Lifestyle branding is becoming a hot new trend at the moment in marketing circles. What is lifestyle branding? The lifestyle brand definition may vary when it is used by different professional marketing firms. The term refers to the attempt to create an image of a brand that is associated with a particular cultural lifestyle and personal identity.
A lifestyle brand attempts to sell an image and personal identity more than it sells the product. The product itself often appears to play a lesser role in the marketing campaign than the image. The image is used to create a seamless identity that consumers can simply purchase without having to think deeply about each individual purchasing decision. Instead, products will be purchased because they create and promote an image the company hopes will appeal to consumers.
For example, a brand may wish to create an image of itself as the lifestyle choice of young, hip, music-loving surfers. Using lifestyle brand marketing to this group will rely heavily on social media promotions as well as ad placement at events such as music festivals and surfing competitions.
Another brand may choose to identify itself as the choice of wealthy and discriminating people who can afford to pay a lot of money for the cache of that particular brand. In such a case it will be necessary to create an atmosphere of exclusivity and luxury. The lifestyle brand definition can help a company target its consumers by creating a sense of desire for a particular lifestyle.
A small company that is just starting out should focus on creating social buzz for just one highly desirable product category at a time. Trying to do too much too soon can dilute the brand. If the products in the category are truly sensational, the buzz will build as long as there is a concerted effort to reach those decision makers in the social population that can tilt their followers to want that product.
To create an effective lifestyle brand will require consistently great visual images. The effective use of blogging and social media is essential in creating the image of the product or company that is being marketed as a lifestyle brand.
Lifestyle branding can be an effective way for marketing messages to reach younger consumers who have already become immune to most forms of advertising in the traditional media. Using the lifestyle brand definition can bypass the cynicism of younger consumers and appeal to their desire to be attractive and popular with the hottest new product. Lifestyle brands offer consumers a way to customize the product choices they make. Purchasing becomes an important part of expressing personal identity.
Lifestyle branding as a marketing strategy is more likely to be effective for younger consumers who are already very comfortable with technology and social media. Expressing personal preferences through branding choices and sharing these preferences in social media can be extremely effective with certain products. Lifestyle branding may not necessarily be effective with older consumers who no longer feel the need to express themselves with their brand choices.
Established brands are now competing with new innovators in the marketplace for the attention of those consumers who have strong desire for personal expression in their product choices.