Thanks to the likes of YouTube, Instagram and other social platforms, in our modern day and age there are more brands than ever before. There are personal brands, basketball brands, fashion brands and so much more. Among these brands, the “lifestyle brand” is among the more common and lifestyle marketing is even more so. For regardless of whether you run a fitness brand, food brand or any other kind of brand, your brand promotes a certain lifestyle. As such, lifestyle marketing can help you better connect with and grow your audience, elevating your brand to the next level.
There’s a big difference between a personal brand and a lifestyle brand. A personal brand, simply put, is the brand that is the entirety of an individual. It’s everything about you and who you are, from your beliefs to the way you walk and even your unique food and other preferences. A lifestyle brand, on the other hand, is a brand — personal or otherwise — that has an incredibly deep understanding of their target consumer’s way of life; a brand that understands its consumer’s lifestyle.
An important note is that this is not simply understanding the data pertaining to these consumers and their lifestyles. Rather, it's understanding the entire culture of the target audience.
Lifestyle brands create content, products and/or services for aimed at their target consumer. All of these creations pertain to the lifestyle that the brand is promoting and their consumers seek to be a part of. Below are two examples of brands that do this extremely well.
At first glance, many would label Nike as an athleticwear brand. But while these may be the kinds of products they sell, their brand is one that encourages a specific lifestyle. Their “Just Do It” slogan captures the essence of the lifestyle their brand promotes. They promote a go-getter lifestyle in which you push past any and all obstacles that come before you, where you persevere when times are hard and where you “Just Do It” — the “It” being whatever needs to be done to accomplish your goals, despite the naysayers and other challenges you must overcome. Nike is a lifestyle brand and an incredibly good one at that.
Still not convinced? Just take a look at how they brand themselves through the videos, photos and the captions for both on their Instagram page.
Lewis Howes’ personal brand is also a remarkably strong lifestyle and inspirational brand (yes, your brand can be multiple things at once, so long as it’s authentic; there’s no rule stating you have to stick with one specific thing). As is evidenced by his YouTube channel — featuring interviews with the likes of Sara Blakely, Daymond John, Mike Tyson, Gary Vaynerchuk and everyone in-between — Lewis is all about learning how to improve one’s life and becoming the best version of oneself. Beyond his YouTube channel, however, this is what Lewis seeks to do in every single aspect of his personal life. His Instagram account — featuring clips from interviews, videos and pictures from his daily life and inspirational quotes and videos — is a great reflection of this. And because Lewis’ has made his brand uniquely him to the core and every aspect of himself as opposed to just one, literally everything he does can be content for his audience, only strengthening his brand.
As is indicated by the two examples listed above, there are different types of lifestyle brands. Some may be that of a larger business and others may be more individual-centered. In case your considering the latter, however, there is one main reason you may want to market your lifestyle: you can be your authentic self.
Be it Lewis Howes, Gary Vaynerchuk or otherwise, those who market their lifestyles don’t have to do anything special. You don’t have to act a certain way, wear a specific type of apparel or in any other way abide by all the rules and regulations that typically come with working in a larger, more rigid establishment. You get to be authentically you, all day and every day. If you’re having a bad day, own up to it. Really excited about something? Let people know! You don’t have to do anything special or abnormal. You simply get to be the unique individual you are, and that’s more than special enough.
Like anything, if there are some pros there are some cons. You can’t have a competitive advantage in everything. Here are a couple reasons you may want to think twice about marketing your lifestyle:
When you decide to market your lifestyle, you’re deciding to market your life, putting yourself on display for the world to see. Of course, there may be aspects of your life that you decide to keep private — Gary Vaynerchuk, for example, keeps his family life private, never posting a single piece of content with them as he makes sure his lifestyle brand is centered around his entrepreneurship lifestyle — but by necessity there will be parts of your life that you must put on display. If this worries you, it may be best for you to take more time to think about marketing your lifestyle before diving right in. Putting your business on display for the world to see definitely isn’t for everyone.
The key word here is “can.” Humans continually evolve as they grow older and wiser, gaining new experiences left and right. As you evolve and your lifestyle alters a bit as a result, there’s a possibility that it will be tough for your audience to adapt to the new you after witnessing the previous version of yourself for however long. Given this, depending on the size of the audience you’ve accumulated and their feedback to your evolution, you may feel immense pressure to refrain from being the new authentic you in favor of the previous you that grew the audience in the first place. Again, this “can” happen. While it has the potential to occur, there is no certainty that it well. Nevertheless, it is something to consider before deciding to market your lifestyle.
Regardless of which type of lifestyle brand you're trying to create — one for a business like Nike, an aspect of who you are like Gary Vaynerchuck’s entrepreneurship lifestyle brand or for the entirety of your person like Lewis Howes’ brand — creating a lifestyle brand requires that you build an online presence. Here are five ways to get started:
Consistency is key to developing your lifestyle brand. Your content doesn’t need to be astronomically good, but you do need to create and post content on a consistent basis — be it once a day, five times a week, four times a day, etc. — so that you’re audience continues to frequent your online presence and encourage their friends to do so.
If Nike came out with a commercial all about taking the “safe route,” it wouldn’t go well. It clashes with their brands theme in multiple different ways. And if they were trying to promote this commercial on Pinterest or had a ton of great photos for the concept that they tried to market on Twitter, it would only make matters worse. When creating and posting content, make sure that the content you allow the world to see aligns with your brand’s theme and is native to each platform.
Create and post content — whether it be as simple as a picture or as detailed as an interview (so long as this content is authentic to your brand’s theme) — with others. This helps increase your credibility as well as add more viewers to both your content and the content of the person highlighted in your post. A double win!
Whether your brand is a solo operation or that of a larger business, don’t succumb to any outside pressures. If it feels authentic to you, then do it. If not, don’t, no matter what any data or naysayers say. Your audience follows you because they can tell you’re being authentic. They can also tell when you're not authentic, and your declining audience will indicate this to you.
We’re human, so mistakes are going to happen. But as much as possible try to limit the simple mistakes of typos, tagging the wrong account, posting an extremely blurry picture, etc. These aren’t things you need to be overly conscious about. But you should certainly be wary of them.
Regardless of the products and/or services they provide, every brand — be they large or more individual — promotes a certain lifestyle. And now armed with the information in this article, you can help elevate your lifestyle marketing to the next level.
J.P. Pressley is a writer, entrepreneur, filmmaker, and an asthmatic former two-sport college athlete (basketball and track). Is he a jockey-nerd or a nerdy-jock? The world may never know. You can learn more about him at his personal website.