Lifestyle Brands: A Guide to Aspirational Marketing

What do Apple, the Body Shop, Diesel, and Virgin have in common? (And what makes them different from Mattel, Microsoft, and Samsung?) Why do millions of people identify with Harley-Davidson and Ferrari, and why does it seem that almost everyone owns a pair of Adidas or Levi’s?

These brands inspire something beyond loyalty—their customers are devoted brand ambassadors who permit no substitutions. Why do some brands achieve this kind of obsessive following?

In Lifestyle Brands, Antonio Marazza, general manager of Landor Milan, and Stefania Saviolo, professor at SDA Bocconi School of Management, discuss the characteristics of three types of brands: cult, iconic, and lifestyle. They explore ways in which some brands are adopted not for functional and emotional reasons, but because of what they symbolize. The authors describe how brands with devoted ambassadors serve as status symbols, allowing fans to feel they belong to a special group.

Drawing on both research and observation, this book characterizes qualities typical of brands with high symbolic value, and proposes a method for understanding and creating a brand that enhances its customer’s lifestyles and inspires obsession.


Lifestyle Brands: A Guide to Aspirational Marketing by Antonio Marazza and Stefania Saviolo (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) is available in English through and in Italian from Rizzoli through

Read more on this subject from the authors at