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If you thought a strong brand just meant pretty colors, matching fonts and a working website, you’re wrong. Brand building is way more sophisticated than that.

If you’re on Instagram you will have noticed the new-ish trend of “Lifestyle Marketing”.

I say “new-ish” because technically it’s not new at all but it’s definitely something that’s trending amongst online business recently. So what is lifestyle marketing? Well, it’s pretty obvious.

It’s when you market a service or product by showing how it applies to a person’s lifestyle. 

Brands that have famously used them in the past and continue to use them now are, Coca-cola, Apple and McDonald’s. It’s more often than not that you find commercials of these brands with people laughing and enjoying their time. You do not hear one bit about what the product does or what it comes with.

Here are some examples of lifestyle marketing commercials:

 Why Is Lifestyle Marketing So Effective?

Because it provokes a feeling. Read that last line again. This is critical in order for these ads to #werk in the fashion they do. Did you notice that in both of those commercials nothing was mentioned about how great the product was? In the Apple one they didn’t even show a freaking computer! The McDonald’s one didn’t mention anything about how tasty their burgers are. 

See, there are hundreds of makeup retailers but there is something more effective about how companies like MAC, Covergirl, and Maybelline do it. It’s because they want you to feel a certain way when you purchase from them. The only thing better than getting a customer to buy your product/service, is getting your customer to buy it and then feel better because of the purchase!! It means that they will keep coming again. It means that they will become a fan and advertise for you!

Is This Fair? Or Manipulative?

Many people feel like this form of marketing is manipulating and is unfair for people to be exposed to but personally, I think it can only be labeled as unfair when being evaluated case by case. For some people, McDonald’s doesn’t make them happy….at all, but for some people it’s the only comfort in life they have! It may sound cold but it’s true!

Personally, I love Apple. I love how Apple products make me feel. They make me feel like I’m grouped with the right people. The creatives. In fact, it took me years to throw out the boxes (the boxes!) all my Apple products came in. They have created a brand so strong that even the parts you are meant to throw away, people want to keep. So I don’t feel cheated, or manipulated. I feel like an exchange of value was done. That makes me feel happy and smart.

See, strong brands know something that we often overlook. It’s sort of like a secret. You ready?

The Secret:

Everyone just wants to be cool. *GASP! OH UH-UH DID I JUST SAY THAT?*

Yes. Yes I did. Everyone wants to be cool. Me, your mom, your boyfriend, and even you. Even the people who say they don’t want to be cool (they actually want to be cool more than anybody else). This doesn’t make you or anyone else shallow. It’s 100% natural to just want to be accepted by others. As humans that’s how we survive. Effective brands know this, and so through their marketing they say “Hey, you’re cool to us, and cool to everyone else that buys from us! So just buy from us!”

Jordan does it. Lois Vutton does it. Target does it. #BOSSBABE does it. We get it.

Your Turn:

So let’s stop talking about these mega brands and turn the table over to you and your brand. How is your brand using lifestyle marketing? What are you selling? For example, if you’re selling cosmetics… how can you make YOUR version provoke a feeling into your audience? How can you tell them that they are cool for using YOUR version?

I suggest you get a pen and paper and write down three ways your product is special. If you don’t have three ways then you should brainstorm on how you can make it special. This is easier than it sounds.

Ways to Make Your Product/Service Special:

  • Cater to a very particular audience
  • Mention things in your brand that others are too afraid to talk about
  • Find a celebrity/celebrity-like person to promote your products

Once you have your three things down, come up with a way to make each attribute glamorized in your branding. Remember, when people are looking at your website and social media they are constantly asking themselves one question: “Why this?”What makes your brand cool? How can you show that to your audience?

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