Lifestyle brands are known for guiding, inspiring, and motivating people, with the bottom line of having consumers use their products or services to achieve that goal or desired way of life. Many lifestyle brands have a reputation for being aspirational, so they might seem like non-essential businesses during a time like 2021.
How do we market seemingly non-essential businesses like a lifestyle brand during a pandemic? Here are some tips for effectively promoting and marketing a lifestyle brand in 2021 and beyond.
Be sensitive and empathetic
This might be the most crucial part of lifestyle branding and storytelling in COVID-19: Be sensitive, kind, gentle, and empathetic. We live in a time when customers will no longer suffer brands that are out of touch with reality, especially since so many are losing people they love, sources of income, and even their homes. Customers from different market segments experienced suffering due to the global health crisis. Many have neither the energy nor resources to support brands that show no care for important causes like human rights and climate justice.
Even if brands’ target demographic are those on the affluent side of the spectrum, kindness, sensitivity, and compassion should still be their default mode because we never know what people have suffered and are suffering throughout the pandemic. Here are some practical ways this principle can be employed:
- Use positive and uplifting language, and avoid potentially triggering words.
- Avoid the “flexing” type of marketing, wherein your brand, its models, spokespersons, and ambassadors blatantly flaunt their wealth with little to no regard for how people are living. In a time like 2021, this marketing tactic will no longer fly.
- When creating narratives, remember that the relationship your brand has with your customers is everything. It’s no longer just a big piece of the puzzle; it’s the entire puzzle piece. Once you lose your customers’ trust, you risk losing it forever, especially since you most likely have plenty of competitors that they can support instead.
Partner with essential businesses that share your vision
You might find that your lifestyle brand carries products and services that only add to a person’s life and not things that they need for their survival. If so, consider doing an X-deal with brands that are essential but share your vision.
For example, if your brand cares about nutrition and proper dieting, consider partnering with a blogger that advocates healthy lifestyle food and eating. You can also consider tying up with restaurants and other food stores that understand your advocacy and see the value in partnering with your brand.
Emphasize value and benefits
Suppose your lifestyle brand carries products and services that are non-essential, like cosmetics or anything that has to do with pampering. In that case, do not emphasize the features of your goods or services. Focus instead on the value or benefits your customers will gain from doing business with you.
Here are some examples for effective value marketing:
- Refer to the usefulness and utility of your solution. For example, instead of focusing on the features and capabilities of your hairdryer or iron, consider telling your audience about how it can help them save time in the morning as they prepare for an important Zoom call. This is called functional value marketing.
- Economic value marketing is all about emphasizing the trade-off between the financial cost of the services or products your brand offers and other types of value they can get. It is the intersection of price and function, and this marketing style is tied to the economic or financial value your customer can get from doing business with you. One of the best examples is the iPhone, which we know is not the most affordable smartphone out there. The brand has positioned itself as worth every bang for the buck regarding longevity, connection, productivity, increased knowledge, and others.
- Social value marketing is all about placing relationships at the core. How can your goods and services help your customers create better and closer relationships with their loved ones? Emphasize that in your marketing materials.
- Psychological value marketing is about how your products or services can help your customers feel good about themselves. In a time like the global health crisis, this tactic might work better than you might expect.
The pandemic has forever changed the type of marketing that consumers respond to, so make sure that you are always kind, relevant, and value-adding in your narratives. These are the only ways to gain new customers and keep the ones you have now.