Creating a connection

The lines between work and play get increasingly blurred every day. As a result, retailers are fighting hard to find the best way to position their products and services. Smart retailers have developed lifestyle brands . These brands speak to their target audiences' innermost values and desires. They create an implicit brand promise: if you buy our products you will [name your target audiences' desired feelings].

Check out some relatively unknown lifestyle brands that are creating a connection with their audiences:

Spreading soul one friend at a time:

In a few months Charlotteans will be able to take a voyage beyond vanilla compliments of Charlotte (NC) native Eric Polite II and his Soulmade ice cream café. In its tangible state Soulmade is an ice café and espresso bar, but it goes far beyond that. Soulmade is a lifestyle, a consciousness that recognizes the commonalities and links shared by diverse communities. In an effort to gain support and raise dollars for the project, Polite will hold several friendraisers. These personal parties will be hosted by friends of Polite and will give attendees a chance to sample the product. But just as the store is more than ice cream and coffee, the friendraisers will be more than a party. It will be an experience. Polite plans to develop a party host toolkit, including product, t-shirts and a musical CD that sells the Soulmade concept. In return for the experience, attendees will lay down cash to support the vision. While waiting for the actual store to open, you can get a piece of the experience by buying a lifestyle-inspired Soulmade tee at .

Gettin 'em through new media tools:

You've seen her hustling through the subway station in her Jimmy Choo stilettos. As the doors close she sits down, pops her mp3 player's ear buds in her ears, hits play and starts tapping away at the keys on her laptop. She is putting the finishing touches on the presentation she is scheduled to deliver in 30 minutes. Her phone buzzes. It's a text. She stops tapping at the laptop and begins to tap the keys of the phone. She's making plans to meet the girls at happy hour after work.

Who's that girl? She's a Get 'Em Girl.

A Get 'Em Girl is the essence of the urban woman; she sets trends and exudes confidence. Get 'Em Girls is a lifestyle brand that tells the story of the sassy, fierce, feminine, intelligent, provocative, motivated, chic, urban, nurturing, audacious, level-headed, diverse, unique, tenacious, fashionable, and technologically and brand-savvy woman. The brand was developed by three Get 'Em Girls to honor the spirit of the woman that knows what she wants and goes to get it. And they are gettin' it online with their website, e-newsletter, and Myspace page, which will soon feature a blog. Check'em out at or

The lesson. Create a brand connection with your core audience by reaching them where they are. Create an emotional connection by making the brand speak to the desires of your target audiences. Use new media tools, like blogging and podcasts; and employ grassroots marketing tactics, like street teams and appearances, to help create the connection.