Marketing Through the Lifestyle
Lifestyle is the collective attitudes, interests, behaviors, and orientations of the people, group, or society. The word was first introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his widely-read 1930 book, The Case of Miss R. It described the human innate characteristics as established at birth. According to this view, there are two basic parts to human nature: the good and the bad. In other words, there is a hierarchy of values – higher for the good and lower for the bad – and human beings are always striving to achieve the highest level of good in their behavior.
The meaning of the word Lifestyle has expanded over time, taking on new meanings that coincide with current thinking about the environment, social media, corporate power, individual freedom, and health and wellness. Lifestyle, as a concept, is generally thought of as distinct from personal choices and behavior, but this is not so. The fact is that people can choose to live a lifestyle, which may be dictated by the culture and society in which they live. They may engage in some types of activity or exercise, for example, but they can also follow some other practices and behaviors.
Some of the most popular and important lifestyles, according to many experts, are the typical American lifestyle, the Western European lifestyle, the Japanese lifestyle, and the Hindu one. Each of these lifestyles has its own benefits and advantages, with each having unique components. For example, the American lifestyle is characterized by economic affluence, freedom, mobility, and a high level of consumer choices. It is a model of healthy lifestyle because it is based on healthy eating, regular physical activity, and a balance lifestyle involving participation in sport and other physical activities.
On the other hand, the word lifestyle means the things that we do every day. These things may include things like: Going to work, going to school, taking a walk, having a shower, doing dishes, preparing food, playing with your children, going to social functions, getting massages, enjoying leisure time, etc. The Hindu lifestyle is characterized by restrained and disciplined living, ascetic practices, vegetarianism, and meditation. The Japanese lifestyle is characterized by cleanliness, quiet and laid back living, relaxation, low stress levels, and an active outdoors life. In the Western European lifestyle, you’ll find a sense of belonging, social interaction, responsibility, cultural diversity, low crime rates, acceptance of other cultures and religion, low alcohol consumption, lower income levels, and less dependence on public welfare.
In the last few years, the word lifestyle has undergone several changes. With the advent of social media, such as social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, and blogging, such as the blogosphere, the world has become smaller. In addition, the internet has opened up numerous opportunities for individuals to connect and interact with others, regardless of their location, time and interests. In addition, these websites have also created massive wealth for some enterprising and motivated entrepreneurs.
As it stands today, the word lifestyle has been co-opted by many marketing gurus to sell products that sound like they are tailored to fit a particular need, but actually fall short when it comes to addressing the person’s actual needs. A prime example is marketers who tout their “no alcohol” and “no kids” lifestyles as being conducive to being a successful parent. In this way, the marketed product becomes an intangible goodie bag that parents are willing to spend money on, even though the parents are unable to buy the product themselves because of their financial constraints.
A new trend in personal branding is represented by the brand of the Mad Men actor, Don Draper. Recently, he released a DVD entitled “Becker Beocks” which chronicles his transformation from a dorky intellectual with a drinking problem, to a successful and celebrated film star. This transformation was reportedly facilitated by the use of a lifestyle brand, which became identified with Draper and remains associated with his persona. Likewise, a new edition of the TV series, “Mad Men”, focused on the character Betty Clark, played by the late Donnie Wahlberg. The character was a founding member of the contemporary “Lifestyle” generation, whose iconic status has resulted in numerous books, magazines, movies, t-shirts and other merchandise all centered on this enduring icon.
One of the most interesting aspects of the current trend revolving around the Lifestyle is its potential application in the realm of digital branding and public relations. In this case, a lifestyle brand can capitalize on its association with individual identities to craft an image or persona that can permeate a large number of mediums, including social media platforms such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. In effect, brands like the Mad Men actor could have a “hands-on” approach to their social media networking strategy, as well as a clear focus group discussion to make sure that their brand is seen in a relevant way. This strategy may also be applied to a business’s website. Additionally, the Mad Men co-creators’ long-term association with the Sterling Cooper & Rothman organization may extend into a possible spin-off television series, possibly dealing with the characters in the future.