the long term among those that consume happily and those that sell more happily.

Big corporations don’t provide the best examples, especially in a country as small as ours, but rather small projects in which the famous phrase: “The owner will see you” may tell us a lot about the success that they’ve had until now.

The nature of their products and services is as diverse as their promotional methods, a lot of which are even low budget but highly successful when fulfilling the brand’s targets. Perhaps a medium but significant percentage of the population has visited or heard about the Esperanto Bar, or has knowledge of young Guatemalan publishers such as Catafixia and Vueltegato. Has anyone heard about the Rave del Castillo, el Quid, la ERRE or the Sophos bookstore?

Beyond their image, products or services and –above all– its cash flow, they are brands that make up a specific target audience and place in history, delivering experiences and creating bonds with consumers that surpass a sale. Through time, this dynamic has made them authentic and that is noticeable at the end of the day, when profits are tallied.

And do we still keep wondering what it is that they do to achieve this success?

Well, it suffices to reach out to them and notice. Maybe if we meet there, we’ll grab a cup of coffee and we’ll continue talking about marketing or anything else.

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