How to create a lifestyle brand? Hey, guys. I’m Syama Meagher, CEO of Scaling Retail. And, if you hadn’t noticed, creating a lifestyle brand is really what everyone’s talking about these days. You’re seeing so many more brands that are launching not just with one product but with multiple different kinds of products to really appeal to the lifestyle of a customer.
Think about the boho California Coachella festival movements, right? These are real lifestyle categories with huge opportunities to create brands that service not only the outfits but also the hair accessories, and the handbags, and the shoes, and all of the categories, right? So, we start to think about how to create a lifestyle brand, it really is going to take a huge amount of investment in terms of what your lifestyle truly is as a brand. So, let’s dive into the three ways in which you can achieve this.
The first today we’re going to talk about is, of course, determining your product extensions. The second thing we’re going to talk about is financial planning and investment. And, the third thing we’re going to talk about is your marketing materials, how you communicate that messaging.
Now, of course, if you’re moving away from just one item to multiple items and also in different categories, it is going to be moere expensive but do remember, more products, more stories, more opportunities for press. When you did have just that one category, maybe you were just pitching to a certain demographic or to a certain style of press or editors or writers. But now, when you open up different categories, you kinda get yourself more availability in terms of who might feature you for what selections, etc.
Okay, let’s dive in. So, let’s unpack product extension a little bit more. Now, one of our clients, Elyse Maguire, she launched her company with just a focus of scarves, a beautiful collection of alpaca scarves. And, we had a long conversation about what are the other product extensions and how could she really take her love of Cape Cod and this beautiful feeling of living young and free and wild but also elegant and soft? And, we determined through a really extensive process of developing mood boards, understanding what would fit both from a production standpoint, so understanding what it would take to produce it, but also understanding what would be the right fit for her customer. Now, Elyse’s product line is really heavily based on prints and color. So, we knew that going into her next product extensions, we would also want to similarly have a product that we could also root in prints and color. So, what did we do? We went from scarves to transition into Turkish towels.
Now, you can see really easily here how this might turn itself into an amazing narrative as we start to build out those marketing assets. And, while you might say to yourself, “Well, how do you go from scarves to towels?”, all of that is really in the marketing materials and in the storytelling. But first, understanding what product extensions, which means what’s core to your brand is going to be really important to identify.
Now, the second thing that’s important, guys, is understanding profitability. Now, of course, coming from a prints and textile standpoint as with my example with Elyse, if she’s already got the prints, well then, how different is it going to be for her to make some tweaks and changes on those prints from her scarf to her towels, right? Not going to be as difficult. However, of course, it’s difficult in terms of sourcing and materials, etc.
But, guys, if I was going from, let’s say, ready-to-wear and I was moving into handbags or shoes, now we’re talking about totally different kinds of categories. The margins are going to be different there. It’s going to cost you more money when you think about getting a shoe designer or developer to create that product, or even a handbag designer or product developer to create that as well. So, start to think about the capital investment it’s going to take in order to really develop those other product lines. It may not be as easy as going from, let’s say, developing tops to then moving into bottoms or going from tops into outerwear, right? So, start to think about natural extensions but also, guys, the financial consequences of the margins but also of the production, right, and what it’s going to take to make that happen.
Now, lastly, as you move into a lifestyle brand, your marketing assets and collateral have got to be updated. You’re going to have to make sure that all of your materials now reflect less of a product-driven approach but more of a cohesive, global, this is what we stand for as a brand, this is who we want to be in your life. Your marketing materials include everything from your website, to your social media, to any of the press communications that you have out there, and any way in which you talk about your business.
You know, I’m a huge fan of saying, “Every email you write is an example of branding and marketing.” It’s how you represent yourself in your company. So, starting to move away from, “Oh, we make beautiful tops or we’re an exclusive shoe line or we focus on handbags.” Your language is going to start to change your marketing materials and visual assets are going to start to change.
But, guys, doing these three steps and really approaching becoming a lifestyle brand truly not only just through how you talk about your business but through product selection and product development and pricing is so valuable and so important. Like I said, brands today are seeing the most success with customers when they can be more to them than just transactional, when they can be more of a customer hub, when they can service the customer in a 360-degree capacity.
Good luck with expanding into becoming a lifestyle brand. Do shoot us an email if you’re interested in taking your business into growth stage, if you want to introduce new categories. You can find us over at firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course, leave us an email. Shoot us a comment below, follow us on our YouTube channel. And, come and hang out with us on Instagram, it is one of my favorite places to be. All right, guys, have an amazing day. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.