Take a look at any influencer’s Instagram story, and you’ll inevitably find the next “best ever, one of a kind, have-to-have-it lifestyle brand.” Many great brands exist, but what sets apart the good from the great? In this post we explore how consumer insights lead to great lifestyle brands and unforgettable customer experiences — helping you to build the next “it” brand.
Before the internet, “great brands” were built around mass-appeal: which products and brand personality could appeal to the greatest number of consumers, while alienating the fewest.
The internet completely changed this equation: For the first time in history, people could “find their tribe” without the barriers of geography or pre-established social circles. These tribes formed around hyper-specific interests and topics, like trail running, Pembroke welsh corgis, or crystal meditation. You name it, there’s most likely a following for it.
Soon, products popped up to support the passions. Brands no longer sought to appeal to the mass, but rather to the hyper-targeted consumer… the tiniest bullseye in the center of the target.
This is where research comes in. Often, we start with a great product that we have to build a brand around. Consumer or customer research helps us understand
- Who is our bullseye target audience?
- What do they care about?
Once we’ve identified those two pieces, we can create a name, logo, look and feel, packaging, web experience, etc. that speaks directly to that consumer. Conducting research shows you the gap in the marketplace, and allows you to be the product that fills that whitespace.
Consumer or customer research doesn’t have to mean stuffy focus groups or standard surveys. In fact, some of the best lifestyle research uses unconventional methods like “Day in the Life” research or mobile ethnographies to uncover unique habits or expose emerging trends.
Traditional methods can provide strong baseline data for you and your team to build additional learnings around. For e-commerce players especially, a segmentation can help marketers use resources more efficiently, always targeting the right consumers with the right messaging or offering.
Build your design, advertising, and experience around your target consumer. Once a foundational understanding of the consumer or customer is in place, marketers can develop the right design, messaging, and customer experience to best suit their tribe’s needs. Name, logo, packaging, and advertising design should fall seamlessly into your target’s lifestyle, feeling more like an extension of their favorite art or Pinterest boards than a product
Once we’ve used research to understand how our target talks to their friends, family, and coworkers, we can mimic their own tone and vocabulary in our own messaging, making it feel more authentic. Plus, through research we know where they spend their time, which websites they frequent, and how they learn about new products, so we can use our ad dollars more efficiently and effectively.
There’s no mystery to building great brands, just a deep understanding of our target audience and how they live their lives. Use consumer research to identify that bullseye target, and explore all the nooks and crannies of his or her life. Apply those learnings in your brand’s design, messaging, and advertising to create an authentic bond with a product and brand they value. Et voila! You’ve created a lifestyle brand.
If you’re looking for more resources on consumer research or a helping hand to craft your perfect lifestyle brand, contact us.