We have a lot going on in our lives – every day, we are bombarded with images, adverts, and information. It is essential to start tuning out some of the noise, and for most consumers, this means tuning out advertising.
It’s official, advertising your product based on just its features is outdated. Consumers don’t really care about your product. They are too wrapped up with their own lives. If you want to market to them effectively, you need to start introducing lifestyle marketing.
What Does Lifestyle Mean?
You know those soft-drink ads that you see all over. The ones where people are enjoying a Coke and having a great time? That is an example of lifestyle products. The message is simple, share a Coke with someone, and you will make friends and have a good time.
Creating a Lifestyle Brand
When creating a lifestyle brand, you go further than just the features of your product. You have to define your target market carefully in terms of their opinions, interests, and ideas. It is about marketing a particular culture, something that your target market wants to achieve.
It’s about connecting your product to the needs of your consumers at a deeper level.
What Are Lifestyle Products?
Lifestyle products are items that have a unique selling proposition that is appealing to your target market. We are already surrounded by them in our day to day lives. We use these products to fit in with a specific culture.
Take a look at marketing that has been really effective for you in the past. What were you buying – the product itself specifically, or the lifestyle behind it? Why do you choose a particular brand of soda?
Take vaping, for example. It is seen as a cooler and safer alternative to smoking. People who buy these products are buying into a lifestyle. If you smoke real cigarettes, you are seen as being inconsiderate and unhealthy.
If you smoke electronic cigarettes, it is more like you are one of the cool kids.
What is key here is that a perception is created. Vaping is more socially acceptable than smoking because it doesn’t produce such a foul smell. However, the liquids vaporized might still contain nicotine and other harmful substances.
You can get just as addicted to vaping as you can to cigarettes.
How Small Companies Can Benefit
Small companies are ideally suited to building a lifestyle brand. Think about the artisan baker, or the organic farmer. Organic food and artisan goods can be sold at a higher price if the business can establish a lifestyle brand.
A good example of how a small company can leverage this is, believe it or not, Starbucks. It’s huge now but, initially, the idea behind it was producing good coffee. Former CEO, Howard Schultz had a vision of the coffee shop becoming a sort of home away from home and being warm and inviting.
Starbucks employees are trained to focus on making the customer experience a great one. They are encouraged to learn client’s names, to be happy and outgoing and to go the extra mile wherever possible.
People go to Starbucks for the coffee certainly, but it’s about more than the coffee for most people. It’s about a warm atmosphere and the vibe. The idea of a fun place that makes it easy for you to relax and enjoy your coffee.
It was a simple concept that proved highly effective, and it is something that every business can apply. Instead of featuring your product, start looking at what lifestyle your product allows your clients to enjoy. Then create a marketing strategy to match – everything from lifestyle websites to a simple flyer.
Find your own “Starbucks” effect and your business will also be able to grow.