Branding By Living: The Best Of
Let’s try something fun here – a Phil Pallen experiment of sorts.
Take a moment and think of any social posts you’ve recently seen that caught your eye. Did any Instagram accounts feel strangely familiar, yet aspirational? Or did some Snapchats make you laugh, but also envy how damn creative it was? Welcome to my world, where I’m surrounded by brands who focus on lifestyle, instead of sales, and it makes me want to buy everything.
The best brands are the ones that enable you to live the life you want, so it makes sense that lifestyle-driven content gives the necessary backdrop to show goods in action. No matter the platform, lifestyle content on social media allows brands to seamlessly bring themselves into the lives of their consumers without making it seem like an invasive ad. After all, when you’re competing against sorority sisters and family members, you’ve got to play the part.
I was recently quoted in the Toronto Star about this topic. If you’re on Instagram, you’ve likely stumbled across Triangl, a bathing suit brand that’s kicking some serious ass. They have over 3 million Instagram followers and rising sales without spending a dime on marketing. Say what? Say lifestyle content.
While they are undoubted masters, Triangl isn’t the only brand dominating this new form of integrated marketing. The ones who get social media understand that their customers want something beyond a product. These people are aspirational; they want an extension of the brand that feels real, relatable, and not salesy. The best brands on social media are the ones that make you forget you’re even on a company social account—until you find yourself purchasing their product, that is. Here are some of my favorites:
WARBY PARKER ON SNAPCHAT
Instead of using Snapchat as a sales pitch, Warby Parker shows us a fun and playful story about their company. Between one-one-one spotlight interviews with employees,, beautiful and creative product vignettes,, and newstore openings, we feel privileged to have that inside look at this dynamic company.
NASTY GAL ON INSTAGRAM
It’s no secret that Nasty Gal fans want to be #girlbosses just like the #girlboss OG Sophia Amoruso. By presenting Nasty Gal clothing as an empowering uniform, Instagram followers are inspired to own their style, dress how they want, and be completely fearless. With photos of fun ensembles worn by quirky and fun women, their Instagram is just what it should be – effortlessly cool and beautiful.
CLASSPASS ON ALL CHANNELS
Classpass just kills it on all levels. Yes, Classpass is a bit promotion-heavy on the sales front, but their photography is so good that I forgive them. Their copy and photography is approachable and authentic, an inviting beacon to anyone who’s interested in fitness, but isn’t “hardcore” enough to join the local Gold’s. Instead of seeing buff girls and guys sweating their calories away, you see inviting atmospheres with positive energy – somewhat of a workout class utopia. This brand knows that their coredemographic is brimming with people who want to exercise regularly for the sheer joy of it, not because they want to bench 100 lbs or drop weight.
GLOSSIER ON ALL CHANNELS
Glossier’s presence on social media is what lifestyle branding dreams are made of. An awesome aesthetic, witty copy, and a vibe of utter realness is why Glossier thrives in the lifestyle content world. As a company that launched itself on Instagram, it’s no surprise that it rules in this particular kingdom. Using IG as a foundation, Glossier has extended their cultivated lifestyle effectively in emails, Youtube videos, Snapchat, and much more. When I get an email from them, I feel as if I’m getting an email from a close (and incredibly cool) friend. They’re clued into what their audience wants and likes, and produce quality and gorgeous content that makes people coming back.
HARRY'S ON INSTAGRAM
If a brand can make me have the urge to shave on top of a mountain, then it’s because of some damn good lifestyle content. Harry’s makes exceptional shaving products, and they have an even more exceptional Instagram to compliment it. There’s a specific lifestyle associated with Harry’s that is portrayed in their Instagram aesthetic: it’s clean, edgy, cool, and totally stunning. Photos of beautiful men on wonderful travels interspersed with razors and shaving essentials? Yeah, that’s some good branding right there.
What are your favorite examples of lifestyle branding? Share below!