This blog proposes a consideration on symbol-intensive brands and, in detail, lifestyle brands.

Despite symbol-intensive brands belong to different industries and competitive environments, they share the common aspect to offer customers symbols and insights rather than simple products or services. These brands take a part in our life, enliven urban environments, turn their creators into legendary personalities, make the product iconic, nurture legends and memorable stories.

Our aim is to talk over them in this blog, extensively analyzing their lifecycle: origin, growth and related key facts, product strategies, communication and distibution patterns, impact on people’s life.

While in most product categories we can find icon products and  brands (Rolex, Mini, Caterpillar, Coca Cola) in fashion we can identify Style Icons. Style Icons are different from Icon Brands because:

• They refer to values of elegance, status and clothing styles that have higher volatility and sensitivity to changes in customs and tastes;

• They are particularly influenced by the processes of “viral” diffusion – they have cycles of adoption, development, success and decline that are much faster than for other types of brands, especially the Icons that are timeless.

Read more:
http://www.luxurydaily.com/lifestyle-brands-a-guide-to-aspirational-marketing/

With price points remaining around the affordable level that H&M and COS are known for, “& Other Stories” will be new branded chain in H&M portfolio built around inspiring fashion stories for womens only. Increasing the share of the Swedish cool and accessible fashion in the women’s wear market.

http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/article/TMG9569967/HandM-group-confirms-launch-of-new-brand-and-Other-Stories.html#

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.

LIFESTYLE BRANDS – A Guide to Aspirational Marketing is published by Palgrave  Macmillan (2012). The Italian version is published in Italy by Rizzoli (2012).

In today’s challenging environment, product quality, price alignment and great advertising have become insufficient unless closely related to brand identity, heritage and vision. This book offers a coherent and logical view about how long-term branding strategies should aim to capture consumers’ minds and hearts. Edira Merlika, Senior Director, Womenswear Merchandising and Planning, Ralph Lauren Europe

 Capturing the spirit of brands from a consumer perspective is crucial, but hardly measured and quantified. This book provides both a great conceptual framework and inspiring managerial implications. Pierre Xiao Lu, Marketing Professor, Fudan University

 Lifestyle Brands is a powerful mirror: it focuses on the brands that speak about us and for us, and it calls us to action, inviting us to reflect on our choices and underlying motivation. It is about people, whether they are visionary leaders reinventing the world, employees believing in the brand they are contributing to or consumers expressing themselves through brands. Alina Perrin, HR Director Luxe, L’Oreal Italy

 The authors apply the lifestyle branding principles beyond the fashion arena to give them universal relevance. The Lifestyle brand is shown to be a business that can succeed with the mission of “finding products for people”, as opposed to the traditional objective of finding people (customers) for products. Bill Webb, Senior Lecturer – Retail & Brand Management, The London College of Fashion

Being a marketeer and having experience in different multinational companies, I confirm that all of them “always put the brands first in everything that they do, across each and every one of the business units and geographies they operate”. This book helps us to understand which are the benefits and the reasons behind the brand equity building strategy. Carlos Salicru Gairalt, Group Category Marketing Director, Coca-Cola HBC

This enlightened partnership of professor and practitioner has unearthed a treasure trove of brand symbolism, distributed across countries and categories, enriching our understanding of meaning in the marketplace. The book is an insightful investigation of the ways that brands become us. John F. Sherry, Jr., Herrick Professor & Department Chair, Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame

The lifestyle “Take it slow” is today widely accepted in many environments, from food to fashion. Slowear, producer and distributor of Incotex, Montedoro, Glanshirt and Zanone brands, published a manifesto on “slow clothing” based on some key concepts: innovation, style, quality, details, research, honesty.  Opposing to quick fashion, de-specialization and disposable attitude.

http://www.slowear.com/it/a-slow-decalogue/  A point of reference for all Italian quality brands, from food&beverage to fashion, so that they try to make the customer increasingly aware and prone to well-made and visually enjoyable products, the same values allowing our entrepreneurs and companies reaching the world.  A vision which must include another concept: sharing value with those who make and give. Workers, territory, environment.

2012 “The Chinese Luxury Consumer White Paper”, published by Hurun Research Institute and Industrial Bank illustrates lifestyles of chinese consumers. Their main wish? Directing their children to schools abroad, mainly US and UK.

http://www.4hoteliers.com/4hots_nshw.php?mwi=9796

http://www.hurun.net/hurun/indexen.aspx

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.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/onmarketing/2012/02/22/how-gender-washing-can-kill-brand-love-and-loyalty/