Last week, Fast Company posted an intriguing feature on an organization called People For Bikes on their blog. People for Bikes (PFB) is a website dedicated to uniting bicyclists from across the country and advocates trail construction, laws for improving rider safety, and staying fit and active. I took a look at their website, peopleforbikes.org, and was pleasantly surprised by the clean interface and plethora of useful information about local biking movements and campaigns across the country.
As Fast Company pointed out, PFB promotes themselves by cultivating a sense of belonging and attachment in the minds of supporters. This is called lifestyle marketing and can be described as branding products and services in a way that aims to engage people emotionally and encourage them to adopt a new idea, service, or product. When done effectively, people feel personally attached to the idea and seek to share it with others. PFB has accomplished this by creating a fresh-looking movement that people feel good about associating themselves with and sharing it with others.
There are several companies that have done an excellent job leveraging lifestyle marketing to build their brands. Apple and Harley Davidson are well known examples where communities have formed around the brand. PFB is doing this by offering a platform for bicycle riders to network and voice their concerns. The end goal for PFB is to create a strong community of 1 million bicyclists around the US. With thousands of people already supporting the site, clearly they are well on their way to achieving that mission.