Kahle on Lifestyle Marketing

Thanks to the rise of social media and the Internet, there now exists a virtual gathering spot for just about every group that shares an interest, passion, or obsession. For Ehrman Giustina Professor of Marketing Lynn Kahle, these gatherings—termed "lifestyle groups"—represent an extraordinary new opportunity for those who study marketing in an academic setting—not to mention marketers looking for better ways to reach current and potential customers. This is the central thesis of Kahle's latest book, Marketplace Lifestyles in an Age of Social Media, coauthored with Pierre Valette-Florence of the University of Grenoble, France and published this past June. In the book, the authors trace how the concept of lifestyle has evolved, delineate its fall from academic grace, and make the case for lifestyle to once again become a central topic in the field's research. Whereas in the past, lifestyles and the consumer behaviors associated with them were difficult to quantify, the Internet has changed all this. As Kahle explained, "What's happened with social media is that it is now possible to observe and interact with real lifestyle groups that have real conversations about purchasing activities." Read an excerpt of the book.