What Does Personal Branding and a Charismatic Cult Leader Have in Common?

Published in Branding on Jun 22, 2018 by Tim Marner™

The Manson Family were a desert commune and cult formed in California in the late 1960s by the manipulative mastermind Charles Manson. The group consisted of approximately 100 of his "FOLLOWERS" who lived an unconventional lifestyle with habitual use of hallucinogenic drugs. 

The majority of the group followers were young women from middle-class backgrounds, many of whom were drawn in by Manson's charisma, teachings, hippy culture and communal living.

The Manson Family weren’t just known for living the free, hippy, LSD lifestyle, they were more known for some of the most notorious murders of the 1960’s. There was the Sharon Tate Murder, who was 8 and a half months pregnant at the time when Manson ordered 4 of the family members to murder her and whoever else was in the house.

There was also the murder of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca (the night after the Sharon Tate Murder) where the pair where tied together and repeatedly stabbed by 6 of the Manson members, including Charles himself. 

So How Did Charles Manson Have Such a Large Cult Following?

His followers didn’t just stay purely because of the LSD and murderous nights, they stayed because Charles Manson was a charismatic and charming popular figure that gave them a sense of purpose and something to live for.

He gave them a reason. 

Charles Manson built up a whole community around himself and his sick values which somehow got everyone to stay and follow him. Is it because he brought people together and gave them a family when everyone else had abandoned them?  

We aren't in anyway advocating in what Charles was or did, but it interests us in that his Personal Brand was so strong that he managed to build such a large community of followers that did whatever he told them to do, including murder.

Comparing Charles Manson to a modern day business, people want their customers to follow them, buy from them, and have complete trust in whatever they say and sell.

For this to happen you do have to have a strong brand belief behind you, and stick to your ethos, values and guidelines no matter what as you build your community. Give your customers a reason to follow you, excited to see what you do next and eager for your latest product release.

With great power comes great responsibility. When setting up a personal brand or brand you will build a community of loyal and sometimes inexperienced followers. It is your job and responsibility as an expert in your field to look after these people by giving them authentic, kind, value and advice that will only benefit their lives, not harm them. 

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