By Fran Johnson
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How to design a lifestyle brand

Claridges, a lifestyle brand.

A brand known as a lifestyle brand is sometimes seen as the hot air of branding. Companies that instigate a large mark up for a less obvious ‘value added’, or persuade customers their lives wouldn’t be complete without the latest iPhone update. But over the years consumers have had increased expectations of service from their favourite up-market or aspirational brands. Take the recent Channel 4 programme ‘Inside Rolls Royce and Boodles’ – both brands now need to work very hard to ensure their brands are not tarnished through poor service or an inferior quality product.

Claridges, a lifestyle brand.

Luxury & lifestyle brand

Branding for luxury companies needs to be authentic. Often people enjoy spending more money when there is a guarantee of quality, and design can be a successful way of convincing them that this is the case. Marketing isn’t all about pushing products onto consumers, it’s about painting the product or service in a good light, but in a way that expectations are managed.

We judge luxury brands differently. If Coca Cola published a shoddily snapped photograph we may assume a member of their ‘community’ was ‘sharing their story’ and not look less favourably on Coke as a result. If Prada did the same, our understanding of their brand would be confused.

Brands such as Louboutin, Tiffany, Hermes and Claridge’s need to ensure everything they say looks incredible – is carefully choreographed, in the right places and promotes the suggested lifestyle.

This is not just a pudding. This is a melt in the middle, Belgium chocolate pudding service with extra thick Channel island cream.

Aspirational brands

The Lego movie has reinstated Lego as an aspirational brand with the new generation of children – extending Lego’s reach.

Kinfolk, a lifestyle brand.

Copies of Kinfolk can be found throughout flats in North London next to freshly brewed cups of coffee – promoting a certain lifestyle.

When I say ‘Harley Davidson’ you will have a mental picture of their typical customers; their clothing, tattoos and music choices.

Aspirational brands do consistency well. They know their audience and all communication targets this audience concentrating on pushing the ‘ideal’. Lifestyle brands utilise personas, which is the exercise of selecting a fictional customer, and making business decisions with them in mind.

Trader Joe’s describes its customer persona as an “unemployed college professor who drives a very, very used Volvo.” – a visual that can be easily imagined and decisions made on the back of it.



Images from Les Others and Construct London

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