Posted: 5 Minute read

The Lowdown on Lifestyle Brands and What Makes Them

We’ve all heard the term ‘lifestyle brand’, but what does it actually mean? Depending on who you ask will determine the answer you get, as it’s different for all, we have asked our team what lifestyle brands mean to them, and we’re here to tell all. 

From the answers received, a consistent theme emerges: lifestyle brands resonate with the values and ethics of the consumer, becoming not only a purchase, but a part of their way of life and culture. 

Lifestyle brands are set apart as they place emphasis on promoting the, you guessed it, lifestyle, rather than the focus being on selling the individual products. 

The goal is to build a strong, emotional connection with its target customers, creating a sense of community and belonging. 


Depending on the brand, the purchase of a specific lifestyle product allows consumers to express their identity, while also signalling their ‘membership’ to a particular social group or community.

For example, me buying my NEOM Wellbeing’s skin care isn’t necessarily going to show my meditation-doing and serenity-seeking pals that I too am interested in that lifestyle, while being a firm supporter of B Corp status brands. However, marching around in Vans, can be quite suggestive of the ‘skateboarder’ or ‘alternative’ subculture associated with that particular shoe, thus contributing to the lifestyle followed by both the brand and the consumer.

Vans in particular, originally created with skateboarders in mind, has continued to be a symbol of the sport’s lifestyle and ethos, not just through the design of its trademark shoes, but through its involvement in skateboarding sponsorships, events and brand partnerships. 

With that being said, we wouldn’t refer to NEOM as NOT being a lifestyle brand, as it's their holistic approach to wellbeing, including skincare, home fragrances and essential oils, facilitating relaxation and mindfulness, that all contributes to the consumer’s way of life. The trust they have built with their customers make them a go to solution for wellbeing needs and therefore qualify them, in our opinion, as a lifestyle brand.


In addition to lifestyle brands tapping into the culture and way of life of its target market, as mentioned earlier, there is also the connection through values, ethics, desires and beliefs.

For example, Veja, the shoe brand, prides itself in being sustainable, creating trainers with minimal impact on the environment, responsibly sourcing materials, practising safe working conditions and fair wages. While that sounds like something that should be a given, unfortunately it isn’t often the case, fast fashion, we’re looking at you! 

Through compelling storytelling, Veja creates meaningful relationships with its consumers, around its values of prioritising sustainability, using eco-friendly materials and recycled plastic bottles in its products. 

By accessing its consumers through an emotional connection (its sustainable first approach), often the target market would be those who support a similar lifestyle, for example vegans or people who value authenticity, ethical consumption and a less ‘mainstream’ lifestyle. 

Whereas something more mass-produced, like a fast fashion brand, may not be considered a lifestyle brand due to its primary focus being providing trendy and affordable clothing, rather than the narrative of the brand and its need to build a connection with its consumers. 


In a very competitive market, when connecting with its target consumer, a lifestyle brand must also be able to differentiate itself from its competitors. An example of this could be the skincare brand, the Ordinary. (Which FYI is everything BUT ordinary).

The Ordinary prides itself on creating skincare without the fuss, focusing on the ingredients, rather than the packaging, creating cruelty-free, vegan products, removing any ambiguity around a skincare routine suitable for all skin types. (Anyone with troublesome skin will know how hard it is to find a skincare routine, the Ordinary removes that hurdle). 

Its minimalistic design reinforces its ethos, centred around transparency, simplicity, affordability and education. The Ordinary brand is also on-hand to create a tailored routine for its consumers based on their needs, adding to the educational element. By providing that personable approach, and developing its products based on the active ingredients, focusing on results rather than marketing themselves with bells and whistles, the Ordinary has set itself apart from its competitors. 

Translating lifestyle brand to your ecommerce website 

By being classed as a lifestyle brand, and meeting one or more of the above criteria, chances are there will be a loyal customer base that connects with the brand, the values and the ethos. Said customers will likely recommend to their friends and family, extending the network of loyal customers. Leveraging the power of a flagship-like website can significantly enhance the connection between the consumer and the brand.

Much like Microsoft, Gymshark and Apple’s flagship stores on Regent Street, where every detail is in place to reflect the brand’s identity and engage customers, your website should be doing this too. 

Creating a narrative online that showcases the lifestyle associated with the brand through videos and imagery, paying close attention to content marketing, aligning with the brand’s story through cluster content and ensuring the customer’s journey is as smooth as possible. 

As the brand is more than just a purchase, the aim of the game here is to develop  more than just a website by creating a highly-engaging, user experience. 


The conclusion that we have come to here is that there are a number of ways that can make a brand a ‘lifestyle brand’ and there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ criteria. If the brand in question creates a sense of community for its consumers, tells a story and abides by the values and way of life expected of its users, chances are it can be classed as a lifestyle brand. 

As an agency, we pride ourselves in being Shopify experts with a particular focus on lifestyle brands and we understand that building a website is more than just coding. Through our workshops we delve into the brand’s narrative, effectively becoming an extension of the clients we work with. This practice is reflected through our designs and functionality, while integrating our marketing strategies. Our aim is to deliver a holistic experience to all our clients, across all aspects of their digital presence. 

Feel free to reach out and see how we can help you and your brand! 




Written by:

Photo of Cait Jones-Kelly
Cait Jones-Kelly
Marketing Communications Manager
Following five years in PR, Cait moved to Velstar to expand her knowledge of marketing and commerce. With high energy and great organisational skills, she quickly established herself as an important part of Velstar's marketing team where she works to elevate the agency's partnership management, events, PR and brand communications.