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THE NORTH FACE
Weathering The Competitive Storm For Over 50 Years 

Since 1966, The North Face has missioned to “provide the best gear for our athletes and the modern day explorer, support the preservation of the outdoors, and inspire a global movement of exploration.” For more than five decades, The North Face has been a brand connected to the most extreme outdoor weather and the most remote reaches of the planet. Despite much competition in their space – particularly coats made to handle the coldest weather – they have remained a cult brand for decades.

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M&M’s
Heat Wave, K-Rations and Van Halen.

M&Ms are likely the least surprising brand honored as a Cult Brand Honoree this year. Not only is it a truly timeless and iconic brand, but M&Ms has continued to make great moves in strategy, creative and customer engagement over the past few years, continuing to innovate a push the brand forward while staying true to their roots.

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YETI
Built For The Outdoors. By Outdoorsmen.

A customer frustrated with an unmet need, vows there must be a better way. The YETI story starts where most cult brand stories begin.

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LUSH
Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics takes their business seriously, but not themselves.

If you think about it for a minute, few business leader categories are more interesting to watch than beauty products. Sure…take your full minute. Skeptical? Well, consider these points…

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Porsche
The Remarkable Everyday Car.

OK, before the Porsche drivers light me up for calling a Porsche a “everyday car,” please get through the first paragraph or two. I’m not asserting a 718 Boxster is a step up from a beige 2012 Toyota Camry. This is about what makes the Porsche driver stand out from other luxury sports car enthusiasts. Bear with me while I define a “remarkable commuter car.”

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The LA Lakers
Larger Than Life.

So what is it about the Lakers that makes them so hard to hate in an environment where dynasty teams are derided and jeered?

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Marvel
Remarkable Brand, Relatable Characters.

The Marvel Universe as we know it was not always so. December 27th is the 22nd anniversary of the day Marvel filed for bankruptcy, laying off one third of their workforce. Hard to believe their turnaround story, where Disney paid $4.24B in 2009 for the company. As many thoughtful retrospectives continue to make the rounds in light of Stan Lee’s passing last month, I thought it would be a good time to look at the Marvel brand in advance of their joining us at The Gathering in February where they’ll be recognized as a 2019 Cult Brand Honoree.

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Cheetos
Enabling Enthusiasts.

As Thanksgiving approached in the United States, Hot Cheetos began to trend on Twitter. If this surprises you, you have not been paying attention. A turkey covered in pulverized Hot Cheetos is right in step with the Cheetos brand.

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OrangeTheory Fitness
I Just Visited OrangeTheory Fitness. I Loved The Workout, But That’s Not Why I Joined.

I have been considering joining a gym for a long time, but have been reluctant for a few reasons. Sure, the monthly cost is a consideration. As is the convenience of the dusty elliptical and treadmill in my basement. But mostly I’m turned off by the hard-sell approach used by gyms, and the fear of being lock into paying for something I may not end up using much. I know I’m not alone in that feeling, as this clip from “Friends” demonstrates when Chandler tries unsuccessfully to “quit the gym.”

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S’well

Leading With Purpose (but knowing that’s not enough).

CULT ’s second cult-brand principle is “Have Purpose”. As one of this year’s emerging Cult Brand Honorees, you could argue none is more tied to a bigger purpose than S’well. Since Founder & CEO Sarah Kauss launched the company in 2010, their mission has been as bold as it has been simple: to rid the world of plastic water bottles.

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