Selling a Lifestyle: a How-to Guide
Selling a lifestyle? What about selling products? Yes, a lifestyle brand typically produces great quality products – but it isn’t really the products they are selling. Lifestyle marketing is about selling the lifestyle you could have if you purchase their products. And that’s exactly what helps them to sell more. So how do you go about selling a lifestyle?
Take Tim Ferriss, for example. He was an early investor in start-ups like Uber and Facebook, he has a successful podcast and TV shows, he is hugely wealthy and influential, he travels the world, has famous friends…and he happens to have written a few best-selling books. But he doesn’t sell his books, he sells the opportunity to have his lifestyle. It’s a lifestyle you can have by only working four hours per week – and, yes, we’re sold (and so are Tim’s books).
A lifestyle brand sells the end result rather than the product that gets you there, in the same way that you don’t buy a mortgage…you buy the perfect house in your dream location.
6 Tips to Selling a Lifestyle
There are a number of things you need to know and do as a lifestyle brand in order to sell the lifestyle your audience aspires to, and in turn boost revenue.
1. Be Sure of the Lifestyle You Want to Sell
This may sound obvious, but if you have conflicting opinions internally or try to position your brand as appealing to diverse audiences whose aspirational lifestyles may be different, your branding and messaging can be muddled. Being absolutely certain of the lifestyle your customers aspire to is critical.
For example, Justin Boots sells the cowboy lifestyle (and cowboy boots). They create content such as horse of the month, articles on cowboy weddings, cowboys themselves, and dude ranches. Selling “cowboy swagger”, and cowboy swagger alone, has built them a strong, loyal customer base.
2. Know Your Audience
A lifestyle brand will not be successful unless it understands its audience. Once you know who your customers are – and critically, who they aspire to be – you can position your brand as a fundamental way of achieving that lifestyle.
You can do this by talking to your customers, listening to their reviews and feedback, conducting customer research, consumer profiling and focus groups. If you understand their attitudes, beliefs, preferences and values, you will be able to inspire, target, and guide your customers, and truly connect with them rather than just talking to them.
We often say that content is king, and this is even more true for lifestyle brands. Great content marketing can paint a picture of the lifestyle your audience wants to achieve, building brand equity along the way. Traditional marketing channels such as direct mail and even digital advertising are less likely to resonate with digital natives whereas engaging, relevant content is more likely to create loyalty and trust.
Therefore, it’s important to produce content that reflects the lifestyle you want to sell – content that is inspirational and aspirational, that truly talks to your audience, discusses the issues which are important to them, and starts a conversation. In doing this, a lifestyle brand drives not only awareness and sales, but positions themselves as an authority within their industry.
The channels you use in lifestyle brand content marketing are also important; meet your customers on the platforms they use, whether that’s Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. Giving your customers the opportunity to engage with you on their platforms of choice also mean you can learn more about them.
4. Be Present and Engage on the Right Social Media Channels
As a lifestyle brand, it’s likely that social media is where your audience spends a lot of its time. Users of social media often seek lifestyle models, and lifestyle brands can illustrate (and sell) those aspirational lifestyles. If you know your audience and the content that will resonate with them, you can engage your consumers on social platforms, create a community they want to belong to and will contribute to, and ultimately grow revenue.
Red Bull TV is a great example of a brand that really maximizes social media in their lifestyle marketing campaigns. Here, you’ll find adrenaline junkies taking their sport to the extreme. This isn’t about Red Bull the drink, it’s about the lifestyle you could have if you drink the drink.
5. Get to Know the Influencers in Your Industry
Influencer marketing is a hot topic for most brands, and rightly so. It’s a worthwhile alternative to traditional advertising, it is typically better value, and it’s easy to measure. All this, and it provides credibility and authenticity for your brand and products.
For brands selling a lifestyle, influencer marketing is particularly beneficial. Consumers of lifestyle brands tend to trust influencers more than the brand, and that’s because the influencer is living the consumer’s aspirational lifestyle. This holds true even if the consumer is aware that the influencer is being sponsored or is advertising a particular product.
Influencer marketing is also highly effective in creating a loyal following – a community of ready-made customers who share your values and ideals will encourage like-minded people to buy into the lifestyle and brand you’re selling.
6. Align yourself with similar brands
Partnering with or even just referencing non-competing brands who are already in your “lifestyle space” will strengthen your audience’s association of your brand with that lifestyle. Concrete benefits of co-branding are that it can help build business, increase awareness, and even crack new markets.
A great example of the successful partnership of two lifestyle brands is Adidas and Kanye West (yes, we are counting Kanye as a lifestyle brand). Together they developed Yeezy, a high-end footwear line. This combination of the rapper’s personal brand and Adidas’ streetwear line has equalled strong sales and brand growth for both parties. They work together well – Kanye provides the buzz and exposure, and Adidas has the robust sales platform.
Check out our marketing for lifestyle brands resource for more content on all aspects of lifestyle brands, or get in touch if you’d like to chat through how LimeLight Marketing can support your brand in selling a lifestyle.