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It is not enough to just market your brand as useful or innovative anymore. You have to treat your brand as if it’s a person with values, interests, and beliefs. In other words, your brand isn’t a product, service, or trade. It is a lifestyle, a way that people need to live their lives!
Think of brands like Jeep, sure they are cars, but Jeep, the brand Jeep represents more than that. Jeep represents freedom. It represents going wherever you want to go whenever you want to go there.
Jeep is eating smores by the campfire with your loved ones or exploring the unexplored. But how do you tell other people you are about all of these things? Easy buy a Jeep or at least some Jeep clothing.
What is lifestyle marketing?
So we briefly touched on this in the intro, but lifestyle marketing is when brands create authentic content that appeals directly to a target audience’s specific lifestyle.
Lifestyle brands understand that they are not just selling a product or service. Instead, lifestyle brands create a lifestyle goal or status that their customers aspire to reach.
Lifestyle marketing strategies will incorporate phrases, imagery, and other sensory triggers that instill a vision of a consumer’s lifestyle with specific ideals and aspirations or aesthetics that appeals directly to the target market of a given lifestyle brand.
Successful lifestyle brands incorporate these tactics on a broad spectrum of marketing platforms, from traditional marketing to social media and other more modern marketing avenues.
Why lifestyle marketing matters
The most successful lifestyle brands understand that a lifestyle marketing strategy is so much more than just spreading brand awareness or boosting sales.
Lifestyle marketing speaks to the very core of a person; it helps them align themselves with ideals and social benchmarks that truly appeal t them.
If done correctly, a lifestyle brand can create intense brand loyalty. For example, think about how someone that wears Nike wouldn’t be caught dead in Adidas apparel.
It is because the brand represents a part of who they are at their core. In some cases, lifestyle brands have started to fill the void of the currently failing institutional structures.
People are struggling to connect with places such as churches and other institutions, and the black-and-white certainty of a lifestyle brand is comforting to some people.
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What criteria to meet to create a successful lifestyle brand
You may be wondering what constitutes a lifestyle brand and if there are any specific criteria for your lifestyle marketing strategy to meet to be considered a lifestyle brand and to partake in lifestyle marketing.
We have distilled the wide variety of criteria for a brand to meet into three distinct marks that you can check off against your lifestyle marketing campaigns to ensure you are hitting just right for your brand to become a super successful lifestyle brand.
Define and understand your market
The first step you need to take to become one of the great lifestyle brands out there is to define and understand your target market. You need to look past just the surface-level stuff of demographics and psychographics.
If you want your audience to eat, sleep, breathe, and sweat your brand, you have to do the same for them. You need to know what your target audience aspires to be and who they look up to. What industries do they work in, and what hobbies do they have?
Then you need to answer the reverse, how can you appeal to that, and why would they need your brand? Can you improve their work, their hobby, or even better, both?
Know where your audience gets the 411 on what’s important to them
It’s all good and well to know what your target audience is about and know how you can improve their lives. But, it is all futile if you do not know where to reach them!
If your lifestyle brand appeals to the outdoorsy person who loves hiking and picnics, then maybe You would do better to market to them on social media and direct ads instead of traditional tv and print ads.
Perhaps your audience is big into video games, then YouTube and podcasts can be a huge platform for you to leverage in your pursuit of reaching your target audience. Do the research and make sure you are hitting up all the hot spots for your demographic.
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Position your brand for success
If you are looking to get that killer consumer loyalty, consumer-based brand equity, or the willingness to purchase your brand, then you have to take brand positioning as a quintessential part of your strategy.
This means you will have to research not only your audience’s habits but also do in-depth research on your competitors. As well as double and triple checking that what you offer is unique and valuable.
How to be one of the best lifestyle brands in the lifestyle marketing space
Now that you know what the basic criteria are that you need to meet to be considered a lifestyle brand, let’s take a look at how you can take it to the next level and become the next Supreme or Dolce and Gabbana.
As always, there are many things to take into consideration, but once again, we have boiled down these complex topics into four easy-to-incorporate objectives for you to incorporate into your lifestyle marketing and brand strategies.
Live your brand’s story
Your brand’s story is vital, as it’s essentially what your audience identifies with. Your brand story is what will inform your audience that you offer the service or product for them to reach their goal lifestyle.
Of course, authenticity goes hand in hand with this objective. If your followers and supporters can tell your story isn’t authentic, they will not become followers or supporters, to begin with.
So the very first objective for you to reach is to live your brand’s authentic story to its fullest! Or you will risk the opportunity of making that more profound connection with consumers and fall into the obscure void of middling brands.
Build a devout following
This objective will only be possible to reach if you have smashed the criteria mentioned earlier out of the park and stuck to the previous objective like it’s your life support.
If these two criteria have been met in an authentic and meaningful way, then a devout following will slowly and organically grow.
However, if you are looking to pour some gasoline on the fire, then you need to consider creating consistent, thoughtful, and high-quality social posts on the platforms that your audience prefers.
Offer something invaluable
Alright, so this objective may be a little more vaguer than the others. However, offering something invaluable to your target audience does not necessarily mean offering a never before seen service or product.
Depending on your lifestyle brand’s niche, it could be offering something that has been done a thousand times before but in a way that is fresh and excitingly innovative. An outstanding example of this is Gentlemen In Real Life.
Yes, they sell clothes like millions of other clothing brands, but they focus on the alternative, punk lifestyle, which there are a few other brands that do that as well, so what sets them apart?
The difference is that Gentlemen In Real Life has elevated the brand to be a cleaner, more modern interpretation of the punk lifestyle.
This appeals to the more modern punk and alternative enthusiasts that may enjoy the aesthetic and beliefs of the lifestyle but would like to separate the message from the heavy baggage that lifestyle comes with from the intoxicated early days of punk rock.
Incorporate your brand everywhere
This objective does not mean that you should reach out to your audience on every platform that exists. No, instead, what it is there to do is to make buying from your brand just one part of the relationship between you and your audience.
Have insightful topical conversations with your audience on social that continue interactions past the purchasing step.
Furthermore, you could sponsor events that are important to your audience, which will help your authenticity come across more clearly and shows that your brand takes a genuine interest in your audience.
Set up your brand as a way of life
So, in summary, your brand is setting out to become an extension of who your target audience identifies themselves to be.
Making authenticity, community, and understanding vital parts of experiencing your brand. You need to set out to show that your brands understand, supports, and offers a valuable solution that is important to its audience.
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5 successful lifestyle brands you can use as inspiration
Now that you know all the basics to start your lifestyle brand empire, you have to know who the greats are so you can look to them for inspiration in those low moments to help you get to the next step in your plan.
Below you will find 5 of the best lifestyle brands dominating the space today. Some are from unexpected markets, such as the automotive industry, and others are well known entities that have already been mentioned in this article.
We all know Mercedes Benz, and that is exactly the point of why they are on this list. From world leaders to industry-leading executives and even motorsport legends, all drive Mercedes cars. They have deeply embedded themselves into the luxury lifestyle that it is difficult to imagine driving any other brand of car once reaching the upper middle class.
Mercedes have also offered their audience a range of lifestyle products that far surpass just the cars they make. From clothes and shoes to stunning art pieces of their cars at different stages of the design process, there are no other automotive or lifestyle brands that have mastered lifestyle brand marketing as Mercedes has besides maybe one other.
Ferrari is the only other automotive brand that comes to mind that has captured the global consciousness since the early 1900s thanks to its lifestyle brand marketing. Ferrari does focus on motorsport a little more than Mercedes, but that is not what gets them a spot on this list
Ferrari is here as they have a ruthless reputation for exclusivity. Not only are Ferrari cars and products you can only purchase upon invitation from Ferrari, but they also offer cars that you can purchase yet never leave the factory other than for predetermined track days.
Yet even this is not the reason they are on our list. The reason Ferrari is a massive example of a lifestyle brand is the somewhat controversial fact that they reserve the right to sell the car in the first place, file a lawsuit or repurchase the car your car if you do not meet their standards by customizing a Ferrari in a way they disapprove of.
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Apple is a more affordable example of a lifestyle brand than the previous two lifestyle brands. However, this does not prevent them from expanding past country borders and ideologies.
The money you see someone with an Apple product, you know they are a person that will not settle for less than perfect. This is thanks to decades of Apple being the predominantly perceived mark of true excellence.
Samsung is a great example of being a competitive lifestyle brand that sets itself apart from other lifestyle brands by offering something just a little different from its competition. While Samsungs greatest competitor may be Apple, Apple does not offer fridges, TVs, microwaves, or air conditioners.
This means Samsung can offer a similar audience to Apple a far more comprehensive lifestyle coverage than Apple can.
Nike has set itself apart from other athletic gear and lifestyle brands by not just promoting its apparel but also speaking to the hidden athlete within each and every one of its audience. Their perspective is sure we have great running shoes, but with them, we can make you the best runner!
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