Chapter 7 – Social Psychology and the Quest for the Public Mind

We must become a cult, write our philosophy of life in flaming headlines, and sell our cause in the market…we must strive to cajole the majority into imagining itself on our side. Only with the majority with us, whoever we are, we can live. It is numbers, not values that count – quantity not quality.” (Le Bon 144)

This is a strong, dramatic quote said by Le Bon in Ewen’s book. Le Bon is bold by using the word cult… but I am sort of obsessed with the idea of brand loyalty. I have decided to find the brands I believe are most cult-ish in my mind…I am avoiding Apple because I am bored of them (#SorryNotSorry).

After sifting through this list, I want to apply what Le Bon has said to some advertising strategies that are present today.

  • One major theme these days is global responsibility. For some, it really just grabs their hearts and tugs each time they are reminded us this. This is why I think people love IKEA. I know that IKEA is very cheap, but the time it takestumblr_kw2q3zf5qd1qac6sbo1_400

to assemble their furniture cancels this out. My brother who is very environmentally friendly drives 2 hours to go furniture shopping at IKEA…and then drives the furniture to me in Rochester. This is a cult.

  • Another major theme in brand loyalty is humor. Humor roots back to operant conditioning. Taking an unconditioned stimuli (Dos Equis beer) and pairing it with a neutral stimuli (humor) to create an association through repeated pairings. You laugh when you see humor = good feelings. You see a few funny Dos Equis advertisements with “The Most Interesting Man in the World” = good feelings. Eventually, you get good feelings whenever you hear Dos Equis.
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  • Lastly, lifestyle marketing is big these days. Catering to their specific target markets are cult brands like Lulu Lemon. Lulu Lemon offers this lifestyle marketing through its hired store representatives that look, dress, and talk about the ideal lifestyle Lulu wants to target. These women are real life advertisements walking around the store, and could not be more interactive if they tried. Since Lulu is associated with specific activities such as yoga and running, they can specifically characterize the women shopping in their stores & what they are looking for. Lulu Lemon has narrowed down their targets to women who wish to feel superior, which becomes obvious by the exclusivity of the brand: it is not sold in an overabundant amount of places, and is expensive. yoga-18
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