Can Cult Online Brands go Mainstream Without Selling Out?
By Tom&Co.
Online Brands

You invent the best widget in the world and decide to launch it on your own e-commerce website. You soon start to gain a rabid but small following of people who regularly feed you information on what you could do to make your product and its advertising better. You engage your growing customer base and realize that your fiercely loyal customers are bringing in other loyal customers. Before you know it, you are a cult hit.

What Is A Cult Hit?

A cult hit is something that a small group of people grab onto and usually are not too anxious to share. The prevailing thought among people who like these types of products is that they have found something special, they were instrumental in making that product successful, and they should have a say in how the product grows.

The Problems With Taking A Cult Hit Mainstream

The idea behind taking a cult hit into the mainstream is to add a much broader audience to your enthusiastic cult following. In a cult following situation, most members of your customer base pride themselves on being knowledgeable about your product. When you take that product mainstream, the casual product users tend to clash with the hardcore fans and there is the possibility that you could lose your cult following. In many cases, when a product loses its cult following before it catches on in the mainstream, that product loses its cult following and fails.

Can You Take A Cult Hit Mainstream?

The key to taking a cult hit mainstream is lots of time and lots of interaction between your company and your core fan base. If you try to buy your way into the mainstream with a big IPO or something, then you are all but guaranteeing that you will lose most of your cult following. But if you take everything gradually and make changes that prepare your company for eventual growth, then you have a chance at a successful expansion into the mainstream.

If you get your cult followers involved in your growth, then they feel like they are at the bottom floor of something very important. Instead of bypassing those people who helped to build your brand, you are turning them into brand ambassadors and letting all of those highly enthusiastic and knowledgeable people help move your company into a bigger spotlight.

The path from cult status to the mainstream is a slow and gradual adventure. It is critical that you constantly engage your enthusiastic and loyal customer base, and get them to start talking about your product to others. Let your most loyal customers build secret societies based on your product, because that only increases your product’s mystique and makes the mainstream want your product even more.

But if you go too fast and try to bypass your cult fan base to get to the mainstream, then you could lose it all. You need a highly skilled digital marketing company to give you the guidance you need to make your corporate dreams come true.

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