From the biggest names in the world such as Harley Davidson and Apple to some of the smallest that are less well known such as clothing and lifestyle brands, many have come to rely on something unique that makes them who or what they are.
If it were not for this unique factor that powers up the brand or that, in turn, creates something that makes it sell, many reputable niche brands and many clothing, luggage or accessories brands would not have the success or the same image that they have today.
This one, unique attribute that boosts certain brands and makes them stand out is known as a cult following. Without the cult status, a Harley Davidson would simply be a motorbike and the accessories, and even the fragrances surrounding the brand, would perhaps not exist. Look at a Honda or a Suzuki - they are great bikes, but they just don't have the same feel, sense or appeal as a Harley. Nor do they have quite a respected accessory range either. A Harley stands out.
When it comes to design and making it stand out to become a success, it needs to appeal to a smaller audience. Getting fewer people to speak very highly of a design or product is far easier than getting a large number to talk about it. Intentionally creating a brand that has focused appeal that can even create some cult following that often attracts a higher price is a viable way to get sales and generate brand awareness. By focusing on fewer people, you can indeed power up your brand and maybe even take it to the point where others copy it to endeavour to take what you have to a wider audience.
Creating a cult following like Harley, Apple, Fiorucci and Jimmy Choo have all done successfully, is something that has been going on for years and is only now being truly understood and seen. Kitchen and household appliances, clothing and even mobile phones all have brands or product lines aimed at a smaller "cult" audience that focuses on driving sales across the entire company.
Knowing your audience and playing with their idea of being "one of the elite" or "one of a particular group" really does power up a brand. Are you ready to show your design to the few to really make a difference?