Lifestyle marketing is a marketing approach in which a brand associates itself and embodies the aspirations, ideals, values, and aesthetics of its target market. In other words, lifestyle marketing encourages consumers to think, either subconsciously or consciously, that buying certain products helps them live the life they want. Apple's famous "1984" ad is a classic example of this type of strategy.
While many large corporations use lifestyle marketing to promote their products, this type of advertising is not their exclusive domain. Small businesses can also benefit from incorporating lifestyle marketing into their overall plan. Let's discuss how lifestyle marketing makes a difference and what you can do to include this approach in your strategy moving forward.
Lifestyle Marketing Makes a Difference
Humans are social creatures. We care about what others think about us (no matter what we may say). Lifestyle marketing taps into our deep-seated needs for acceptance, status, and respect. It leverages those needs into a persuasive argument for why we should buy certain products from particular brands.
As a result, your business can gain significant benefits from a lifestyle marketing approach. It allows you to focus on the practical benefits your product has to offer (What can it do?) and the social advantages it can theoretically give (What can it do for my status?). Since it takes between 5-7 impressions for the average consumer to remember a brand at all, you need to consider how you want consumers to remember your brand. If you build your brand so that it is perceived as a gateway to the desired lifestyle, your advertising will be that much more effective.
How You Can Benefit from Lifestyle Marketing
Lifestyle marketing enables business growth for several reasons, including:
- Brand personalization. You're able to tailor your brand image to your target audience and stand out from the crowd.
- Increased brand awareness. As with other marketing forms, this approach will help you spread the word about your business among your consumer base.
- Deeper consumer engagement. One of the great things about lifestyle marketing is its ability to present your products or services in a subtle, relaxed way. Without pushy sales tactics or noisy promotions, you can get around consumer defenses and engage with them on a deeper level.
Using Lifestyle Marketing as a Small Business
Now that we've established why lifestyle marketing is so effective and some of the benefits associated with it, how can you incorporate this approach into your marketing plan as a small business? Here are a few suggestions that may help:
Sponsor Lifestyle Segments on Local TV Stations
Television, including local television, has an extensive scope. TV advertising allows you to reach a broad audience of target consumers with your messaging, either on a national level or within a specific geographical region.
One way to implement lifestyle marketing via local TV is to sponsor segments of specific programs. These may include news programs, recurring musical events, and other shows that reach a large portion of your target demographic. In many cases, you can easily reach out to the stations and explore the possibility of becoming a sponsor.
Once you reach a sponsorship deal, you can then use your company's social media account or the segment's social media account to continue advertising for your business.
Create Product Demonstration Videos
While product demonstration videos don’t inherently fit into lifestyle marketing, you can weave elements of this approach into their development. As an example, if a company that sells vacuum cleaners wants to target the aspiring affluent demographic in their local community, they would want to stage any product demonstration video in a large, immaculately-kept house — the bigger, the better!
By creating an "aura" around your product, even in demo videos, you'll feed into the image you want to project to your consumers. You can take this further and make videos about your company, specifically, to reinforce how your culture matches the goals of your customers. Letting consumers see who you are so they understand your culture helps them see how your values fit theirs. That way they can relate to you, and by extension, your company.
Make Print Ads for Lifestyle Magazines
Finally, when you take out print ads in lifestyle magazines, you help align your business and products with a particular lifestyle in the customer’s eyes. While magazines are great to establish a broad, national awareness, a small business will benefit from the use of regional publications to reach your target demographic.
Lifestyle marketing is a powerful way to influence your consumers, usually on a subconscious level. Whether you run a multi-million dollar corporation or a small, home-town business, you can leverage lifestyle marketing to attract high-value prospects to your brand. Using an experienced media partner can help you make sure you engage with your audience on a deeper level and grow your business as a result.