Last week, we took the first step into the magical world of lifestyle brands. We explored what a lifestyle brand is and what some of our favorites are. This week, we're going a little deeper into the conversation to outline the tools you need to elevate your company or organization from overlooked brand to stunning lifestyle brand.
Because of the deep attachment and loyalty people feel towards lifestyle brands, gaining this status is a ticket to success. So what does it take to get there? If you take a closer look back at the brands mentioned in the first part of this series, you will start see some common elements:
- Clear values that align with customers’ values. By values, we don’t necessarily mean moral values, though that is certainly the case for many of them. These values could also be personal values or interests, such as creativity, art, nature, fitness or wellness.
- Authenticity within the company. Not only do these brands empower their customers to live their values, they live their brands. If you’re an outdoor company in a stuffy corporate high rise or an eco-friendly grocer without internal sustainability initiatives, you’ll look like a fraud. Consumers should feel as if they are doing something that contributes to their values or the life they want to live simply by engaging with your organization.
- An emotional connection or bold claim. In addition to values, brands can also embody emotions – love, freedom, kindness, etc. Great lifestyle brands do more than just align with users’ interests; they make their customers feel and aspire to something.
- A consistent (and compelling) experience. For your customers to feel as though you represent them, you must deliver a consistent experience every. single. time. Trust and reliability are critical to building loyalty.
- Quality that goes without saying. Becoming a lifestyle brand goes beyond the practical choice. If people are choosing you only because your product works, you’ve engaged their heads but not their hearts. To create emotional connection, quality must be so ingrained and consistent in your organization that you no longer have to market that point. When consumers know they’ll get a great product every time, they will then be open to connecting at a deeper level.
It is no longer enough to simply create a quality product or service to make your presence known; to truly stand out from the crowd, you must become part of people’s lives in a consistent, authentic way.
Beyond just creating a great product (step one!), what are the things you can do right now to help encourage emotional attachment, social sharing and lifestyle adoption?
Check back on Thursday for the final part in our series, where we'll focus on the practical steps you can take to build a lifestyle brand.