When did you last buy something? Chances are whenever and whatever it was, the brand was not just trying to sell you their product or service, but also the lifestyle that goes with it! The appeal to how you would like your life to be like, as opposed to what it is like. By latching onto your aspirations, a desirable lifestyle is portrayed, which is hard for consumers to resist!
WHAT IS A LIFESTYLE BRAND?
Lifestyle brands aim to paint a picture of how their customers live as individuals and the ideals they possess. They promote an image, which focusses more on who would buy their products or services, as opposed to what function they actually serve. These types of brands communicate a set of desirable values or aspirations that the intended target audience can identify with.
They aim to enhance how people feel about themselves, through buying their product or service. They aim to sell the lifestyle that comes with buying their product or service
The products and services of lifestyle brands are positioned to portray an image, which is not necessarily how their audience see themselves, but how they want others to see themselves. For example, placing the product or service in a fun environment with attractive people having a great time. The effect is that the target audience are drawn in to believe that buying that particular lifestyle brand will fit in with, and enhance their lifestyle.
Essentially, lifestyle brands differentiate their products and services, from other offerings, through building an emotional attachment with their products and services.
WHY BECOME A LIFESTYLE BRAND
When a person buys a particular brand they make a statement about their personal choice, they show that they identify with it and it suits their lifestyle. Brands act as a form of self-expression whereby consumers can express their identity by buying brands relevant to their lifestyle.
The emotional benefit they receive from association with a certain brand is that it interprets their lifestyle to others.
When successful, lifestyle brands act as a way for consumers to relate to one another through the use of the brand’s products or services. Influential people purchasing lifestyle brands (i.e. friends, colleagues, and celebrities) makes the brands products and services even more desirable, as consumers can show a connection to the influential person through the adoption of that brand.
Promoting the lifestyle of a brand has emerged as a way to differentiate between product and service offerings in a marketplace with a great deal of choice. By adding an emotional element, brands are able to establish a loyal customer base, creating and sustaining long term customer relationships; as a result, brands can reap great financial returns by becoming a lifestyle brand. It is also much easier for lifestyle brands to launch new products and services, due to the credibility built around their brand name, which means savings on advertising and promotional spend
HOW TO BUILD THE LIFESTYLE OF YOUR BRAND
To become a proactive brand that really engages with an audience, you need to develop creative ideas that will bring pleasure into the lives of your consumers. Brands in a variety of different industries have positioned themselves as lifestyle brands by coming up with creative ways to market their brand, to elicit emotion with their audience.
Brands within the luxury market have increasingly become lifestyle brands, as consumers associate them with a luxurious life and therefore these brands become a sign of status (for example Dior and Rolex). Food and drink companies sell an image of the type of person you want to be, beauty and fashion brands aim to make you feel attractive and car brands make you feel deserving of luxury.
Within the IT and technical industry it is not as easy to become a lifestyle brand, however Apple succeeded by marketing a desirable lifestyle alongside the placement of it’s products. Other technology brands have succeeded by building an image that they are in the know and innovative, which builds credibility and desire to keep up with the latest technology trends. Even SME’s have succeeded in becoming lifestyle brands through creative viral marketing and social media campaigns.
When marketing the lifestyle of your brand, it is very important to market to your greater target audience. Selecting specific segments of your audience could alienate the rest of your potential customers. As a general rule, it is best to start small with ads featuring a variety of your demographics to showcase the type of users of your brand. Your potential customers will then be able to identify with some of your images.
You can demonstrate how your brand makes people feel, the desire it fills, or perhaps, how using your product or service will benefit them. Focus on what you want users to feel and associate with brand. Promote your brand with the confidence to build credibility aiming at creating bonds with your audience.
Make sure your brand personality and lifestyle aspirations are clearly defined before communicating it to your target audience. Furthermore, it must resonate with your potential customers’ desires and needs. It should not just be about your corporate culture but should also embody the wants and needs of your customers. Also ensure to integrate your brand values into your products and services to give a streamlined approach and make your lifestyle offering credible.
USING SOCIAL MEDIA TO CREATE YOUR BRAND LIFESTYLE
Brands need to make changes as to how they market themselves and how they use social media. When your target audience visit social media channels, they are not looking for an advertising directory; they are looking for engagement that will support their lifestyle and aspirations. Social media has previously been heavily sales focused, causing the audience to switch off and therefore, not engaging with the brand.
Social media channels need to be used to market the personality of your brand and what it stands for through storytelling and creating an entertaining presence. Draw them in, keep them interested and engage with them based on their aspirations and what they identify with. By taking this approach you will build relationships with potential customers. On becoming a loyal customer, they will hopefully refer you to others and ultimately increase your sales, indirectly without taking the hard sell approach.
Social media platforms can, of course, still be used to promote your products and services. However, the frequency should be much less in proportion to the amount of engaging posts portraying your brand lifestyle and personality.
THE FUTURE OF BRANDING
Brands have emerged from being an aspect of life, to become a form of our identity and a style of life. The way things are going; lifestyle brands are likely to be the future of brand marketing. Expect to see more and more brands adopting a lifestyle brand approach to sell themselves. If you don’t adapt, you are likely to fall behind your competitors, losing out on valuable customers and ultimately sales.
Do you want to appeal to the lifestyles and desires of your potential customers?
Take Action NOW to emotionally engage with your audience!
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