What Is Lifestyle Branding? (Top Brand Strategy + Best Examples)

Let’s face it, no matter how you slice it, everything brands do is an attempt to get you to buy their products or services right?

But different methods exist with which to do this and lifestyle branding just happens to be one such method.

While some strategies adopt aggressive and sales driven tactics, lifestyle brands take a softer and more palatable approach.

For successful lifestyle brands, customers don’t just buy their products; they buy into their idea and the way-of-life they’re promoting.

What Is Lifestyle Branding?
(Top Lifestyle Brand Examples)

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What is A Lifestyle Brand?

Now before we go diving headfirst into this highly effective yet warmly welcomed approach, let’s define what a lifestyle brand is.

A lifestyle brand is a brand that promotes their audience’s desirable lifestyle as a primary method of resonating with who they are and what they want.

This desirable lifestyle hacks an insatiable yearning, which product or service-based promotion and messaging simply can’t compete with.

What Is Lifestyle Branding?

Lifestyle branding is the brand strategy used by lifestyle brands that defines 

Who the audience is

The desirable lifestyle they want

The method to communicate this lifestyle

The associations it will align with

The experiences it will provide

How to help them achieve it

Each of these defined elements allows the brand to paint a picture of the life their customer wants, how this life will make them feel and more often than not, what they need to do to achieve it

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Why The Lifestyle Branding Strategy Is So Effective?

The lifestyle brand strategy is so effective because of the potency of our desires as human beings.

We all want to live the life of our dreams and because we’re all so very different as people “the perfect life” means different things for different people.

For one person a perfect life might be associated with:

A successful career

Financially independent

A big house in a quiet suburb

Holidays 3 times a year

Kids in private school

Golf on the weekends

For another person, a perfect life might be associated with:

Online business to support lifestyle

Nomad life living in many countries

Minimal working hours

Regular meditation retreats

Emotional independence

Because we’re all so very different, this strategy has endless possibilities. When you know exactly who the audience is and what they want from their life, you can get hyper specific on painting the image of that life to appeal to them.

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Lifestyle Brand Examples

As the popularity of lifestyle branding increases, we can see more examples of lifestyle brands everyday.

Even some of the world’s most iconic brands have begun to introduce these tactics to embed their brand into the ideal life of their target audience.

The Red Bull Lifestyle

As far as pure lifestyle brands go, there is no better example than Red Bull.

Red Bull created a new energy drink category and had a blank slate to go in and do whatever they wanted to.

What they wanted to do was to own the word “Extreme” and their strategy to do that was to embed themselves into the lifestyle and ultimately the culture of extreme sports.

Not only were they consistently showing up at micro niched extreme sports events, they began creating events and capturing media not just for the promotion of their brand, but also for the sports themselves.

Their media production house and social media channels distributing branded and user-generated content have become a window into the lifestyle of extreme sports professionals, amateurs and fans alike.

What is the lifestyle of extreme sports? Red Bull is the embodiment.

The Patagonia Lifestyle

Patagonia is another brand with an intimate connection with their audience.

Created by Yvon Chouinard in 1973, Patagonia was born from the founder’s passion for climbing and a love of the great outdoors.

This love of the great outdoors and the spiritual connection between man and nature is the lifestyle Patagonia celebrates.

Throughout the years the brand has adjusted its processes and operations to have a neutral impact on the environment and promote the simplistic lifestyle of the enjoyment and appreciation of nature.

Through their social media channels and environmental information-heavy website, the Patagonia brand celebrates and advocates the appreciation of the simplicity and beauty of our natural environment.

Lifestyle Photography And Marketing Strategy

When it comes the lifestyle branding, one of the most effective tolls and techniques for promotion and marketing is photography.

The desired lifestyle of the audience is what they dream about and one of the best ways a brand can align itself with the association of that lifestyle is to paint a vivid picture of it.

As humans, our reptilian brains can digest images in a little as 0.013 seconds and these images can infiltrate our memory structures far more effectively than words can.

In other words, brands that leverage vivid imagery depicting the desired lifestyle of their audience have a far greater chance of being remembered, recalled and more importantly associated with that lifestyle.

How To Create A Lifestyle Brand (5 Step Strategy)

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How To Create A Lifestyle Brand

Creating a lifestyle brand requires a different approach than other brands.

There are nuances in the approach that make all the difference. Embrace them and embed them into your tactical work to make the connection.

Lead With Lifestyle

Everything about your brand from its visual identity to its copy, messaging, storytelling, imagery, beliefs and values should celebrate the desired lifestyle its being built on.

The strategy involved bringing the desired lifestyle to light in every granular detail possible. The more detailed the image of the lifestyle, the more tangible it feels, the more likely the targeted audience will resonate with it and join the tribe on this shared quest.

Forget about products and services, get them to buy into your tribe and way-of-life as a priority.

Build A Community Of Like-Minded People

We all want to feel a sense of belonging. Even better, we all want to be surrounded by people who share as many of the same ideals as we have.

When lifestyle brands can successfully build an engaged community of people who are all facing in the same way, pulling in the same direction and singing the same song, a sense of camaraderie is established that intensifies the feelings, beliefs and passions for that desired lifestyle.

Embed Your Brand Into That Way Of Life

Products and services are a secondary consideration for successful lifestyle brands.

Through its engaging imagery, aligned communication and passionate community, what the brand is offering simply becomes a means to an end.

The end is the lifestyle and the means are the products and services that support the audience on their quest for that lifestyle.

Through product placement into the depicted lifestyle or inspiring suggestions and how to achieve them, the brand and its offering simply become a guiding aide and stepping stone to the desired life. 

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Be Convenient Not Pushy

One of the fundamental premises of the lifestyle branding strategy is the way the brand is embedded into the lives of the consumer.

Pushy sales tactics jamming products and services down the necks of the audience works against this strategy. After all no one likes being sold to so that would contradict the desired lifestyle.

Through social media channels or educational and helpful email campaigns, the lifestyle brand simply makes their products and services accessible to the audience like an old friend offering a helping hand.

If this is done effectively, not only will the audience not feel pressured to buy, they’ll be grateful fore the convenience offered by the brand in helping them to achieve their goals.

Over To You

We all aspire in one way or another to be the best version of ourselves and achieve our desired lifestyle.

Brands that truly take the time to understand their audience and the desired life they aspire to have, can capture the imagination of their audience by painting a vivid picture of that life.

The more consistently and effectively the brand celebrates this lifestyle and provides its offering as a supplementary means to achieving it, the more likely the audience is to join the tribe and buy into the beliefs of the brand.

Are you building a brand and can you paint a vivid picture of their desired lifestyle? Let me know your thoughts or perspectives on the lifestyle branding strategy in the comments below.

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