Becoming a Lifestyle Brand
When Brands Become a Way of Life
“Lifestyle brand” is a catchphrase floating around the marketing scene. It started as a fashion industry term but has become a goal for brands across every industry. To truly understand lifestyle brands, we need to explain their influence on consumers and how they appeal to a person’s sense of self-identity.
These brands establish a deeply emotional connection with their customers, but not in the traditional way of using poignant marketing to evoke a response. It’s much more committed than that.
Branding is a marketing concept that helps consumers identify an organization. While a logo and color scheme are pieces of a brand, it’s much more than just looks. It’s about creating recognition and influencing perception. And that means creating a full image based upon a brand personality.
Think about the human characteristics we assign to brands—happy, sophisticated, calm, bold. These are the traits that set the brand apart and make it unique. A brand personality “helps you relate to certain brands that mirror the characteristics you value most. And it also inspires you to connect with certain brands that demonstrate characteristics you hope to develop,” according to Hubspot.
Every brand takes on a personality, but a lifestyle brand takes these human traits and amplifies them tenfold.
Lifestyle brands use complex human personas to establish an emotional connection with consumers. The goal is to connect with people on a deeper level based on their aspirations and sell products that help them become more like their ideal selves.
According to fashion authors Stefania Saviolo and Antonio Marazza, “a lifestyle brand is a company that markets its products or services to embody the interests, attitudes, and opinions of a group or a culture. Lifestyle brands seek to inspire, guide, and motivate people, with the goal of their products contributing to the definition of the consumer’s way of life.”
Key Characteristics of Lifestyle Brands
When we look at the draw of lifestyle brands on a granular level, we see one of the most basic human needs—belonging. People want to belong to something. Lifestyle brands give them something to belong to.
There’s less focus on selling products and more on their customers’ goals. A lifestyle brand’s purpose relates to its customers’ values and ideal selves.
Lifestyle brands publish subtle yet engaging posts on social media that are specifically created for people inside the niche. They couple this content with off-screen experiences.
There’s a sense of connection and understanding between customers. They feel the brand understands and consider other customers part of a niche community.
“With lifestyle brands, specific foods, products, and apparel can help us to connect more with our ideal version of ourselves. Because we believe that certain companies are synonymous with certain values or visions, we also believe that associating ourselves with those brands help us to become more like the people we want to be.”