Buying a Lifestyle vs Living It

B

I’ve noticed in the past how much of the effective marketing we see in the US is driven by selling a “lifestyle”. When Williams-Sonoma sends you a catalogue and you see pictures of a big patio table, with a striped vaguely Mexican tablecloth and a margarita pitcher, you aren’t buying a tablecloth, or pitcher or any of that. You are buying the idea that you are the kind of person that has these cool parties with friends and family, and you sit outside on your patio sipping margaritas.

But then you need to work more to pay for these items, you need a place to store these things when you aren’t having a patio party with margaritas and tacos. You know what’s way faster and cheaper? Calling some friends over, having margaritas and tacos without a pretty tablecloth or pitcher and not having to work longer to pay for the picture-perfect version.

Before we moved, we had tons of cool, themed items or get togethers. And how many times a year did we use them? If we used them 10 times a year, we got a lot of use out of them. This is why so many people look back fondly on their broke college years. Buying the Instagram version of your life wasn’t a viable option. Instead of buying the idea that you are the kind of person that does these things, you could just do them, or not.

If you need to spend and work longer to look like you are having fun, instead of just having fun, is it worth it? We should focus more on the life part of Lifestyle, and less on the style part of the idea.