Let's talk about "lifestyle brands". It's been the trend lately, but what exactly does it mean? Should your brand be a lifestyle brand? How do you become a lifestyle brand? Great questions, I'm glad you asked! 😂
WHAT IS IT?
In short, a lifestyle brand is essentially when a company markets its product by connecting it to a way of life. Often the goal is to create an emotional connection between the product and the consumer. To truly be a lifestyle brand, you need your marketing to go deeper than just "here is our product, it's cool, buy it." There needs to be a persona behind the name and logo, there needs to be a STRONG mission behind what your brand is doing.
Take Patagonia for example. When you think of Patagonia you probably think of nature, camping, 'tree huggers', and people who travel the country in their vans. And what's crazy about that is I didn't even mention a single product of theirs. That's because they have done such a great job of making their brand have its own personality, just like a real person would. Their brand stands for something, I mean they literally just sold their whole company to mother nature haha. There is a strong passion and mission behind what they do.
SHOULD YOU DO IT?
Every brand should have at least some element of a 'lifestyle' to it. Now, not every business can or should go as far as Patagonia and sell your entire company to the planet, haha BUT in order to have stronger marketing and a deeper connection with your customers you do need to have some emotion. You need to make sure your customers know that buying your product isn't just beneficial for the obvious reasons, but that it is also providing benefits to their way of life and aligning with who they are as a person. The type of business you have will determine how far on the lifestyle spectrum your brand goes.
HOW DO YOU DO IT?
Before I jump into another example with a personal client of mine, I need to emphasize that to truly be a lifestyle brand you have to go deeper than the basics of marketing. I'm going to give some examples of how to HELP create content to achieve this, but not even the best photoshoot can make your business feel like a "lifestyle brand", you need more than a few nice photos. You need to live and breathe this brand mission both with front-facing marketing AND behind the scenes. However, having these elements will make it easier to draw that emotion and create that connection with your customers. So let's dive in!
Planning a Lifestyle Shoot
Once you have a clear understanding of your brand and the mission and purpose behind it, you can start connecting it to a lifestyle that fits. Think of your brand as if it were a person or a character. Who would they be? What would they like? What do they do every day? Usually, this brand persona lines up pretty closely with your target audience.
Using that information, you can plan a photoshoot that aligns. Let's take one of my clients H2OM for example. They are a clothing company that makes their activewear using recycled fabric from the trash in the ocean! They're on a mission to make the world a little brighter and oceans a little cleaner.
So they are on a mission to save the ocean (and the cute creatures in it) and they connect it with the yogi community as part of their brand's lifestyle. So saving the ocean + yoga = a photoshoot on the coast featuring talented yogis! It really can be as simple as that.
To add to the story, we added additional items to the shot list. Including:
Models picking up trash on the shore = showing the benefits to the environment when you purchase the product.
Models having fun together = putting an emphasis on the community the brand is creating.
Close-ups of the fabric = showing off the nice fabric and the beautiful designs of the sea creatures being saved.
Portraits of the owner = making the brand more personal by showing the face behind it.
These are just a few of the elements we captured, there are still so many other elements of the brand that can be captured in the future. It can't all be done in one shoot, but that's the great part about marketing. It is ever-changing and always in need of something new. This gives you fresh ideas for the next one!
There are also other ways to achieve this same idea and to really be a strong lifestyle brand, you should be using multiple mediums. Be sure to use all your resources like social media, blogs, events, podcasts, photos, videos, user-generated content, email marketing, education, partnerships, etc. The list could go on with creative ideas! Anything that allows you to go beyond the product itself and gives your customers an inside look into who your brand is and what it stands for. Not every marketing tool or concept is going to be a good fit for your brand, but if you can meet your audience where they are and tell your brand story in a variety of ways, you'll start to connect with them on a much deeper level!
I hope this was helpful and gets the wheels turning on what new content to capture for your brand that really puts your mission into perspective. Check out some of the photos from the H2OM shoot and don't hesitate to reach out with questions!