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The Power of Cult Branding: How 9 Magnetic Brands Turned Customers into Loyal Followers (and Yours Can, Too!) Hardcover – September 24, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for The Power of Cult Branding:
"Who wants a cult brand? After reading The Power of Cult Branding, you are going to want to create one as soon as possible. The logic, the strategies, and the tactics are spelled out for you in comprehensive detail." —Al Ries, author of The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding and chairman, Ries & Ries Inc.
"Ragas and Bueno have not only demystified branding in their brilliant book but also revealed the heart of how to do it with aplomb. And, at the same time, it's fun to read." —Jay Conrad Levinson, author of the Guerrilla Marketing series
"Cult brands, while not easy to create, are among the most powerful. This book will show the way." —Jack Trout, coauthor of Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind and president, Trout & Partners Ltd.
"The most insightful look at brand positioning since The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing." —Roy H. Williams, coauthor of The Wizard of Ads series
"Understanding the creation and nourishment of great brands is critical to marketers. This book provides a powerful insight into that understanding." — Jeffrey J. Fox, author of How to Become a Rainmaker and How to Become CEO
"An essential guide for marketing in the 21st century." —Alan M. Meckler, chairman and CEO, Jupitermedia Corporation
"Ragas and Bueno teach us the real principles of creating a symbiotic loyalty between our customers and our brand. We need to make our customers partners." —Phil Leigh, vice president of digital media research, Raymond James & Associates
"A masterfully instructive book on what it really takes to build a powerful brand today. It should be required reading for students at the country's top business schools. I recommend it wholeheartedly to entrepreneurs, executives, visionaries, and managers, who should not just read it, but also live by it!" —Edward P. "Ned" Grace III, managing director, Grace Venture Partners

From the Inside Flap

Like religious cults that can attract thousands of devoted disciples, is it possible for company brands to build legions of loyal followers? In a marketer's dream come true, can certain products?with the right combination of positioning and branding?take on magnetic characteristics and galvanize die-hard customers who become walking, talking viral marketers? Can your company harness the power of cult branding without blowing a fortune on advertising?
According to authors Matthew W. Ragas and Bolivar J. Bueno the answer is yes. In fact, you need not look much farther than a Harley-Davidson rally, a Star Trek convention, or a Jimmy Buffett concert to see the cult branding phenomenon at work: thousands of passionate, faithful fans spreading the good word and spending lots of money. Not all brands have the dash of edginess, the devoted fan base, or the niche positioning to be cult brands. But those that do tend to share similar characteristics that make them successful, what the authors call the Seven Golden Rules of Cult Branding. Through meticulous research and scores of interviews Ragas and Bueno have uncovered the remarkable and oft-untold stories behind nine very successful cult brands:
·Star Trek
·Harley-Davidson
·Oprah Winfrey
·World Wrestling Entertainment (formerly WWF)
·Apple
·Volkswagen Beetle
·Jimmy Buffett
·Vans Shoes
·Linux
These nine brands follow the Seven Golden Rules and have millions of fans and billions of dollars in revenue to show for it. Now you can learn first hand what these special brands did to set themselves apart and how to apply the Seven Golden Rules to your own marketing strategies.
Written for advertisers, marketers, sales executives, and business owners who want to thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace, The Power of Cult Branding is the ultimate guide to creating a loyal core of repeat customers and winning the positioning battle.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Prima Venture; 1 edition (September 24, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0761536949
  • ISBN-13: 978-0761536949
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,109,308 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Frank Franklin on September 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a deep love of their life's work -- like I do -- who yearns to see it succeed beyond their wildest expectations.

Who hasn't wanted to be the next Apple, Oprah, Harley or WWF? How is such a phenomenon even accomplished? This book teaches you exactly how it's done, but it doesn't stop there: it gives you the tools necessary to do it, all neatly wrapped inside of Seven Golden Rules, that spell out EXACTLY how to achieve converting customers into loyal followers who evangelize on a company's behalf. After reading this book, I FINALLY know how to achieve this!
Now I know what it takes to convert them from simple customers into passionate fans who spread the good word and spend lots of money. The Power of Cult Branding offers a clear road map, peppered with real-life examples of how others have accomplished building Cult Brands. It's a doable and reproducible process. Ragas and Bueno have dispelled all the mystery on how any business - no matter what size, can achieve its ultimate dream.

The conclusion is my favorite because it takes you by the hand and walks you step by step through CUSTOMIZING the Seven Golden Rules so it's relevant to your situation. This chapter alone is more than worth the price of the book.
I bought this book last Tuesday and I'm on the second pass ... it's already annotated with ideas on how I can apply the Seven Golden Rules to my own company's services. This book is going straight into my "frequently referred to" list of books.
Buy it, you will not be disappointed.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Phreddy Tran on June 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You could distill this entire book into a magazine article. It contains page after page of common sense filler, like explaining the Golden Rule, and such insights as "people like to communicate." And many of its premises -- such as all brands needing an enemy or rival -- are not substantiated by all 9 of their handpicked examples! At least Jim Collins made sure of that in "Good to Great" (a much better book). This book is filled with sloppy scholarship and derivative thinking by two no-names in the business.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dave Lakhani VINE VOICE on March 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Written in clear, no nonsense words that make you think about the basics of branding and what it should accomplish. Exceptional at showing how even the smallest company can create a cult brand. Should be required reading for every serious marketer.
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Campbel on September 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Pay very close attention: "Cult Branding" and "The Seven Golden Rules" are going to make it into the vocabulary of marketers and business owners.
Although the book seems to be geared towards small to mid-sized business owners, I suspect that even huge brands like Sears and IBM are going to want to build loyal followings around specific product offerings by applying the concepts and ideas spelled out in this book.
I was at my college bookstore and at first, the title left me a bit perplexed: The Power of CULT Branding. It sounded negative to me, so it piqued my interest. I bought it after skimming through the pages. This relatively small book is deep; it made me think really hard.
This book is groundbreaking in that it dares to go where other marketing books haven't: by drawing a parallel between loyalty exhibited by cult members to their cult and fans of successful brands to their brand. That took some daring on the part of the authors. When you read it, you'll see the brilliance behind the idea.
After reading it, I discovered that it's not at all negative. On the contrary. All of the brands featured in the book facilitate people getting together so they can go and be with their "own kind." At these events, customers of these brands can form extended families that share in the same value system as they do.
It's a practical guide to how a company can help and reward their loyal customers by supporting them, by helping the customer to achieve fullfilment in their lives. Take Harley, for example, they host bike week events and support bike clubs; Vans Shoes, they build skate parks; Jimmy Buffet, he does music that strikes a chord with people of many different backgrounds and they form groups who support and help each other.
Read more ›
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Samuel Arthur on October 5, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a book that will bring to your hands the modern marketing, giving you easy rules that will transform business into a miracle cult with followers that will promote your brand like a lifestyle. The human being needs to be part of a group and when you create a cult brand, you are giving people the opportunity... yes, the opportunity of being in a social group... all those things and more and more you will find it in this book. On top is very easy to read. After you start you won't stop untill you finish it.
My best wishes to Ragas and Bueno.
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By Brooke Pash on March 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I only read this for a class. It was alright, hardly revolutionary in my mind. I liked how they showed real examples for each of their points however I felt like there was more filler than actual substance to the book. It was an easy read for a business book though. I think that someone without much of a marketing background would find it more beneficial than those who are educated within the field.
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By Dela on May 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I will recommend this book to any and every entrepreneur. It is filled with innovative branding ideas that will radically transform any company. Great book!
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