We now live in a world so saturated with brands and marketing messages that it can be extremely difficult to stand out from the crowd.
To be unique is verging on an impossible task and with the modern day consumer expecting so much more from a brand, marketing has become incredibly complex. Gone are the days where marketing a product or a service at face value will suffice. We have such a vast market of choice with thousands of brands selling an almost identical product or service therefore consumers need something more to connect with on a much more personal level for your brand to win them over. No longer is utility at the core of what we buy, but the way buying something actually makes us feel about ourselves.
Evoking an emotion in your target consumer is key. Your brand needs to improve their sense of value and make them feel great about themselves. An effective way of doing so is through lifestyle branding.
But what is a lifestyle brand?
‘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.’ (Lifestyle Brands – A Guide to Aspirational Marketing
Why they work?
Harnessing the dream lifestyle of your consumer through your branding is a sure way to creating something of desire. By your brand showcasing an interest in your target markets interests and values such as music and ethicality it displays a level of care and almost a friend like quality. The brand becomes someone to turn to for what makes people feel attractive or cool. Selling a lifestyle is all about identifying what a consumer’s identity strives to be, rather than what it already is. This way the brand is giving them something they’ve always strived for and truly gratifying their social needs to be that person they’ve always wanted to be. It is all about portraying something that is aspirational to your audience.
Successful Lifestyle Brands
The most successful lifestyle brands are the ones that don’t necessarily appeal to one set of people. For example, Louis Vuitton. This luxury brand known for its expensive luggage and handbags is popular among celebrities, but it’s also a staple in large shopping centres. In other words, it strives to reach people who are super-rich, but also those who simply want to be and thus will purchase these status-symbol products in order to present an image of themselves.
Apple is another example of an iconic lifestyle brand. It markets to people who want simplistic and modern designs but also highly functional machines. It markets to people who want to be considered trendsetters, creatives and those who always have the latest products. People who use Apple products are typically seen as creative or trendy, as well as wealthy, as Apple products are on the pricey side. It’s, again, something that people aspire to be—financially well-off but still aesthetically ‘cool’.
How it’s done?
It’s important not to try and market to an extremely specific group of people, because others may feel alienated—with Louis Vuitton, as mentioned, the boutiques appear not only in wealthy areas but also much more accessible shopping malls.
This gives a chance for people to be exposed to the brand and to learn about it, to get a feel for what it stands for, if it’s something they aspire to and perhaps most importantly, to learn about how much money they may need to save to buy in.
Learning about your audience and their aspirations is crucial to understanding what lifestyle your brand should portray. You need to show off not just what you feel about your brand, but what you want people to feel about it, and do so with confidence.
- What does your brand do for your audience?
- Does it satisfy a desire?
- A longing for a different self?
Appeal to your market’s emotions and what you think they are looking for in a product like yours. It’s all about telling a customer what they want to be, and how your product will help them get there. Pinpoint what lifestyle aspirations your brand would fulfil, and market accordingly.
Here at Creo we have been utilising this branding technique with various clients but most notably with Live Limitless. They are a weight loss support product targeted at young women who don’t necessarily exercise religiously but do want to lose weight and maintain a care-free lifestyle. The brand portrays a young, vibrant and hedonistic lifestyle that their consumers can aspire to.
To learn more about lifestyle branding then feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02920 653066.