In this book Antonio Marazza, general manager of Landor Milan, and Stefania Saviolo, professor at SDA Bocconi School of Management investigate the reasons why some brands are adopted by people not for what they do, or stand for but for the inspiration they provide. Drawing on both reliable, cutting edge research and empirical observation, this book offers a practical guide for successfully manage Authority, Cult, Icon and Lifestyle brands within industries where the symbolic value creation is key: fashion, luxury, design, premium food, and other.
Forbes published an interesting article explaing how low attention to specific female characteristics (gender washing) risks to undermine love and loyalty to a brand.
This happens because of the naive stereotypes about women’s attitudes and interests.
In 2007 Harley-Davidson overcame this obstacle trying to reach women public in a totally different way from competition. Instead of proposing maneuverable and less aggressive bikes, Harley-Davidson focused on training: during “Garage Parties” ladies could try and learn how to drive a motobike. Ladies appreciate and confirm their loyalty to the brand.
One of the first American working papers to illustrate different lifestyles through several variables like consumers’ attitudes, interests and opinions.
According to Kellogg School of Management’s 2011 study, the human need of self-expression is not unlimited, and it can be met.
Despite confirming that brands, and specifically lifestyle brands, have a leading role in this dynamics, the authors also point out that the same need can be met even through “unbranded” behaviours and self-expression techniques.
The consequences for those supposed to manage a lifestyle brand are controversial: on one side, a lifestyle brand is more likely to win the comparison with the competition in its market segment; on the other one, it will have to fight within an extended competing arena, beyond brands, including unbranded behaviours and self-expression techniques.
In the article ‘Beyond Functional Benefits’, published by Marketing News in September 2010, David Aaker re-classifies the brands’ benefits to consumers, trying to go beyond the traditional categorization between functional and emotional benefits. Aaker introduces a new category which helps to explain why some contemporary brands are so successful: the social benefits.
The opportunity to obtain a social benefit allows the individual to identify himself with a lifestyle, and meets the ancestral need of men of group identity, the fact of being part of a community, or a social environment with which sharing values and common interests.
Identifying these type of brands is pretty easy: you find them when the question “when I purchase or use this brand I feel part of/I identify myself with…” gets a positive answer.