Remember the days when all a brand had to do to grab our attention was run an emotional ad that had us rushing to stores to purchase the advertised product? Think about the first time you saw the Cadbury ad of the gorilla drumming to Phil Collins or the 1984 Apple ad that played during the Superbowl. These adverts were different, and are still remembered to this day. However, while creating captivating adverts can easily be done, consumers have grown weary of traditional adverts and marketing efforts that keep convincing them to buy one product after another. So as marketers, what can you do differently to still captivate your customers today?
Leverage consumer lifestyles and incorporate that into your marketing efforts.
There is a lot of noise out there in the advertising and marketing space; if you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to create an enticing aura around your products instead of making it a 'must-have' product. Make consumers want to include your product in their lives instead of telling them to. Ready to learn how? Read this blog post for more.
First, what is a lifestyle?
In essence, a lifestyle is a way in which behaviors are based on a set of interests, activities, cultures, opinions or other characteristics that set a group of people apart from others. Apart from the elements listed above, elements of a lifestyle can also include:
- Social norms
- Health and Fitness
- Religion and Spirituality
Where does lifestyle marketing come in?
When you include marketing into the mix, lifestyle marketing is a marketing approach where a brand connects itself to the ideals, values and aspirations of their identified target audience. When this happens, lifestyle brands emerge and create the idea that the use of their product or service brings its target audience closer towards their aspirations in life or the lifestyle that they want to live.
Think about luxury brands, and how luxury buyers today purchase these goods as an extension of what they value and aspire to in their own lives. Customers want to engage with the brands that have a similar identity to them, particularly through values and interests. So when a brand has a particular set of values and interests that align with a customer's similar set of values and interests, lifestyle marketing is what comes into play.
What is lifestyle segmentation?
Once you can understand the different lifestyles of your consumers, you can now group these consumers according to their lifestyles. This is known as lifestyle segmentation.
As marketers, you can use lifestyle segmentation to better align one's brand, products and services according to the different lifestyles of your consumers. When you segment your consumers into their lifestyles, this can help create a better brand message around your products or services because you are personalizing this according to each lifestyle segment.
Consider the lifestyle brand, Red Bull as an example and how their tagline is "Red Bull gives you wings." The energy drink has a marketing and advertising strategy that is geared towards people who are adventurous, who value doing the extreme and need the 'wings' to help them. Red Bull has managed to position themselves, and their brand, in such a way where fear isn't in their vocabulary and going where their customers are is part of the plan.
By paying close attention to their customers, and taking the time to learn more about them, Red Bull has managed to become not just the biggest energy drink in the world but also a brand that sells an adrenaline-fueled lifestyle, which lies at the heart of the success that Red Bull has seen.
Why is lifestyle segmentation important?
A basic principle of lifestyle segmentation is that the more you understand your consumer's lifestyle, the more effective your marketing and communication strategy will be to your consumers. Personalization is key in today's age and for brands and marketers, it's important to deliver a personalized experience to your consumers, along with better products and services that will meet their needs. A few ways that you can segment the lifestyles of your consumers include:
- Consumer interests and preferences
- Consumer demographics
- Consumer opinions
- Consumer income
- Consumer activities and hobbies, and how much time they spend on each
One of the most widely used methods of lifestyle segmentation is AIO (activities, interests and opinions). The activities part if the acronym alludes to all of the ways that your how customers like to keep themselves entertained, such as playing sports, traveling or cooking. Interests speak to what actions or things your customers do or do not like, while opinions refers to what your customers think about either themselves or an issue at large within their society.
Why should you consider lifestyle marketing?
Brands like Red Bull, Nike, Apple and a number of other lifestyle brands, have all seen success because of how effective lifestyle marketing can be. These brands put a lot of time, research and resources into understanding their customer's lifestyles, and in turn, reap all the right rewards.
What makes lifestyle marketing effective is knowing exactly who you need to target. From the customers who want to be adventurous with Red Bull, to those who are ready to "Just Do It" with Nike or "Think Different" with Apple, the success of lifestyle marketing lies in understanding what drives your customers, and the values and behaviors that inspire them in life.
From here, you can use this information to craft a personalized strategy based on your customer's lifestyle, connecting with them on an emotional level based on the psychographic information you obtain. But, how can using lifestyle marketing benefit your own brand?
1. Understand that consumer values will impact behavior
While it is important to have a clear understanding of the values of your target audience, it is also critical to understand how these values impact their behavior.
No matter how great your lifestyle product is, if it doesn't speak to the values of your customer, they won't buy into it (or buy your product for that matter). Why? Because values fuel behavior.
Nike understands this fact, and it is one of the reasons the company is a top lifestyle brand; they know what their customers value, understand what inspires them, and communicate how they are aligned with their audience. By incorporating these elements into their marketing strategy, Nike has a better chance of getting a customer to buy their products rather than solely focusing on the type of shoelace or fabric that has been used on their latest Air Maxes.
2. Customer loyalty can stem from lifestyle marketing
The Apple brand has some of the most expensive tech products on the market, and yet, every year when a new product is launched, people are lining up to purchase their newest products. No matter how much competitors try to convince these customers to buy from them instead, there's no winning because of customer loyalty.
But this customer loyalty stems from how Apple has managed to sell not just top quality products, but a lifestyle, and one that people truly aspire to. For these customers, "Think Different" isn't just a tagline - it's a lifestyle, and customers buy into this.
While product marketing does play an important role when wanting to promote and sell a product, sometimes, if your brand sells a lifestyle instead of a product, the rewards can include customer loyalty that will last for years to come.
3. Create a community around your lifestyle brand
Creating a community centered around your lifestyle brand can be one of the greatest benefits. Whether it is Nespresso coffee lovers or Harley-Davidson riders, encouraging and engaging with your community not only leads to customer loyalty but can also create brand ambassadors for your brand.
Instead of outsourcing influencers to help drive awareness, look to the very people who are already part of your community and speak positively about your brand and lifestyle products to others, generating word-of-mouth marketing that will feel genuine and authentic.
How To Create a Lifestyle Marketing Strategy
Now that you know what lifestyle marketing is and how you leverage your consumer's lifestyle, how do you go about creating a strategy for your lifestyle brand?
1. Define the lifestyle you want to sell
What kind of lifestyle do you want your audience to associate with your brand? This is a question that may require some time to answer and thoroughly define. One of the ways that you can go about this, though, is conducting in-depth research on your target audience, focusing on the psychographics (values, beliefs, interests, opinions) rather than the demographics.
Once you know what the values, interests and overall lifestyle that your customers aspire to, do research on the products you offer and how they can help your customers achieve this lifestyle or are aligned with their values. Information like this will help you craft a unique marketing approach.
2. Create the right content
The content you create and share is another important element when crafting a lifestyle brand and a marketing strategy to go with it. You want to make sure that your content highlights your brand's personality, the lifestyle you have defined and how that fits into the lives of your audience.
As much as you may want to showcase some product features, try focusing on telling a story with your product, and how it can help your audience live out their aspirations and the life they want to live. One way to do this is by using user-generated content, such as Coca-Cola during their "Share A Coke" campaign or Adobe through hashtags like #WomenCreateWednesday
3. Build your lifestyle brand community
As mentioned before, creating a community around your lifestyle brand is a great benefit and a key to success. The great thing about lifestyles is that there will always be people who share similar lifestyles and will naturally interact with one another; don't be shy to join in on the interaction too.
Use platforms such as a Facebook page, an Instagram or Twitter hashtag, or your website to build your community with others who share the lifestyle that you have defined. From forums to live broadcasts, use these platforms to encourage community building between you and your audience.
As an effective form of marketing, leveraging consumer lifestyles by tying your brand to their values will see your brand reap great results while you help your customers reach aspirations that only you can help them achieve.
If you want to create a lifestyle marketing strategy around your brand, make sure that you have clearly defined the kind of lifestyle you want to sell, that you have done the necessary research before you connect that lifestyle definition into your brand story.
From there, it's a matter of engaging with your audience, creating the right content and finally building a community of people around your brand. If you want to measure your lifestyle marketing efforts, contact our Meltwater Team today.