What do the Swatch watch, the Stabilo Boss highlighter, the best-seller Da Vinci Code, the Mickey mouse cartoon, Mozart’s music and Pokemon’s collection have in common? We are crazy about these cult products! Well, OK but what else?
The cult product comes from a new vision, a new way of looking at things. It’s an improvement in all domains, a total innovation that redefines a new state of the art. Its dream team has made an original and creative synthesis that redefines excellence. Mickey mouse was the first talking cartoon. The Swatch watch has no less than 161 innovations, the Nokia cell phone 830 patents…, all these are combined in a very simple concept. There is a before and an after.
The quality of the cult product is exceptional: The Oprah Winfrey Show is the highest-rated program of its kind in history and, according to CNN and The Times, Oprah is the most influential woman in the world.
The team who conceived this product has been able to make it resonate with society, with a moment shared by all. Champagne is a special occasion must-have.
It makes us dream. Its legend gives us the freedom to build our own story. Each child is co-creating his Playmobil game. We all love cult products but for different reasons.
The cult product is perennial: Mozart (1756-1791) still represents 40 % of all classic music sales. The Eiffel Tower, built in 1889 as a temporary entry in the universal exposition, still symbolizes Paris.
The cult product is not elitist; it’s made for everybody. Each person can give themselves a BIC pen, all the teens have read Harry Potter and it has become a community reference.
So, Dear Future Shapers, you know it all… or almost . Let’s not lose a minute in inventing the cult products of tomorrow!
You want more? Enjoy reading « How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding » par Douglas B. Holt, associate professor of Marketing at Harvard Business School