Transform Your Brand and Start Selling a Lifestyle (Not a Product) with These Easy Tips.

“Make a fantastic product, but it’s really about putting out a message and building relationships.” 

- Alice Oluyitan, founder of GBEMi womenswear, Episode 21

The best brands these days don’t sell a product. They sell a lifestyle.

Think Everlane, Pressed Juicery, and GBEMi - the fashion line founded by Monday’s guest, Alice Oluyitan. These brands have branched out from simply selling something online, to creating an entire culture around their products that make you want to be part of the hype. How do they do it? Here are three super simple but extremely important strategies that Alice and I discuss in the show:


Expand Your Horizons

Offer free content that your target audience will be interested in. This might be in the form of a blog, podcast, webinar, weekly newsletter, events, etc.

Why is this important? If you’re a new kid on the block people don’t know, like and trust you yet. By creating easily consumable content that addresses the interests of your target audience, you can begin to establish a relationship with them and share the message of your business without making them purchase something right away.  

 Example: As a fashion designer, my guest from Episode 21, Alice Oluyitan not only has a womenswear line, GBEMi, but she also runs a blog, digital classes and a podcast that all communicate the same message: empowering women to reach their full potential, create a life they love and literally, wear their dreams. Having built an audience through these platforms, she now has a whole consumer base that is committed to her message, identifies with her style and is much more likely to invest in her clothing. 

Alice's Blog GBEMi Girl features podcasts, digital classes, articles on your favorite fashion bloggers and more. 

Alice's Blog GBEMi Girl features podcasts, digital classes, articles on your favorite fashion bloggers and more. 

 

Remember What you Learned in Psych 101

At a psychological level we all have a natural need for belonging and want to feel like we’re a part of something. Through Facebook groups, holding meet-ups or doing fun call-to-actions on social media you can encourage people to not only identify with your message/brand, but feel like they’re part of it.

Once people feel like they are part of a community that shares a common interest or lifestyle, they are more likely to invest in a product that represents it (think of how many times you’ve bought something from Nike).

Example: Alice’s brand, GBEMi Girl embodies the persona of a bold, unapologetic, imaginative girl who aims higher than high, wears her dreams on her sleeve and wants to live an extraordinary life. All of Alice’s content serves this idea and works to build a community of young girls who can feel like they are a part of something by taking on the persona of a GBEMi Girl.

Alice's graphics help illustrate the persona of a 'GBEMi Girl' 

Alice's graphics help illustrate the persona of a 'GBEMi Girl' 

 

Rub Shoulders With the Right People

“As soon as you figure out your passion, find people that have done it before.” 

- Alice Oluyitan, founder of GBEMi womenswear, Episode 21

Chances are, when you start something you don’t really know what you’re doing. Instead of spending hours online watching tutorials, find influencers or business owners who have done something similar and reach out to them. This might sound scary and intimidating at first, but when you think about it you really have nothing to lose. Either they won’t get back to you (because they’re probably too busy) or they’ll turn you down (also because they’re probably too busy). But in Alice’s words “people are people and they are usually really nice and want to help.”

The more you can rack the brains of people you admire and start to build relationships with them, the more they can help you get to where you want to be. Whether this is through sharing your product on their own website, social media platform or partnering to create something together, you never know what could happen.

Example: Alice reaches out to influencers she respects who have built business and brands similar to hers by asking to interview them on her podcast, #Wearyourdreams. This is an amazing excuse to talk to people much further along in their careers than her, learn from them but also share their stories so others can learn and be inspired too. It’s kind-of like having mini mentoring sessions every week, genius!  

Alice's Podcast #Wearyourdreams interviews self-made millionaire girl bosses

Alice's Podcast #Wearyourdreams interviews self-made millionaire girl bosses


If you're setting out to start your brand or business don't just focus on the product. These days consumers are extremely sophisticated and want more than something they can wear, they want an idea they can embody through the things they choose to spend their hard-earned money on. Take some cues from Alice and apply these three things to your own brand today! 

Let me know if this post was helpful to you and leave a comment below. :)