By Scott Anderson Miller

Some call them brand evangelists or brand advocates. Lifestylers are those individuals who associate so strongly with a brand that they actually make the brand a part of their identity. The Lifestyler’s value can transcend dollars and cents. Through their online reviews, their conspicuous consumption of your product, and their influence among their peers, Lifestylers serve as an example to others.

Lifestylers may be public figures or they may be average Joes or Janes. Some companies that have achieved deep relationships with Lifestylers are Apple, Rolex, Starbucks, Red Bull, REI, Disney, and the National Football League.

Loyal Lifestylers aren’t created only by multinational giants. By offering a unique, satisfying experience online and offline, smaller companies and start-ups can also cultivate Lifestylers. Consider the example of Trunk Club.

Trunk Club, a men’s clothing service, disrupted the men’s fashion-buying process, creating Lifestylers and $100 million in revenue in just four short years. They did it by creating a platform that delivered custom-fitted clothing ensembles designed around individual customers’ tastes. Trunk Club was built to solve the customer “pain point” — it was created for men who hate to shop. Here’s how they made it simple for men to buy:

  1. Customers are assigned a personal stylist who helps customers discover their style, sizes, and tastes.

  2. The stylist hand picks several clothing items, posting them in the customer’s “trunk” for him to preview before shipping.

  3. Customers pay only for the clothes they keep. They’re permitted ten days to try outfits on, and they only have to purchase the items they like. Any unwanted items can be easily returned; shipping is included.

Trunk Club’s reviews are enthusiastic and highly personalized. They have customer relationships, not customer relations. Trunk Club created Lifestylers because they know their ideal customer and they satisfy the need for stylish, individualized convenience and the ability to shop on their terms. Sounds a bit like inbound marketing, doesn’t it?

Nordstrom bought Trunk Club in 2014 for $350 million.