In This Episode:
Why Becoming a Cult Brand is a Good Thing
We sat down with brand consultant, speaker and agency owner Chris Kneeland to talk about why he thinks brands should aim to be “cults” rather than the loudest voice in the pack. He has worked in both corporate roles – where he managed marketing budgets anywhere from $7 million to $70 million – and well-known agencies that are part of a holdings company. But Chris decided he wanted to work in a different way. He wanted to promote brands in a new, fresh, out-of-the-box way that wasn’t driven solely by profit margins and gimmicks. Find out how that led him to becoming the CEO of two companies, the COO of another, a published writer, a regular speaker and a consultant. We love his take on what makes brands stand out, and we think you will too.
“I would be in a meeting where we would have to go sell services because the mothership needed those services sold, not because the clients needed to buy them. And I really had an integrity issue with that.”
Chris Kneeland is the CEO of both Cult Collective and The Gathering of Cult Brands, as well as the COO of Communo. All of these efforts highlight and push forward his desire to help brands break bad habits and become more purposeful, human, involved and inspirational.
About Chris Kneeland
Chris held marketing roles at the world headquarters of John Deere and The Home Depot. He was also formerly the Head of Retail Marketing at RAPP, Omnicom’s preeminent relationship marketing agency. He co-founded Cult in 2010, and has consulted with Harley Davidson, Canadian Tire, Mark’s, Zappos, Best Buy, HEB Grocery Stores, Carter’s, Keurig, United Way and dozens of other brands. Throughout his career, he has lobbied for customer advocacy over acquisition, and brand engagement over entertainment.
Chris is a regular speaker at conferences like Digiday, South by Southwest, CDX, Global Shop, Inbound, NRF, and CMA. He is the co-author of Fix: Break the Addictions That Are Killing Brands. Chris is an adjunct professor at Mt. Royal University, holds a Master’s Degree in Marketing Communications from Northwestern University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Brigham Young University. Learn more about Chris on Cult’s website or on LinkedIn.