DEFINITION of 'Cult Brand'
A product or service that has an energetic and loyal customer base. A cult brand, unlike others, has customers who can be described as near-fanatical, true believers in the brand and may feel a sense of ownership or vested interest in the brand's popularity and success. Cult brands have achieved a unique connection with customers, and are able to create a consumer culture that people want to be a part of. Examples of modern cult brands include the Mini Cooper, Harley-Davidson, Vespa, Zappos and Apple.
BREAKING DOWN 'Cult Brand'
A brand, by definition, is a distinguishing logo, mark, sentence, symbol or word that identifies a particular product. Companies use various strategies to improve brand recognition and build brand equity. Very recognizable brands include Nike, Coca-Cola and Microsoft.
Cult brands are different from fads. A fad is a short-lived "craze" where a particular product suddenly gains a lot of attention among a large population, marked by a temporary and excessive enthusiasm and then just as quickly fizzles out of style. Where fads are unsustainable and last only a short period of time, cult brands typically begin small and gradually build a steady following.