Lifestyle brand

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A lifestyle brand is a brand that attempts to embody the interests, attitudes and opinions of a group or a culture. Each individual has an identity based on their choices, experiences, and background (e.g. ethnicity, social class, subculture, nationality, etc.). Some recent contributions[1] have defined lifestyle brands as one of the possible ways of consumer self-expression: customers believe that their identity will be reinforced or supplemented if they publicly associate themselves with a lifestyle brand or other symbol-intensive brands.

Lifestyle brands are suitable to inspire, guide and motivate people, contributing to the definition of their way of life. They bear an ideology, gathering around them a relatively high number of people, thus becoming a recognised social phenomenon.[2]

Sources[edit]

Many lifestyle brands purposely refer to existing groups or cultures, other originate from the insight of a visionary leader who anticipates a deep and keen social need.

Apple’s founder Steve Jobs managed to transform the industries of music entertainment, and telecommunications offering a unique and unmistakable perspective about information technology to hundreds of million of people.

Burton has built its lifestyle brand by drawing on the snowboarding subculture and Quiksilver has done the same with the surfing community.

Patagonia proposes an environmentally friendly way of life. Volcom, with the promise "Youth Against Establishment", gives a label and a sense of belonging to those who are "against" the world of adults.

One popular source for lifestyle brands is also national identity. Victoria's Secret purposely evoked the English upper class in its initial branding efforts, while Burberry is recalling the hip London culture.

Lifestyle brands focus on evoking emotional connections between a consumer and that consumer's desire to affiliate him or herself with a group.

When it appears, a Lifestyle Brand typically covers a semantic territory, creating a disruption with the status quo and proposing an innovative viewpoint on the world. The driver may be the product, the shopping experience, the service, the communication or a combination of these elements.

In 1990s, Abercrombie & Fitch successfully resuscitated a 1950s ideal — the white, masculine “beefcake” — during a time of political correctness and rejection of 1950s orthodoxy, creating a lifestyle brand based on a preppy, young Ivy League lifestyle. Their retail outlets reflect this lifestyle through their luxurious store environment, admirable store associates (models), and their black and white photographs featuring young people "living the Abercrombie & Fitch lifestyle". In doing so, Abercrombie & Fitch has created an outlet for those who lead, or wish to lead or wish to dream about leading this lifestyle.[3]

Success[edit]

One key indication that a brand has become a lifestyle is when it successfully extends beyond its original product category.

For example, Nike used to be a product-focused company focusing on making running shoes. But over time, the company and its logo has become associated with the athlete subculture. This has allowed Nike to expand into related athletic categories, such as sports equipment and apparel.

Gaiam started out as a yoga company, but has had great success in developing a lifestyle brand, which has allowed them to move into other markets as varied as solar power and green building supplies.

Nautica started out as a collection of 6 outerwear pieces but built itself into a global lifestyle brand by having collections for Men, Women, Kids, Home and Accessories.

Indeed, a "Lifestyle Brand" status is not just achieved by the way of a wide product range but above all by type of benefit and symbolic value that the customer associates to the brand.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chernev, A.; Hamilton, R., Gal D. (2011). "Competing for Consumer Identity: Limits to Self-Expression and the Perils of Lifestyle Branding". Journal of Marketing 75. 
  2. ^ Saviolo, Stefania; Marazza, Antonio (2012). Lifestyle Brands - A Guide to Aspirational Marketing. Palgrave Macmillan. 
  3. ^ Denizet-Lewis, Benoit. "The man behind Abercrombie & Fitch". Salon.com. Retrieved Jan 24, 2006. 
  4. ^ Saviolo, Stefania; Marazza, Antonio (2012). Lifestyle Brands - A Guide to Aspirational Marketing. Palgrave Macmillan. 

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