If you own or manage a company, you probably already know how important branding is in your growth strategy. Your brand is much more than a name and logo design—it’s the very essence of your company. The brand includes your aesthetic, characteristics, voice, positioning and strategy. But, for some companies, branding doesn’t just stop with their products and services—they become synonymous with a lifestyle.
Could lifestyle branding be the right move for your company? This blog will look at some different brands and how they’ve become intertwined with the lifestyle of their target audience.
What is Lifestyle Branding?
When you think about a niche lifestyle, certain brands are likely to come to mind. For example, who pops into your head when you think about sports or fitness? What about living a healthy and mindful lifestyle? More than likely, you could think of a brand or two for any niche lifestyle you are somewhat familiar with.
Brands have become very good at making themselves part of more than just the purchase experience. With marketing, brands are inserting themselves into the very lifestyle itself. For example, it’s hard to think of soccer without immediately considering Adidas and Puma necessary parts of the game. You probably are familiar with the kind of people who frequent your local coffee shops too.
For a lifestyle brand, a community forms around the brand, incorporating the brand with people who live the shared lifestyle niche. When a brand becomes a way of life, it can often charge on the higher end of the price because it has become highly desirable to that crowd.
At a certain part, the line between brand and personal identity becomes slightly blurred. The brand becomes part of the individual and brings them into a community of people who have the brand in common. Those communities tend to share many of the same characteristics foundational to the brand until things become intertwined.
Examples of Lifestyle Branding
Let’s look at some common examples of powerful lifestyle branding. These companies all have distinctive followings that are almost social clubs connected by the brand.
Perhaps one of the most well-known brands of all time, Apple has become a lifestyle for many users. You are either Apple—or Android. Other brands, like Samsung and Nokia, aren’t on the same level at all and get lumped into the non-apple category. This doesn’t mean everyone loves Apple—quite the opposite. The company has a very loyal following and has aligned the Apple brand with creative and fashion-forward types.
This athleticwear brand is also a staple in the community it targets. Nike offers stylish lines that appeal to top athletes and classic comfort lines that appeal to retirees. Part of what has helped Nike identify so strongly with its crowd is how it has latched onto top athletes as involved spokespeople and designers since the days of Jordan.
This simple skater shoe started with a spray-painted logo, hand-drawn by the creator’s son. This unassuming classic remains a favorite with the garage-band skater crowds.
For the free-spirited nature-lover, Free People offers an effortless style. The layers, patterns and combinations show a nod to clear bohemian roots. This brand lends itself to the women who love vintage and have a sense of wanderlust.
Tims (as loyalists affectionately call them) have been an urban staple for years. The consistency of the boot style hasn’t made it any less fresh or appealing to the most stylish crowd. While designed for outdoor wear, they are less of a hiking boot and more of a wardrobe staple to pair with other high-end streetwear brands.
This premium French cookware brand is a prized item in most kitchens. The beautiful glazed pots are considered heirloom dishes that last for generations. The bold colors and smooth finishes are like a calling card for home chefs everywhere.
For highly targeted results, Genius offers a unique take with stackable supplements and a very smart approach to design. They simplify the product ingredients in a way so appealing they have a small cultish following of diehards.
The Jeep crowd includes adventures and loyal Americans who love their spare-tire covers. The company has such a following the brand name alone increases the price for both retail and resale. If you don’t know who is living the Jeep lifestyle, then you need to read this Craigslist ad for a used Jeep.
This highly popular fitness regiment formed a community centered around daily workouts. The workout of the day (WOD) typically used simple bodyweight movements with little-to-no equipment required. Instead of gyms, the members join “Boxes,” where the environment perfectly meets the needs of CrossFit WODs. People were so dedicated to the workouts that they quickly formed a tight-knit fitness community that has become a lifestyle.
Would Lifestyle Branding Work for Your Business?
Lifestyle branding works best for companies that are trying to target a very niche audience. For example, it would be very difficult for Suave or Dial to become a lifestyle brand because they have an extremely broad audience. However, Tom’s targets the homeopathic and natural lifestyle crowd.
If you can pinpoint a very specific group of people who are going to want and need your brand, then you may be a good candidate for lifestyle branding. With a lifestyle brand, the size of your company isn’t really an issue—it’s a lot more about creating a cult-like following with very loyal fans.
How to Start Lifestyle Marketing
Are you interested in exploring what lifestyle branding would look like for your company? Lifestyle branding requires a cohesive approach to branding that understands your audience on the deepest level. You can hire a team of experts to help you handle this transition.
We can help you change up your approach with a stress-free approach to powerful branding. Contact our team here at Vinci Digital today, and let’s discuss brand strategy solutions.