The brands you enjoy are what create and enhance your lifestyle. But what happens when they take on a life of their own? You become a brand of a lifestyle of a brand.
A growing trend for premium brands is advertising less about their product and more about the lifestyle of their target market. A “lifestyle brand” embodies the values and aspirations of a group or culture and helps to shape the core identity of its customers. It also allows the individual to publicly associate themselves with this lifestyle.
For example, if you are a Jeep™ brand enthusiast, it is a safe bet that you love the outdoors. “People who appreciate the Jeep brand lifestyle are eager for the opportunity to use the full capabilities of their vehicles to enjoy the winter in the same way as they enjoy the summer outdoors. Getting to your favorite ski slope with confidence is what having a Jeep vehicle is all about,” says blog.jeep.com.
Some other obvious lifestyle brands include: Harley Davidson, Ralph Lauren, Martha Stewart, Ikea, RocaWear, Porsche, MINI, etc. “MINI not only sells daily mobility, but an extensive list of apparel and accessories. Ditto Harley. Roca-Wear involves not only clothing and now sneakers, but music, vodka, a magazine and films,” writes businessweek.com.
Taking it a step further, brands are now creating the lifestyle that their target market has, no longer just showing off their lifestyle. “For example, Burberry promoted emerging music artists under the slogan “Bands Burberry believes in”, with 28% of Burberry Facebook discussion relating to this Burberry Music project, rather than Burberry products themselves,” says mashable.com. Inevitably, this leads numerous Burberry clothing fans to listen to this type of music and go to these types of concerts.
Many popular shoe brands have grown into lifestyle far beyond their original brand offer. Adidas sells a disco-like vibe with their apparel and fashion accessories, while Nike’s clean-cut, innovative brand organizes community events in parks and stores. “Converse’s website hosts a section titled “Lifestyle” that allows Converse lovers to design their own shoes, and an online gallery space to upload films and images that capture the true meaning-the lifestyle attributes-of Converse,” writes Step Inside Design Magazine. However, now when people look at you, they no longer see you as a person who wears Converse shoes with style. They see Converse and how awesome they are. You are the brand that the Converse lifestyle created from their brand. Individually, this can be distressing; Marketing-wise, this is genius.
Not every brand is a lifestyle brand, but it is a valuable use of time to see if a lifestyle brand works for your company. An architectural company could have a great eye for art. A cake decorating business could offer the best tried-and-true songs for weddings, birthdays or bat mitzvah occasions.
Read this great article for tips on giving a brand lifestyle a try.