Hmmmmm, what is a lifestyle cluster you ask?
A lifestyle cluster is a method for profiling consumer lifestyles qualitatively and quantitatively. Good Marketers know that demographical insight must be leveraged with identifiable habits. These habits are connected to certain characteristics like psychographics, geography, shopping preferences, moral dilemmas and product and media usage.
When you think of your customer, what identifiable traits stand out from the data? It is not enough to highlight age and gender. Clusters must be built for each of your products so that the depth in the consumer's daily routines can be understood.
Does it make much more sense now why market researchers go around using labels like GEN Y & GEN Z? I know advertisers get tired of hearing phrases such as XENNIALS. And maybe that's the fault of us researchers who are too busy getting excited that we fail to clearly communicate what's blowing our minds.
What's blowing our minds? I'm glad you asked.
Good Marketers know that understanding the characteristics of lifestyle clusters that surround a brand can allow one to engineer new clusters and influence some of the established characteristics of the core group. In our present era, with social media, we now have at our disposal so much information about lifestyle clusters that when someone references GEN Y & Z, marketers are scrolling through their memory bank of information on lifestyle habits for the groups. That's why we get so excited. We don't know everything but we know more than we've ever known before! And this information allows brands to craft ad messages that can emotively reach targets throughout their day.
How do you do engineer or influence? - NEED + EXPECTATION = WANT
Now I really have your attention.
The NEED for consumers to make a STATEMENT OF IDENTITY with products and EXPECTATION of cultivating personal uniqueness with a product or service drives growth and provides necessary entry points into lifestyle clusters. Consequently, with entry you can increase willingness to purchase your product.
The Drum's Lea Rayssac-Baures has noted that US & UK "[l]uxury brands have ... adapted their pricing strategy to capitalize on the youth consumers behaviours, by releasing more readily-accessible products, such as the Gucci 'Instagram-ready' £90 socks, or £170 phone cases." The rationale to personalize modern technologies which allows Gucci to gain consumers is only as good as the information compiled about the brand's lifestyle clusters. Makes sense right?
If you don't want to be a stranger to your mother or sister, you have to continuously share information about parts of your life with them and vice versa. This then allows you to choose the right birthday gifts, to direct the right topics of conversations to specific family members and even tell the right jokes for the best response. The relationship between a brand and its consumers is very similar to that of family members. Well, that is what your most loyal consumers think. Are they wrong?
There are a couple of global brands that just get it. They speak their clusters' languages. McDonald's for one. Cardi B speaks most fluently. And Adidas. These brands' success is not by chance or by wish. They have a marketing team mining data about clusters.
So now that you know the secret, what are you going to do for your brand... or your clusters?