Jeep has recently attained “Cult” status, an honour bestowed by The Society of Cult Brands, a group of like-minded individuals interested in the art of brand-building.
The annual awards are handed out at the group’s annual February gathering called, appropriately, The Gathering, in Banff, Alberta. This year, The Gathering honoured, among others, Jeep — the first automotive brand to be recognized by the association, although there have been others submitted since The Gathering was first held in 2014.
Over the years, brands such as Tim Hortons, Harley Davidson, Cirque du Soleil, lululemon, Mountain Dew and the Saskatchewan Roughriders, among others, have been honoured.
“Having the Jeep brand acknowledged as a Cult Brand Honoree, just as the all-new 2018 Jeep Wrangler and new 2019 Jeep Cherokee begin to arrive in dealerships, is a testament to the people who since 1941 have dedicated themselves to building the world’s most capable SUVs with off-road capability that is second to none,” said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). “The global Jeep community is like no other. There is no other automotive brand that is so instantly recognizable and woven into the history of its home nation yet recognized around the world, and one that is protected with such a passion by its owners, fans and followers.”
The awards recognize outstanding courage and unconventional thinking by the brand and its leaders in achieving enviable brand engagement and reaping the benefits of cult-like status. In addition to Jeep, this year’s honourees also included premium sound-reproduction equipment Beats by Dr. Dre, global safe-water distributor charity: water, sports performance drink Gatorade, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, PlayStation gaming products, Snickers chocolate bar, and Vans extreme-sports footwear.
“Other automotive brands have been nominated over the years, but it’s so fitting that Jeep is the first Cult Brand Honoree. It’s an iconic brand with vehicles that stand apart from any other in the automotive category,” said Chris Kneeland, co-founder of The Gathering and chair of the Brand Selection Committee “Their marketing, product innovation and customer engagement are best-of-breed and represent exactly how cult brands foster internal and external brand engagement.”