Pray to Your Brand

May 15, 2021

Customer loyalty.

Sounds like something from an 80s department store. Getting your card punched to win a free sandwich. Earning reward points on your credit card.

Fans? Fans go to ballgames when the weather’s nice and their team is winning.

Forget that. What you want–what you need–are devotees.

People who love your brand. People who believe in your brand. People who find transcendent meaning in your brand. People transformed by your brand. People utterly devoted to your brand.

And you have to be devotee #1.

You have to be the chief believer. Your brand’s high priest. The oracle it chooses as its mouthpiece.

Richard Branson embodies Virgin. Steve Jobs devoted himself to Apple until it killed him. Yvon Chouinard lives and breathes the ethos of Patagonia. Beto Perez danced to Zumba before there was a Zumba.

They believed. They devoted themselves. And their devotion was contagious.

When others begin to follow you in your devotion, you need somewhere to worship.

You need to build your brand its temple.

Nike’s headquarters is a temple dedicated to the god of victory. Pixar’s office is a temple of creativity. At Patagonia, they would shut down the whole business if the surf was up. At Zumba, we’d stop for no reason to have a dance party. These brands’ temples are the highest manifestations of the brand’s feeling itself.

You don’t necessarily need a physical office, but you absolutely need a temple.

As a devotee, you need to consecrate space for the brand. And in that space, you must commune with it. Pray. Meditate. Stare into it until it stares back into you.

A cult following starts with a true believer.

Do you believe enough to lead the way?