What Is a Lifestyle?
“Lifestyle” is an adjective that describes a state of mind. According to the Merriam Webster it means “behaviors or actions habitually performed in a particular setting and under specific circumstances”. The word was first introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his 1929 publication, The Case of Miss R. His definition of lifestyle was intended for use in psychiatry, with the implied meaning of “the basic nature of a person as established early in life”. In use today, the term describes a wide range of human behaviors and traditions, not necessarily in relation to any type of medical diagnosis.
In modern usage, however, the meaning of the term has expanded to include any behaviors or traditions which are considered typical for a given culture or country. The term has become increasingly popular in marketing circles, particularly as social media becomes more widely recognized as a powerful marketing tool. For example, an American lifestyle might be described as “American Exceptionalism”, “flixacoasting”, or “party-popping”. In fact, the phrase “Lifestyle of the Leisure Class” was used by Rolling Stone magazine (as well as the book It’s Your Business) to critique the excesses of the American consumer culture and luxury culture.
So how can a given lifestyle or trend fit into an existing business strategy? Marketing tends to focus on segmented audiences with defined characteristics, such as age, gender, income level, marital status, geographical location, or some other static characteristic. By identifying a given segment and analyzing market behavior, marketers can segment a larger audience into distinct subgroups. This results in targeted messaging, which is often more effective than non-targeted messages, for a given business. Marketing and advertising professionals have harnessed this power to create a massive impact with offline and online brand building, lifestyle branding, and even social media.
One way that businesses have leveraged this approach is via lifestyle content websites, such as a merton knoll. A merton knoll is a physical location in the greater Los Angeles area that hosts a series of short, interesting podcasts, guest speakers, events, and photo exhibitions. The podcasts themselves often reflect a specific segment of the audience that the business owner is attempting to target through online marketing efforts, such as “grown up” or “fun junkies”. At one time the podcasts themselves represented a significant investment of resources for the host, who often paid for web design, hosting, production, and transcription. Today, however, many hosts who host these podcasts earn their money solely from advertisements placed directly below their shows, which helps to significantly offset the costs of production.
These podcasts are also useful because they provide an invaluable resource for marketing research. Many marketers and business owners do not realize the usefulness of what is called a focus group; it is not uncommon to see many well-known personalities on television, but very few of them ever interact with actual customers. The podcast focus groups, however, do interact, and those who participate can provide insights that marketers may otherwise not be aware of. A company can use a podcast focused on its niche market as a means of getting the “inside” story on how that market thinks, feels, and works – that can be life changing.
Although the term lifestyle was originally coined to describe people who chose to live a lifestyle that contradicts convention, the definition has now expanded to include any type of behavior that is considered “lifestyle”, regardless of its specifics. Whether you choose to be a vegetarian, vegan, thrift store shopper, yoga practitioner, craftsperson, postmodern artist, a wine collector, beach bum, tea enthusiast, outdoor sportsperson, sports addict, etc., your lifestyle does not need to be comprised solely of the things that you think about and do on a daily basis. You may find that you are already living a truly balanced lifestyle!