Marketing A Lifestyle To Drive Sales

Marketing a lifestyle

I read a great article over the weekend in The Guardian, Are probiotics really that good for your health?, which went on to detail the rise and rise in probiotic drink sales.

It struck me as a prime example of how marketing a lifestyle can bypass any benefits the product claims to have (in this case, benefits yet to be verified by the European Food Standards Agency) !

Why wait for confirmation that your product actually improves people's health when you can persuade them with adverts and brain wash them in to thinking so.

Yakult is widely known in the UK and was the first to market with their probiotic drink in 1996.

Danone was quick to follow with Actimel, also packaged in dinky bottles; it now has 64% of the UK market, outselling Yakult. Danone subsequently formed a strategic alliance with Yakult and owns 20% of its shares.
Nearly 60% of UK households now regularly buy probiotic drinks.

That's quite a staggering percentage for something that is yet to be proven to improve your health. Some would argue it's the placebo effect, (not the band!) of mind over matter, but surely that's a high price to pay when you can drink water from a tap to cleanse your system.

Bottled water is another fine example of marketing at its' most powerful. Everyone knows that drinking water to rehydrate the body helps on many different levels but since the big manufacturers have started putting more money into advertising sales have increased markedly.

Per capita consumption is currently highest in countries where the practice of drinking bottled water is more established in Italy, France and Spain. However, countries with traditionally lower sales of bottled water such as the UK and Sweden are seeing extraordinary growth.

Selling a lifestyle in marketing isn't new, but when done well can drastically improve sales and your connection with consumers in the market.

Seth Godin also describes how the power of telling authentic stories can help your marketing efforts in All Marketers Are Liars, a great read.

Image credit adria.richards


Ed Roach's picture

"marketing a lifestyle..."

There is a backlash of sorts here in Canada to bottled water. More and more public buildings are banning bottled water and returning to drinking fountains. Stories of leaching from plastic bottles and a lack of quality standards have finally made an impact.

Who ever said advertising was reality, when it's absolutely perception. I figure if product health claims were so miraculous then we'd be reading it in the medical press. Most times we are not. Like anything the public wants only instant gratification. We deserve what we get really.

Richard Dewick's picture

Instant Gratification

I agree with you Ed, most people nowadays want that instant solution or easy fix so these products provide that.

It's interesting to know that common drinking water is on a fight back against the bottled brands in Canada, I expect it's only a matter of time this would happen. I for one drink Thames water through the tap everyday, ribbit yet to have any side effects on me ribbit!

vb6's picture

Are you for real?

Is that true? Places are banning bottled water? That seems very strange to me - what happens if you bring it in? They kick you out? Can you bring in other bottled products like soda or things like that?

Nele's picture

Brands are kind of

Brands are kind of fashionable. Even foodbrands. People buy them not only for improving health, but also because evian water and probiotic drinks are in vogue. It doesn't make sense, however nobody cares.

Kate's picture

Holy Cow! That baby video is

Holy Cow! That baby video is freakin' awesome! Anyway, I exercise and take care of myself and I have found that eating a healthy diet makes it unnecessary for me to buy probiotic drinks. They cost more than I want to spend and they could taste a little better.

Raval's picture

Marketing In General... has it ever been "honest?"

While I do think that many companies believe in their product and the value that it holds, isn't marketing ALWAYS more interested in convincing someone of something than actually proving it? All that matters is that people value something and purchase it. Period.

A sad but true commentary on the tenets of capitalism. Great post, thanks! A pleasure to read.