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Chris Kneeland is the CEO of Cult Collective, one of North America’s premier engagement marketing firms and they help companies embrace proven marketing principles that Chris discovered while working with the most iconic cult-like brands on the planet. He co-founded Cult in 2010 and has consulted with Harley-Davidson, Canadian Tire, Zappos, Best Buy, Keurig, and many more. Prior to founding Cult, Chris has held marketing roles at the world headquarters of John Deere and Home Depot.

Chris co-authored the book Fix: Break The Addictions That Are Killing Brands. He is also the co-Founder of Communo, an agency talent management platform that helps small agencies exploit the sharing economy.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Chris Kneeland talks about the Cult scorecard and how it helps determine the cult worthiness of companies
  • What Chris learned from working for John Deere
  • Chris talks about The Cult Gathering is
  • What the ‘pick a fight’ way of creating a cult brand means and some companies who used this strategy successfully
  • Chris talks about his work with Harley-Davidson
  • Some of the up and coming cult brands to watch out for
  • Chris talks about the types of cult brands he’d like to work with
  • What agencies can do to become a lot more irresistible
  • Chris shares the challenges that The Gathering is facing right now
  • Some of the cult brands who stood out for Chris in The Gathering

In this episode…

What is it that makes some brands more exceptional than others? Is it their storytelling, origin story, promotional strategies, or activations? According to Chris Kneeland, it’s their capability to become a cult-like brand which is essentially a brand that has a purpose built from the inside out. Cult-like brands are remarkable because they mark off all the right boxes in what Chris calls The Cult Scorecard.

Find out what makes a cult brand stand out from the crowd and how they are created on this episode of Inspired Insider. Tune in as Dr. Jeremy Weisz talks with Chris Kneeland of Cult Collective about how cult-brands emerge and what makes them so undeniably successful. They dive deep into the principles of creating a cult-like brand, how some brands have applied these principles successfully in their branding and story, and how you can do the same for your company. Stay tuned.

Resources Mentioned on this episode


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Episode Transcript

Jeremy Weisz

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here Founder of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders. Some of the founders, you’ve heard of some, you know, never heard of, actually Chris, some of the past interviews I’ve loved. And I know you like to hear some of those struggle stories as well. I had P90x founder, Tony Horton on, you know, he sold obviously hundreds of millions of P90x, but he was made money, food and rent money as a street mine. So he when he drove out originally, to make his food and rent money, he put his head on the street. And he did st Miami. And that’s actually how he started making some money. And then Julie Clark, Founder of on Baby Einstein, she talks about growing your company to $20 million with five employees and selling Disney but she talks about beating cancer twice and her journey as far as that goes. So you can check out that many more on This episode is brought to you by Rise25 which I co founded with my business partner, John Corcoran, and we help b2b businesses connect to their dream 100 partnerships and clients by running their podcast so it generates ROI. And it’s been the number one thing you know, Chris, for me, relationships are the number one thing in my life and hence your T-shirt, the anti social, like I actually like being around people, I love building relationships and helping others and, and giving in the podcast allows me to have a platform to give to my best relationships and the people in my universe. So I always love when my friends have podcast even though now it’s self serving cuz we have a service that does that. But even before that, it makes it very easy for people, me to introduce them to other people and have them on their platform. So you can check out and there’s a video of John and i bantering like an old married couple and how you get ROI with a podcast. But, um, I’m excited for today’s guest, you know, he’s got a couple different amazing things going on if one wasn’t enough of Chris Kneeland. He is the CEO of Cult Collective. I love the name, you know, one of the North America’s premier engagement marketing firms so what they do is they’ll companies embrace proven marketing principles that he’s discovered while working with the most iconic cult like brands on the planet. So he’s worked with companies like John deere Home Depot, he co founded cult in 2010 is consulted with Harley-Davidson Canadian Tire Zappos Best Buy Keurig I mean, all those Chris are cult, like, like, you know, when you get people to get a tattoo, your coat like right like Harley-Davidson. I mean, Zappos is a cult like following to. Also you could check out his book, he’s co author of fix, break the addictions. And he co founded comuna, which is an agency talent management platform, which is exploding in any crisis environment or non crisis environment. I guess you could say they help small agencies exploit the sharing economy. Chris, thanks for joining me.

Chris Kneeland

Yeah, my pleasure. Thank you Jeremy for taking a few minutes with me,

Jeremy Weisz

then, you know, there’s so many things I wanted to dive deep on and besides the I don’t know if you have a love for magic, but I see the stuff behind you. But,

Chris Kneeland

but my wife doesn’t let me keep any my magic stuff in the house. So I’ve had to murder you to my office.

Jeremy Weisz

Are you a amateurish or professional magician or what

Chris Kneeland

I am, I am an amateur magician. I kill an eight year old birthday party. I forced my employees to put up with a magic show once a year at our holiday in New Year party. And I love I love the idea of being fooled. I like to be bamboozle Actually, I hate it, but I hate it enough that I enjoy the process of trying to figure out what the hell

Jeremy Weisz

I’m a huge, huge fan of like the street mail the David Blaine’s of the world and The Mentalist magician, so I don’t know if he’ll do a trick on camera, if you’re watching it,

Chris Kneeland

but on casters,

Jeremy Weisz

well, this is video 2002 Yeah, it’s video two. Yeah. But I wanted to get into so you may you have to stay to the end because he may or may not do a magic trick for us. But um,

Chris Kneeland

I’ll make these peanut in an instance.

Jeremy Weisz

That’s too easy. I know that the Cult Scorecard. You know, I find that fascinating. What are some things that go into the Cult Scorecard and I know you have like a set of kind of cult philosophies, values.

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