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    What Is a Lifestyle Brand? (With Examples of Winning Strategies)

    May 7, 2024
    13 minute read
    What Is a Lifestyle Brand? (With Examples of Winning Strategies)

    Consumers are increasingly looking for brands that resonate with their interests and tastes. For example, aesthetics labeled “eclectic grandpa” (the name speaks for itself) and “tomato girl” (Mediterranean-summer inspired) spark the interest of TikTokers who then find ways to integrate them into their lifestyles.

    A lifestyle brand encourages the same thing. Consumers can showcase their interests by wearing gear from their favorite brands and connect with others who relate. 

    Nike, Under Armour, Lululemon, Columbia, and The North Face are five athletic clothing and gear brands that perfectly align with the on-the-go and health-conscious lifestyle many consumers want. Here’s a look at what these five lifestyle brands are doing right and how they use ecommerce strategies to create holistic brand experiences.

    What Is a Lifestyle Brand?

    A lifestyle brand prescribes a certain lifestyle and promotes products and services that help people achieve it. 

    For example, Nike, Under Armour, Lululemon, Columbia, and The North Face are considered athleisure (a combination of athletic and leisure) lifestyle brands. These brands cater to workout enthusiasts who want to look and feel good while exercising and those who wish to comfortable gear for other everyday activities. 

    The high-end clothing brand Vineyard Vines is another example of a lifestyle brand. Vineyard Vine-wearers typically enjoy a nautical, preppy lifestyle. They might spend summers on Martha’s Vineyard, attend the Kentucky Derby, or compete at the Head of the Charles Regatta. 

    Lifestyle brands are experts at building customer trust and loyalty through quality products and experiences, which is critical to the brand’s longevity. Salsify’s “2024 Consumer Research,” a survey of 2,700 U.S. and U.K. respondents across generation groups, reports that product quality matters to 73% of shoppers. 

    These five lifestyle brands are some of the top names consumers associate with the athleisure lifestyle. 

    5 Examples of Winning Lifestyle Brands 

    Nike, Under Armour,  Lululemon, Columbia, and The North Face use similar strategies to promote themselves as lifestyle brands in the athletic apparel industry, but each company has a nuance to its community-building approach that sets it apart.

    1. Nike Says Everyone’s an Athlete 

    You aren't just told that you'll be successful with Nike products, you feel like you achieved something thanks to them.

    Nike’s mission statement is: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world. *If you have a body, you are an athlete.”

    Nike continues to merge innovation with inspiration with its various mobile apps that allow customers to sync their sneakers to their iPhones.

    Its SNKRS app gives shoppers insider access to the latest, hottest, most exclusive Nike products. Apps like the Nike Training Club and the Nike Run Club foster a community of customers who all feel like part of a workout club. 

    On Nike’s website, shoppers have the opportunity to replicate outfits they love.

    Nike offers customers an opportunity to replicate outfits they love. Image Source: Nike

    Nike is doubling down on its lifestyle apparel brand strategy by inspiring its customers to keep striving and is practicing innovative ways of doing so.

    2. Under Armour Outfits Top Athletes  

    Frequently used to outfit athletes, Under Armour is known for its durability and quality. 

    Under Armour’s vision is: “To inspire you with performance solutions you never knew you needed and can’t imagine living without.” 

    Under Armour’s app provides consumers with customized offerings, new gear alerts, and a seamless in-app checkout that syncs with your Under Armour account, offering Apple Pay. 

    Under Armour shoppers and sports fans can purchase items from collections curated by some of their favorite athletes. The Curry Golf Collection promotes basketball player Stephen Curry’s selections, saying: “Golf isn’t Stephen’s job — it’s his obsession. This collection takes some of our best innovations and adds in his style.”  

    Under Armour promotes basketball player Stephen Curry’s curated golf gear collection.Image Source: Under Armour

    Under Armour customers can buy into the athlete’s lifestyle on and off the field. 

    3. Lululemon Offers an Immersive Experience 

    Lululemon’s elevated workout gear commonly adorns all different kinds of athletes — from yogis to golfers to tennis players, and more. 

    Lululemon is the perfect example of an athletic brand that doubles as both workout gear and everyday clothing. 

    For example, it uses the tagline “From a moment to a mode. Play mode. Chill Mode. Flex Mode.” to promote its pant styles.

    Lululemon markets its pants for working out and the everydayImage SourceLululemon 

    Lululemon knows its audience, and who influences those shoppers, so it invests in its community. 

    The company sponsors brand ambassadors who embody Lululemon's values and lifestyles.

    It also offers other programs like the Sweat Collective, which provides members with special perks for teaching fitness classes and coaching in their community. 

    The Lululemon Collective is an affiliate program for content creators who want to inspire their followers while gaining commissions. 

    It even offers experiential store experiences in certain locations, like Boston’s Newbury Street Lululemon location. It offers an opportunity to “Shop, workout, eat, lounge” saying “This is the space for you to be your best.” 

    It offers services and amenities, such as: 

    • Changing rooms
    • A fitness studio
    • Free wi-fi
    • Grab-and-go items
    • An event space
    • Free hemming
    • A fuel space
    • A lounge and workspace

    Lululemon offers expansive, creative opportunities for consumers to fully immerse themselves in the athleisure lifestyle. 

    4. Columbia Celebrates Its Adventurers 

    Columbia focuses primarily on enhancing shoppers' experience in the great outdoors.

    Whether it’s performance fishing gear built for flyfishers, waterproof-breathable rainwear, or durable backpacks, the company ensures that its customers are getting the best of the best.

    Columbia encourages and celebrates its adventurers with its “Tough Mother Outdoor Guide” which offers “No-nonsense advice and heartfelt articles on how to enjoy the outdoors.” 

    Columbia's Tough Mother Outdoor GuideImage Source: Columbia 

    Columbia shoppers get the best of both worlds — quality clothing and gear, as well as a company that cares about its customers' experiences. 

    5. The North Face Has Your Back, and Gives Back

    The North Face focuses on outdoor apparel and gear for adventurers. 

    The adventurer persona typically cares deeply about sustainability, which The North Face promotes with its “The North Face Renewed” program that breathes new life into used gear. 

    The company promotes community amongst its shoppers with its XDLR Pass program, which brings members together in nature for a day of bonding through events like hiking and guest speakers. 

    Additionally, The North Face promotes an Athlete Development Program that supports 17 trailblazing athletes with the support they need to achieve their dreams over a two-year contract.   

    The North Face also features shoppers on its homepage who tag the brand in their social media posts where they’re wearing branded clothing and gear. 

    The North Face features customers on its main page Image Source: The North Face

    The North Face is an excellent example of a lifestyle brand that creates a community and lifestyle that shoppers can feel good participating in. 

    The Importance of a Lifestyle Brand

    These five brands do an amazing job of cultivating communities that make consumers feel welcomed, appreciated, and celebrated. 

    A well-executed lifestyle brand cares about more than just its physical product offerings. It takes a holistic view of its customers to create experiences that resonate again and again.

    Written by: Madeline Koufogazos

    Madeline Koufogazos (she/her) is an editor and writer at Salsify, based out of Boston. She enjoys sharing her insights on consumer trends and behaviors, commerce, media, pop culture, and travel.

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