A lifestyle brand is a hybrid business model that combines the passions, skills, values, and beliefs of the founder(s) into a unique brand philosophy and/or a defined brand aesthetic to resonate with its audience.
Many entrepreneurs have trouble narrowing down their interests to create a brand that feels cohesive but not one-dimensional. We encourage our clients not to focus on defining your brand by what you do or sell but to attract an audience based on your unique brand philosophy.
A unique brand philosophy describes what you do, how you do it and for whom, in a way that your customer can understand and resonate with.
Here are six tips to craft a brand philosophy that is completely unique and magnetizes your ideal customer to your brand.
Chances are, you already have a certain motto or mantra that you live by. What quotes or passages have been meaningful to you in the past? This is your opportunity to infuse your own values into your brand, not just for others to get on board, but also to make sure that you can really live your message and be creative in a way that feels authentic. What are you all about?
Here’s a great marketing secret. If you can convince people that X (thing you do) is the key to Y (thing they want), then working with you will be the next natural course of action. For example, I believe that creating a lifestyle brand is the way to combine your creative passions and create a business that is purpose-driven and authentic. This is the entire philosophy behind Arienne, so my job is to show you why I believe that and how to go about doing it.
I know, I know. This is the hard part! When describing who you are, try not to use too many “slashes” ie. actor/dancer/model/singer, etc. You really could simplify and just say “entertainer”. Most of the time when I ask an entrepreneur what they do, they start going down a whole long list. I know everyone wants to be this fabulous, multifaceted, quadruple threat, I get it. But on the other hand, when I ask people, “What are you an expert in?” Then, they usually pause and think very carefully before they answer confidently. And that’s what I’ll really remember about you.
You can even say, “Hi, I’m a creative genius.” If that makes people curious, they will dig deeper. Whenever I meet someone new, I hope my intro comes off straightforward and to the point.
What value do people get from working with you? Stop shining the flashlight on describing yourself and instead tell people who you help and how you get them there. What needs do you address?
“I help photographers organize and edit their photos so they can spend more time shooting and directing.”
“I make planning a fashion show less stressful by taking care of staffing, hair, makeup, and PR.”
For example, in the tech world it’s popular to describe your startup using something familiar.
“It’s like Facebook for dogs….”
“It’s like Netflix for web series…”
You can also say, “It’s like ____ but _____.”
“I’m the Anthony Bourdain of vegan food…”
“I’m the Martha Stewart of birthday parties…”
If your work requires some specialized knowledge, try not to use any words or phrases that require a dictionary or a Google search to understand. Imagine you have to explain who you are to an eleven-year-old. Some people ramble on and then say, “Oh, it’s hard to explain…” If someone can’t understand you plainly in a party over the music, it’ll be even harder for them to refer you to someone else.
“I help people combine everything they love into a business.”
You can tweak your elevator pitch slightly depending on whom you are speaking to. Have a baseline pitch but you may use different language at a house party than at a business conference. When I talk to different people about Arienne, I try to say things in a way that I know will click with them. If someone is techy, I’ll mention topics like web development, marketing automation, and UX. If someone is more creative, I’ll talk about my studio and lifestyle branding. Even within the lifestyle category, I could reference art, streetwear and music culture or I could talk about pretty Instagram flatlays and fashion/beauty/food bloggers. It all depends on the audience!
“I’m all about [YOUR MANTRA]. I really believe that [STRONG BELIEF ABOUT YOUR WORK]. I’m like a [FAMILIAR ANALOGY] but [DIFFERENTIATOR] and I recently [MILESTONE]. Unlike [YOUR COMPETITION], I [SOMETHING YOU DO DIFFERENTLY]. My work is [LIST BRAND PERSONALITY TRAITS OR DESCRIBE YOUR AESTHETIC]. I inspire/enable/help/teach [WHOM] to [DO WHAT?] so they can eliminate/avoid/decrease/stop [PAIN POINT ONE, PAINT POINT TWO, AND PAIN POINT THREE]. By making/creating/selling/offering [YOUR OFFERINGS], I get to meet the needs that [TARGET MARKET] has for [YOUR AESTHETIC/ TYPE OF WORK/BRAND VIBE].”
Georgianna Pinto is the CEO and Creative Director of ARIENNE. After being a freelance web developer for over 10 years, Georgianna has expanded ARIENNE into a lifestyle brand that is dedicated to being educational, inspirational and supportive for freelancers. As a multi-passionate creative, Georgianna knows first-hand how daunting it is to to quit playing small and expand your brand. Georgianna is passionate about pushing others past their comfort zones and seeing the beauty in your chaos.