Emerged in Social Media?
Your answer is probably yes. While individual goals and intent differ, you may wonder how to replicate the kind of success or following of seemingly “regular” folks that have embraced the Internets and social media a la Gary V. The question may not be how to do it, but, is it possible for agents.
WTH is a Cult Brand?
Many brands are popular. Toothpaste can be popular, so can cereal. But would you passionately discuss cereal with your friends? Or, would you join a toothpaste community, as Aaron Strout recently asked.
Some brands can evoke that sort of passion – these are often referred to as “cult brands”. Think: Apple and Harley-Davidson. Even people can be a cult brand. Look at Barak and Oprah, and seemingly ‘regular’ people like Guy Kawasaki, Scott Monty and Robert Scoble. Bear in mind, they are leveraging other media – TV and print included.
How does it happen?
There are factors that go into building such a following I don’t believe a service provider can replicate, including that feeling of belonging to a special group, movement or cause. When people go through something together, it’s like there’s mutual suffering together, or a mutual unique situation they share.
People that join actual cults join not to conform, but to become more individual. People that join the cult-like following of “real” people get the same feeling of community and meaning.
People that join actual cults join not to conform, but to become more individual. They feel if they are among others with the same off-beat desires, and within an environment of respect and ‘safety’, they can confidently express themselves.
People that join the cult-like following of “real” people get the same feeling of community and meaning. Through their personal branding efforts and transparency we feel connected to them at a meaningful level, so we are passionate about their success. We are sharing their life, going through their ups and downs with them, creating a strong bond. We feel responsible for their success as if they are a family member. Plus, they are the “cool kids” so we are special by association.
Popularity does not equal cult brand
Can a cult brand be dethroned? Absolutely. If it becomes too predictable, or safe and stops pushing the edge it (or he/she) could be considered a sell-out, and lose its authenticity, despite its following.
Can agents build a cult brand?
You decide. Do buyers & sellers of homes consider themselves part of a highly unique movement that those outside of their group don’t understand? Is it a lifelong association? Not so much, IMHO.
That said, you can build a following. It may not be cult-like, but it can be meaningful. Agents are definitely in business for themselves, but can have an amazing network of agents all over the country. Like a brotherhood/sisterhood and a feeling of belonging and doing and taking care of each other.