The best brands are about much more than their products; they sell a whole lifestyle. These brands inspire their customers to pursue a way of life that really appeals to them, whether it is through a set of values, a philosophy or a specific aesthetic.
Lifestyle brands tailor themselves to the experiences that their audiences desire and sell an idea of how their lives could be if they own a particular product, rather than simply selling the product. They connect us with our ideal version of ourselves, and promise to help us achieve that ideal by owning what they offer.
But how do lifestyle brands convince us that their products can make us the people we dream to be? Whilst visuals are vital – the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text – words also help to spark our imaginations and convince us of all of the ways in which a brand can help us be what we know we really are. Here are 11 examples of incredible lifestyle copywriting and the methods they use to convince people to buy.
Recommended reading: 15 Tips to Create Killer Website Content
Being bold and forthright about what you are offering a customer will capture their attention.
Hemleva is an ecommerce shop that sells air plants, but they offer so much more with their strapline that tells customers to ‘Curate a beautiful life’.
Hemleva offer a stylish and minimal aesthetic that customers feel they can buy into by becoming aesthetic creators themselves.
Whilst the received wisdom is that long sentences demonstrate intelligence, short sentences actually work better in sales copy. Short, punchy messages are easier to read and understand, and give copy a pleasing rhythm.
Apple, arguably the biggest lifestyle brand in the world, are masters at this, using snappy sentences that are effortless to read, yet still very inspiring.
A catchy slogan that sticks in people’s minds is one of the hallmarks of stellar lifestyle copywriting. In 1947 copywriter Frances Gerety created the iconic tagline ‘A Diamond Is Forever’ for De Beers Jewelers in an attempt to boost the sales of diamonds, which had slumped during the great depression. Nearly 70 years later it is still being used and De Beers is the world’s leading diamond company.
It’s vital that your lifestyle copy speaks directly to the people who want to attain that particular lifestyle — otherwise you will lose your target audience within the first sentence.
Tough Mudder run events designed to test physical and mental endurance, and promote a lifestyle that is hard work but ultimately very rewarding. Their copy reflects this by using words that directly challenge their audience with words like ‘extreme’, ‘insane’, and ‘grit’.
Credit: Tough Mudder
Another example of writing for a particular audience is First Round Capital. Whilst First Round is primarily a seed-stage venture firm, they also have one foot in lifestyle branding thanks to their focus on the start-up community. They speak gently to their audience, sympathizing with the difficulties of starting a company and offering support and advice.
Credit: First Round
Some of the best lifestyle copywriting doesn’t even feature the product it is trying to sell. Jack Daniels are masters at this — engaging their audience through telling stories about the heritage of the brand without even mentioning whisky. Using real stories stamps the brand with an authenticity that can’t be fabricated, therefore promoting trust.
Credit: Jack Daniels
Great copy encourages people to feel good about themselves, and top luxury lifestyle brand Burt’s Bees are an excellent example of this. They convince the customer that everything they put on their body should be made from the best ingredients nature has to offer, and they also have a great track record in sustainability and corporate responsibility. It’s a double whammy of good feeling for the customer.
Credit: Burt’s Bees
Make like Burt’s Bees and find a powerful and engaging value proposition that your audience will remember you for. Then, don’t forget to big it up!
Good copywriting invites the audience to imagine themselves using a product by placing it within the context of their everyday life. FitBit speaks directly to consumers and promotes the idea that exercise is easy, convenient and achievable by anyone. They go the extra mile in personalizing their copy by using the words ‘you’ and ‘yours’ repeatedly.
Rather than focusing on the details of a particular product, great lifestyle copywriting inspires and engages its audience by focusing on the way people will feel when they own that product (i.e. better than they currently do).
Nike uses copy to capture a state of mind and uses the same empowering and inspirational language consistently across all campaigns, making people feel like they are already athletes, regardless of how fit they actually are.
It’s easy to dismiss technical details as unimportant to consumers, but including them in your lifestyle copy can actually enhance credibility and trust. Samsung use this to their advantage in the copy they use to describe the Galaxy Note8.
Not everyone will know precisely what the aspect ratio of a phone is, so Samsung walk them through its relevance by explaining that it relates to the screen. The combination of technical detail and a clear definition of its broader relevance creates copy that is both informed and engaging.
Being funny isn’t appropriate for all types of lifestyle copywriting – you won’t find De Beers trying to make you chuckle – but humor definitely works for some brands.
Moosejaw is an outdoor apparel brand that is selling a lifestyle of down-to-earth enjoyment of the great outdoors, and they use humor and unconventional copy to reach out to their audience.
It’s crucial not to sacrifice clarity for a cheap laugh, but Moosejaw’s copywriters have very successfully pulled off a tone that is light and playful, while still being useful.
Stellar lifestyle copywriting makes people feel inspired; it demonstrates how a product will improve the lives of its target audience, while also offering a method of obtaining it – buying that product and buying into the brand selling it.
By implementing some of the tips and methods demonstrated above, you can learn how to write incredible copy that quickly converts readers into buyers.
Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she shares tips on how fellow writers can do better, and how marketers can make the most of content.