"Ride first, work later."

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Some brands have a hard time making clear statements about what they're about.

Others don't.

For the most part, I don't think I am going out on a limb by saying that brands that embrace specific lifestyles (to the point of embodying them) tend to be a lot stronger than those that don't.

Why? Because they mean something. And people like to look for meaning in things. Their coffee. Their cars. Their clothes. Their toys. Their food.

Nike knows this. So does Jaguar. And so do North Face, RayBan, Apple, Stetson, Levi's, Thule, Opinel, Smith & Wesson, Tivo, Gucci, Fossil, Starbucks and DKNY, for starters.

No, Specialized's little declaration of independance from desk jobs isn't enough to steer me towards a purchase, but I understand the company a bit better now - and I like the fact that they take their work seriously: Designing bikes and gear for folks who know what to do with themselves when they're off the clock... and demand a certain level of passion for design from the people behind those designs.

What you have to ask yourself if you're a brand manager or work as a brand planner, is this: Does your (or your client's) brand embody a particular lifestyle? Does it mean anything to anyone? (If not, don't you think it should?)

And if you could print your brand's mantra on a T-shirt, what would it say?

have a great weekend, everyone.

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