Defining what it means to be a lifestyle brand at Pearlfisher’s Life Mode London event.
Pearlfisher’s Life Mode event in London, with Bang & Olufsen, TRIBE and Finisterre, explored how to reinvent one of the world’s leading lifestyle brands, how to build a brand from a community and how businesses can be a force for good.
Life Mode, the latest insight report from Pearlfisher Futures, explores the aspirational ‘lifestyle’ branding sector from today to the mid-century, focusing on the future opportunity it offers brands to explore and become the change-makers in sectors as diverse as health, wellbeing and personal care, travel and leisure, food and beverage, and beauty and fashion.
To launch the report, a global series of events – ‘How brands can design the lives we want to live’ – kicked off in London on September 19th.
Life Mode London took place at White City House – Soho House’s new hotel and private member’s club in the former BBC Television Centre; a fitting environment to discuss the future of lifestyle branding as Soho House – members club, community and portfolio of brands – represents modern lifestyle so fittingly.
Following a warm welcome by Jonathan Ford, Pearlfisher Founding Creative Partner and CEO, the afternoon’s event unfolded in three sections, mirroring the three major areas of cultural, consumer and category change, defining the future of lifestyle branding as identified in the Life Mode report.
The key insights and themes at the heart of each of the three areas of change – or shifts – were introduced by Pearlfisher Futures Director, Sophie Maxwell, before handing over to an impressive line-up of speakers from three of today’s most desirable brands – Bang & Olufsen, TRIBE and Finisterre – who brought the strategic implications of the insights to life by sharing their own ideas and stories on brands, lifestyle and future innovation.
SHIFT 1: Following to Becoming
The first shift outlined the dissolution of society’s established and expected ‘milestones’ of success and how we are looking for new brands, products and services to innovate around our individual aspiration to constantly progress and optimise every aspect of ourselves as we embrace an increasingly non-linear approach to life.
Global Head of Creative at Bang & Olufsen, Jonathan Lowth, brought the shift around individual optimisation to life, passionately recounting Bang & Olufsen’s critical need to “reinvent or die” and find unique ways to innovate; designing moments in which the brand occupies its consumers’ lives and builds their sense of self, cementing its position today as a leading audio brand in the ever-changing lives of its consumers.
“One of the most dangerous things you can do is try to mould yourself into a lifestyle brand. You have to be true to who you are. And you need to meet the audience on their terms – at the times and in the places they will experience your brand.”
Bang & Olufsen is one of the world’s leading global luxury lifestyle brands and its relentless determination to create products that push the boundaries of audio technology continues to place it at the forefront of audio innovation.
SHIFT 2: Fixity to Fluidity
The second shift explored how, as traditional sources of community are eroded, consumers are seeking new collectives to expand their worlds – favouring access over ownership – and the opportunities this presents for the future as we embrace and reframe communal activities and spaces.
Tom Stancliffe, co-Founder of TRIBE, the UK’s leading natural performance nutrition brand and community of 75,000 everyday athletes, framed the shift in the context of a brand born from a community of like-minded people coming together and trying to make a difference.
“We always wanted TRIBE to be about more than just a product and we kept coming back to the fact that we could never do it alone.”
TRIBE is on a mission to change the world of sports nutrition by creating the highest quality, all natural products for everyday athletes – and bringing its community together through a love of nature and outdoors, blazing a trail to connect and inspire a global TRIBE.
SHIFT 3: Consumer to Citizen
Drawing on a collective awareness of the need for change as we strive to leave a better legacy for generations to come, the third shift encouraged us to rethink our actions and what we’ll leave behind as we pursue new sources of influence that can facilitate and provide fit for purpose – and desirable – solutions for our changing lives and our changing planet.
Tom Kay, founder of Finisterre, illustrated the insights by talking about his lifelong passion for the sea and surfing and how this has translated into his approach to the brand he founded and why business today needs to be a force for good.
“My motivation for how I live my life and why I founded this brand – with an ethos that remains the same as we move into the future – is built on the principles of longevity, of purpose, resilience and commitment.”
Finisterre stands out as a leading ethical, outdoor fashion brand that pushes boundaries and focuses on the future through a commitment to its product, their impact on the environment and the people that share a love of the sea.
The event wrapped up with Futures Director Sophie Maxwell presenting a new lifestyle model to show how the future-focused and successful brands of the future need to approach branding – reframing the question for brands from ‘how do we become a lifestyle brand?’ to ‘how do we design the lives our consumers will want live?’
If you couldn’t attend Life Mode London but are interested in finding out about what the insights could mean for your brand, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or find out more or register for the forthcoming series of Life Mode events taking place in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Minneapolis and Copenhagen.