Lifestyle brands operate on the idea that each individual has an identity based on their choices, experiences and background (ethnicity, social class, subculture, nationality, etc.). Lifestyle brands evoke an emotional connection between consumers and their desire to belong to a group. Lifestyle brands are one of the possible ways for consumers to express themselves. Customers believe that publicly associating themselves with lifestyle brands and other symbol-heavy brands enhances or complements their identities.
= Factors that influence the consumer decision process =
With so many competing products, consumers are constantly faced with multiple decisions regarding product selection. Aspects such as product attributes have been shown to be involved in the consumer decision-making process. A variety of factors influence consumer product brand choices and affect their lifestyles. Consumers choose brands that are receptive to the self-image they are trying to portray. Businesses must redesign and redeploy their products to ensure they meet the lifestyles consumers are demanding. They have the opportunity to narrow down their target market where competition is limited as lifestyle perceptions reduce the number of consumers attracted to a particular brand. Consumers evaluate product attributes rather than case-by-case evaluation. You need to understand brands and how they can influence consumer decision-making considerations. Choice behavior is intertwined with three processes: psychological, sociological, and economic. Amidst these three processes, consumer lifestyles are also intertwined, with consumers tending to choose brands that they feel match their self-image, their identity – who they feel and what they feel most connected with. Vyncke (2002) suggests that a consumer's values, goals, vision of life, and aesthetic style all reflect an individual's lifestyle.
= Consumer self-expression =
Consumers use brands to express their identity. The need for self-expression may be related to the need for acceptance within society, societal perceptions of brands, and how different brands represent income and wealth. Lifestyle brands allow customers to express themselves and portray their identity and lifestyle (Keller, 2008). In particular, lifestyle brands portray certain meanings that allow specific reference groups to associate themselves with based on lifestyles, values, or beliefs (Escalas, & Bettman, 2005).
= Perceived brand value =
If consumers love fashion, this will have a positive impact on their willingness to pay for luxury luxury brands. To be successful and dominate market share, lifestyle brands must improve the customer experience and offer more than just products. Consumers are more willing to buy brands with established value and satisfaction. Brand value is defined as comparing a focal brand to a non-branded product that is marketed to consumers at the same level or in the same way and adopts the same product attributes (Yoo and Donthu, 2001). Luxury brands target people with extreme lifestyles. Price is never the key factor. Three categories are identified for measuring brand value: brand loyalty, perceived value, and brand awareness/association. Consumers associate themselves with luxury fashion brands to express their lifestyle and differentiate themselves from others (Vigneron & Johnson, 2004). Social value is an aspect related to consumers' desire to acquire luxury brands that they expect to offer them an iconic part of their group or culture. Emotional factors are involved in the consumption of luxury brands. For example, factors that bring joy and excitement (Choi & Kim 2003; Kim et al., 2010; Vigneron & Johnson, 2004). Consumers who buy luxury brands tend to have strong social functions within their social class. Retail Brand Lifestyle Retail branding is a way for retailers to refine their products and services to appeal to the lifestyles of specific market segments (Helman & Chernatony, 1999). Examples of lifestyle retail brands include the now defunct Laura Ashley, GAP and Benetton. These retailers offer consumers a distinct and recognized set of values. Over time, many retailers have devised their own brand strategies and are now considered lifestyle retail brands. This is because they target consumers who adopt their brands and tailor them to the lifestyle they want to have (Helman & Chernatony, 1999).
It is important for organizations to understand the role of brands among consumers. To achieve this, organizations should use the following aspects of the lifestyle brand model (Schmitt, 2012). Brand categorization This is defined as the categorization of a product or brand into categories by consumers based on their past experiences with that brand (Schmitt, 2012). This is used to avoid confusion as consumers can be overwhelmed when comparing one product to a wide range of other brands of the same product (Nenycz-Thiel & Romaniuk, 2016). Classification helps consumers to assess product quality (Catalin & Andreea, 2014). For example, consumers may choose to buy an Apple iPhone over a Huawei phone because they believe that the iPhone has better camera quality (Nenycz-Thiel & Romaniuk, 2016). Brand influence This aspect is defined as the influence or influence that a brand has on an organization and its consumers (Orzan, Platton, Stefanescu & Orzan, 2016). For example, Whole Foods can influence consumers by doing more to offer organic foods that meet specific consumer needs (Yi, Batra & Siqing, 2015). Brand Personality This is when a brand encompasses a consistent set of traits that consumers can relate to (Cohen, 2014). Crossfit, for example, is a lifestyle brand that embraces the idea of pursuing fitness. This way of thinking is consistent on a global level. Through this lifestyle, consumers and participants have the opportunity to feel part of a group of healthy and motivated fitness enthusiasts (Qing, Rong & Xiaobing, 2015). Brand Symbolism This is defined as a strong symbolism that a brand communicates to consumers and is adopted for social good (Kubat & Swaminathan, 2015). This allows consumers to feel able to express themselves through forms of identity while being given a sense of belonging to a group (Wu, Klink & Guo, 2013). For example, Tiffany & Co. is a jewelry brand that offers affordable to expensive high quality jewelry products. When consumers see the products worn in public, they may seek to own Tiffany jewelry for social benefit or to fit into a particular group (Athaide & Klink, 2012). Attachment to a brand Attachment comes when people form an emotional connection between themselves and a brand (Malar, Krohmer, Hoyer, Nyffenegger, 2011). For example, Coca-Cola uses advertising to tell consumers about their happy lifestyle. These ads are used to form an emotional connection with the viewer. Using the slogan 'open happiness', consumers may believe that buying and consuming Coca-Cola beverages will make them feel happy and joyful (Malar, Krohmer, Hoyer & Nyffenegger, 2011).
Some lifestyle brands deliberately reference established groups and cultures, while others disrupt the status quo and offer a revolutionary perspective on the world. The driving force can be products, shopping experiences, services, communications, or a combination of these elements. These often stem from the CEO or founder's clear goals. Early on, Apple founder Steve Jobs sought to integrate his company's innovations into the music, entertainment, and telecommunications industries. In 2002, he gave laptops to 7th and 8th graders in Maine. This was to show that "it's not about the technology, it's about what people can do with it." Lee Crow, chairman of Omnicom Group's TBWA Worldwide and Apple's marketing partner, said Jobs had a "very stern view of Apple's tone and the way it talks to people" that was "very human, very approachable". Burton leveraged the snowboarding subculture to build a lifestyle brand, and Quiksilver did the same with the surfing community. Some lifestyle brands are ideologically aligned. Patagonia proposes an eco-friendly lifestyle. With the promise of "Youth Against Packaging", Volcom gives labels and a sense of belonging to those who "against" the adult world. One source of popularity for lifestyle brands is also their national identity. While Victoria's Secret deliberately evoked a British upper class in its initial branding efforts, Burberry is a reminder of London's hipster culture. Social or personal image is also a reference point for some lifestyle brands. In the 1990s, Abercrombie & Fitch successfully revived the 1950s ideal of white, masculine 'beefcake' in an era of political correctness and rejection of 1950s orthodoxy, creating a lifestyle brand based on the preppy, young Ivy League lifestyle. Their retail outlets reflect this lifestyle through lavish store environments, attractive salespeople (models), and black-and-white photography featuring young people "living the Abercrombie & Fitch lifestyle." In doing so, Abercrombie & Fitch has created an outlet for those who lead or want to lead or dream of leading this lifestyle. Companies like home furnishings associate the term “lifestyle branding” when developing their brand portfolio (“Lexington Offerings”, 2009). Furniture companies may align new product lines with lifestyle collections associated with fashion icons, celebrities and famous interior designers. For consumers, this gives them a sense of security and motivates them to buy home furnishings that they want to be like these iconic influencers. The furniture company says it helps connect with consumers who connect other categories to these celebrities. This is their way of opening up new markets that have not yet been reached (Combs, 2010). Companies that associate celebrity names offer a degree of assurance to their brands (Clow et al., 2011). A company called Doman Home Furnishings launched a campaign on food and kitchen products to strengthen its brand as a lifestyle choice (“Domain Home”, 2004). The campaign used a model with the caption "Part of Life". This gave consumers a good understanding of the brand and the lifestyle it could offer. A home furnishing company uses lifestyle merchandising to drive brand expansion. Furthermore, by appointing designers who are also involved in the production of fashion apparel products, the brand is communicated to consumers. Therefore, because these consumers are already associated with or familiar with fashion apparel products, this creates a connection between fashion brands and home goods brands.
One of the key signs that a brand has become a lifestyle is when it successfully expands beyond its original product. For example, Nike was once a product-based company focused on manufacturing running shoes. However, over time, the company and its logo became associated with sports subcultures. This allowed Nike to expand into related sports areas such as sporting goods and apparel. Gaiam started as a yoga company, but has achieved great success in developing a lifestyle brand that has enabled it to expand into various markets such as solar power and green building products. Nautica started as a six-piece outerwear collection, but has grown into a global lifestyle brand with collections for men, women, kids, home and accessories. A company's status as a lifestyle brand is not achieved by offering a wide range of products, but by the benefits and iconic value that customers associate with the brand.
Brands that use many symbols status symbol cool hunting
Definition & Meaning
- a manner of living that reflects the person's values and attitudes
- a name given to a product or service a recognizable kind identification mark on skin, made by burning a piece of wood that has been burned or is burning a symbol of disgrace or infamy a cutting or thrusting weapon that has a long metal blade and a hilt with a hand guard
- burn with a branding iron to indicate ownership; of animals to accuse or condemn or openly or formally or brand as disgraceful mark with a brand or trademark mark or expose as infamous