A new year calls for new beginnings. Ask yourself these three questions:

1) Are you soliciting customer feedback?

2) Are you listening to it carefully?

3) Are you incorporating the feedback into your on and offline marketing communications?

If you answered yes, yes and yes--hats off to you. Whatever your product or service, you may be creating a cult brand.

Companies with strong brands are particularly effective at creating an inviting "look, say and feel," according to Matt Ragas, co-author of The Power of Cult Branding.

I interviewed Ragas recently to find out what lessons his new book offers about effective online copy and content.

Lots, it turns out. Ragas and co-author Bolivar J. Bueno dissect nine "cult brands" (Oprah Winfrey, Volkswagen Beetle, Star Trek, World Wrestling Entertainment, Jimmy Buffett, Vans, Inc., Apple Computer, Linux and Harley Davidson) to uncover the "blueprint" behind a cult following.

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Debbie Weil is an online marketing and corporate blogging consultant based in Washington, DC. She blogs at www.DebbieWeil.com and www.BlogWriteForCEOs.com. Visit her main site at www.WordBiz.com.