Do you know why people choose to drink Coke or Pepsi knowing that there is nothing nutritious in the drink and it is all sugar? Have you ever thought about why people choose Apple products, or Samsung for that matter, even though the market is glutted with a lot of similar products for a cheaper price? Or why women are dying to wear Gucci or Versace?
These are lifestyle products and lifestyle brands. People who use these products and who follow these brands associate their identity with the kind of life these products and brands project. In other words, lifestyle products and lifestyle brands promise a certain identity and value and the consumers try to accommodate by buying these products and brands.
Now, you might be wondering what exactly are lifestyle products? Why lifestyle products actually matter to consumers?
Lifestyle products are the products that the consumers believe are the essentials that define who they are. For example, a man opens a coke for happiness because Coke is “open happiness.” He does not drink coke because it is very healthy or he is thirsty (there are many options to quench the thirst), he drinks coke because it makes him “happy.” Here, the bottle of coke is related to the interest, perception, and attitude of the consumer. Coke is not just a carbonated drink, it is actually an expression of joy. By drinking Coke, the drinker feels happy. There is no “happiness” hormone in the drink except sugar that is very addictive, still, people drink Coke and become happy.
The lifestyle brands are represented by the products and services they are trying to sell to the specific market. You buy a certain product, your decision to buy that product or choose that brand over numerous other brands is influenced by a lot of factors. You might not be aware but the reason why you buy a certain product or choose a certain brand is that you believe that the product you are buying, the brand or company you have chosen exactly reflects who you are and what you actually stand for. Consumers buy a certain product from a certain brand because they believe this product and brand represent the exact value they are trying to embody. While buying, consumers are driven by emotion and self-reflection. Lifestyle brands give consumers a medium for self-expression through the products. The primary aim of lifestyle products is to inspire, guide, and motivate consumers. Lifestyle products give definition to the way of life for the consumers.
Have you ever contemplated why some people choose Pepsi over Coke? It is not that Pepsi tastes better than Coke. When you make the comparison of taste between these drinks, they are almost identical, yet, these drinks have loyal brand followers.
The lifestyle products allow consumers to define themselves, make their identity stronger, and they do this by associating themselves with certain products or brands and showcasing their redefined identity publically through social media and other platforms. The consumers see lifestyle products as a symbolic value more than the true functionality. For example, you might see people posing with Red Bull or wearing Denim Jeans on Instagram or Facebook.
What exactly are lifestyle products? Well, everything from your clothes and accessories to gadgets, food and drinks, even furniture can be labeled as lifestyle products. Let’s take some examples of lifestyle brands and lifestyle products, and analyze how consumers are loyal to these lifestyle brands and how they are fortifying their identity by associating with these lifestyle products.
Apple is a lifestyle brand that consumers associated with affluence, sophistication, and luxury. When people buy Apple’s iPhone, they see beyond the mobile phone functionality. iPhone for them is the self expression of who they are. By using iPhone, the way of life the consumers are trying to embody is fortified, for instance, the consumers believe that iPhone makes them affluent and sophisticated.
The lifestyle product Coca Cola promotes itself as a lifestyle brand that gives happiness to consumers. Therefore, for consumers, Coke is a symbol of happiness. They drink Coke to become happy, to show their happiness, to share happiness with people around them. The slogan of Coke “Open Happiness” has been truly integrated in consumers’ way of life.
The brand Nike has been so strongly embedded in the consumers’ mind that they now associate Nike with sports and sportsperson. By using Nike’s product people are trying to show that they are sporty and athletic, they are also showing their loyalty to their favorite sportsperson who advertise these products. By sponsoring sports tournaments and sportsperson, Nike has become a lifestyle brand that symbolizes sports. If you love sports, if you want to showcase yourself as sporty and athletic it is impossible to get away from the Nike phenomenon. Just by using Nike products, an average person will feel more like an elite athlete.
While Nike is associated with being athletic Harley Davidson represents adventure identity. People who believe they are adventurer kind or want to do some adventures, they buy Harley Davidson and remain loyal to this brand as well as reiterate their brand loyalty by showing their Harley Davidson on social media and other platforms. If Harley Davidson symbolizes adventure, then Bed Bull “gives you wings.” If you want adrenaline rush, you go after the can of Red Bull.
Lifestyle products are not just common products with certain functionality, by representing certain aspiration, values, style, and way of life, lifestyle products give their consumers added value. The consumers connect with the lifestyle brands and lifestyle products in an emotional and psychological level. Lifestyle products are tailored in a way that they are exactly what the customers are looking for. The lifestyle products are congruent with the idea of life and living of people or group of people. Lifestyle products allow the common people to show loyalty to the celebrities who promote these products.
It is also interesting to note how an ordinary product, or a product that no one has heard of until recently, becomes a lifestyle product or lifestyle brand. Thanks to the aggressive marketing tactics used by these products and brands.