Books & Literature

Book Review: Cult Status, by Tim Duggan

MARKETING: Consumers are changing, and so the next generation of entrepreneurs have to think differently.

A valuable insight into the expectations of the modern-day consumer.
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Former Rolling Stone music journalist turned media “untrepreneur” Tim Duggan shares his valuable insights into modern day business models in his new book Cult Status. If you reread that last sentence, I can assure you the word untrepreneur is not misspelt! Author Tim Duggan has coined this new word to describe how, in today’s climate, entrepreneurs are out and untrepreneurs are in, and they are a distinctly different breed.

His book is best defined as a prescriptive text suitable for anyone in business, with practical exercises to complete and apply in your company immediately. Whether you are in the start-up phase, are suffering a downturn in sales, feel that you are losing the loyalty of your consumer base, or the consumer base as a whole, or if you simply feel you no longer know where your company is headed, Cult Status is designed for you.

It starts with a summary of the seven steps businesses need to take in order to create cult status, which he defines as a company with a dedicated fan base whose values resonate with the mission of the creator/s. If that doesn’t quite make sense, an example used in the book is the ‘Thankyou’ brand. This brand, cofounded by Daniel Flynn, is a social enterprise that aims to address the effects of global poverty by directing the profits to infrastructure projects or programmes that support those in need.

It is for this reason that the first step he lists is to think about your impact. Next, he talks about the small things in business and compares the old way of thinking to the new way of thinking required in the modern era. Step three is thinking about your niche – or as he calls it – your superpower, and how to hone in on it.

Step four expands on this idea, as cult status is ensuring quality relationships with your consumers more so than seeking a quantity of them, and part of this is knowing your niche market. Steps five to six are more related to the leaders or decision makers in the business – their story, how to share it; how to be a good leader, and how leadership concepts have changed over time. Finally, is step seven is how you manage the ride along the way.

Cult Status is a valuable instruction manual written by the cofounder of one of Australia’s leading digital publishers, Junkee Media. Author Tim Duggan is affiliated with leading brands such as Netflix, Amex and Qantas and in the book, he shares the stories of several cult brand founders – Blake Mycoskie from TOMS, Tim Brown from Allbirds, Daniel Flynn from Thankyou, Simon Griffiths from Who Gives a Crap – and more.

Reviewed by Rebecca Wu

Distributed by: Pantera Press
Released: July 2020
RRP: $32.99

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