LV opened a coffee shop and Uniqlo was a magazine. Why did these big companies start to “do not do business properly”?

Recently, rumors of Apple, Huawei, and Xiaomi making cars appear on the hot search from time to time, and each brand seems to continue to broaden its boundaries.

A few years ago, the founder of Meituan, Wang Xing, had an interview with friends on the screen . He put forward a point: "Too many people pay attention to the boundary, not the core."

Breaking the "boundary" seems to have become the consensus of many brands. Recently, luxury brand LV also opened a new cafe and chocolate shop in Japan.

Uniqlo co-branded Haruki Murakami to launch a series of T-shirts and peripherals. What surprised me was that it also published an issue of a magazine that published an interview with Haruki Murakami and the architect Tadao Ando. The typography design is no less than any one. This big-name fashion magazine.

Apple builds cars, LV opens cafes, Uniqlo publishes magazines… What is the expansion of these boundaries? Is it just to sell more goods and make the business more diversified?

If you look away from the border, these seemingly irrelevant brands are actually doing one thing: "selling lifestyles."

LV opened a coffee shop, GUCCI opened a bookstore, and luxury goods should also be a "third space"?

White Valentine's Day is here, and I want to send a LV to my girlfriend. The budget is only 100 yuan. What should I do?

LV, which everyone can afford, is really coming. LV plans to open a new coffee shop, Le Café V, and its first chocolate shop, Le Chocolat V, in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan on March 17.

In February last year, LV opened the world’s first coffee shop and Sugalabo V restaurant in its new flagship store in Shinsaibashi, Osaka. The chefs of these two LV restaurants are both famous Japanese chef Yosuke Suga. I studied under the celebrity chef Joël Robuchon, who has won 32 Michelin stars.

The design of LV's flagship store is also very unique. It is said to be inspired by the traditional Japanese Hishigaki returning ship and sailing boat sailing.

The 1st to 4th floors of the store are the exhibition area, the 5th and 6th floors are the exhibition area and display area. The coffee shop and restaurant are on the top floor. This flagship store is known as LV's "world's first integrated design, exhibition, experience and catering. Retail stores".

How much does it cost to drink a cup of coffee here? The menu shared by some netizens shows that the price ranges from 1,500 yen to 3,000 yen (approximately RMB 90 to RMB 184), and the coffee latte is the classic LV logo.

The LV restaurant Sugalabo V can't go if you want to. This restaurant uses an introduction system and needs to be introduced by regular customers to enter, otherwise you can only make an appointment half a year in advance.

As a luxury brand, why does it take so much effort to open a restaurant? LV Chairman and Chief Officer Michael Buke said in an interview with Women's Wear Daily :

The most important thing is to create an experience.

Whether it is a restaurant or a cafe, it is the link between LV and consumers to establish a new emotional connection. In the words of Michael Buke, "This is about a brand's daily, weekly, and monthly (local) sense of participation." This inevitably reminds people of the "third space" proposed by Starbucks.

It is not uncommon for luxury brands to set up restaurants in recent years. GUCCI, Chanel, PRADA, Armani…Almost all luxury brands that can be named have made such attempts.

In July last year, Burberry and Tencent jointly opened a "social retail store" in Shenzhen, which interacts with consumers online and offline through a mini program. Users can obtain a social currency in the mini program to unlock cafes. More meals and drinks in.

The so-called "social retail stores" refer to digital and physical spaces that integrate interaction, sharing and shopping. Zhang Qian , president of Burberry China, said that in the future, he hopes to expand the concept of social retail to the world.

In the past two years, GUCCI also opened a bookstore Gucci Wooster Bookstore on Broadway in New York. David Strettell, the founder of Dashwood Books, a well-known independent bookstore, personally selected books on shelves for the bookstore, providing a new social space for art lovers in New York's Soho District.

These "cross-borders" are actually the manifestation of changes in mass consumption concepts in the luxury market, as Miuccia Prada, the third-generation head of Prada, said:

Luxury goods For modern people, the most important thing is no longer just commodities, but attitudes to life.

And such changes are happening in more fields, and even become a new consumer trend.

Magazines made by Uniqlo, IKEA, and Airbnb, I want to collect each one

Recently, "Joint Crazy Demon" Uniqlo has launched a new joint model, this time the partner is the well-known Nobel Prize in Literature accompanied by Haruki Murakami.

This new UT draws inspiration from works such as "1Q84", "Norwegian Forest", "Kafka by the Sea" and other works. Apart from extracting some words and sentences, the pattern designed according to the elements in the book is like redesigning the cover of a book.

However, the cooperation between Uniqlo and Haruki Murakami is more than that. In the latest issue of the magazine "LifeWear" published by Uniqlo, Haruki Murakami also conducted an exclusive interview . Haruki Murakami talked about his own knowledge of sports, music, clothes, and novels. , Social media and other topics.

In addition, the architect Tadao Ando also accepted an exclusive interview with "LifeWear", telling how he continued his construction career while fighting cancer in the past few years. He personally designed and funded a children's library that can make children fall in love with reading.

You may be wondering, why Uniqlo doesn't sell clothes well, why is it still a magazine?

Not only that, this magazine has a circulation of up to one million per issue, which is more than many traditional magazines.

Uniqlo officially launched the magazine "LifeWear" in August 2019, with Takahiro Kinoshita, the editor-in-chief of Japanese lifestyle magazine "POPEYE", as the creative director. It will launch two issues a year and consumers can receive it at Uniqlo stores for free.

"LifeWear" is the brand concept put forward by Uniqlo in 2013, which aims to pursue an aesthetic rationality and make ordinary life better.

"LifeWear" was obviously born to promote this concept of Uniqlo, but instead of becoming a boring corporate brochure, it became a fashion magazine worth collecting. The creative director Takahiro Kinoshita contributed a lot.

When Takahiro Kinoshita was the editor-in-chief of "POPEYE", the trendy lifestyle of "City Boys" was once again popular in Japan. From clothing, design, food to cities and architecture, "POPEYE" attempts to compose the elements of the lifestyle of all young people.

▲ Takahiro Kinoshita. Picture from: Duan Media

Now Takahiro Kinoshita also brings these experiences to "LifeWear", and Uniqlo has given the senior magazine man enough trust.

In an interview with "China Business News", Kinoshita Takahiro once said that he did not want to make "LifeWear" a mere propaganda book, but wanted to convey some fashionable ideas and enrich people's lives.

The theme of the first issue of "LifeWear" is "New Form Follows Function" (New Form Follows Function). Uniqlo creative director Rebekka Bay visited the studio of Japanese industrial design master Yanagi Sori The new pair talked about the relationship between form and aesthetics.

The theme of the second issue of "LifeWear" is "Livable Cites", but it does not set standards for "Livable Cites". Takahiro Kinoshita said that the magazine is not to explore which city is more livable, but to report on the lifestyles of people living in the city.

Last year, "LifeWear" also collaborated with another well-known lifestyle magazine "Monocle" to plan a special issue called "Tokyo City Guide" , which was jointly published in two magazines.

Not only Uniqlo, but the travel home rental platform Airbnb also has its own magazine "Airbnbmag". The original intention was that Airbnb founder Brian Chesky was dissatisfied with the travel magazines on the market. Brian Chesky said in the preface of the inaugural issue of "Airbnbmag":

Today’s travel magazines are too impersonal, and in our experience, the most interesting part of travel is the encounter and connection between people.

"Airbnbmag" advocates the concept of "Be at home in the world", which covers travel guides, host interviews, traveler stories, etc. In the inaugural issue, Space X founder Elon Musk also talked about space travel. .

Different from Uniqlo's "LifeWear", "Airbnbmag" is a magazine created with the American media giant Hearst. Hearst owns "Mr. Fashion", "Bazaar Fashion", "Bazaar", etc. Many well-known fashion magazines.

Hearst Chief Content Officer Joanna Coles even believes that "Airbnbmag" will become the future direction of travel media.

When it comes to cross-border magazines for consumer brands, IKEA's "Household Guide" is one I have to mention. Although this 70-year-old pamphlet was announced last year to cease publication, it was once one of the world's largest publications, with circulation exceeding that of the Bible.

In the beginning, IKEA's "Home Guide" was just like a shopping guide distributed in a supermarket. Later, this attribute was gradually weakened and began to convey the concept of ideal home life. For example, the "democratic design" in the past few years, this is the "Home Guide" The more core reason for popularity.

Whether it is Uniqlo, Airbnb or IKEA, these brands have one thing in common as magazines: not to directly bring goods to themselves, but to convey a lifestyle or aesthetic concept.

It can even be said that what these brands really want to sell is no longer a piece of clothing, a piece of furniture or rental services, but a way of life.

All consumer brands will eventually become "lifestyle proposal companies"

It has to be said that "lifestyle" has been abused in recent years, and it has even become a label favored by major brands more than "technology".

"Lifestyle" was first proposed by psychologist Alfred Adler. He believed that lifestyle is a pattern of people arranging their lives according to a certain central goal, which is reflected through activities, interests, and opinions. The central goal is the advantages that people lack or do not possess, or certain values ​​inherent in their thinking.

To put it simply, when we talk about lifestyle, we are actually talking about whether we agree with a certain value. More and more consumers express who they are through what brand they use, and consumption is a vote for their ideal life.

The popularity of Yuanqi Forest is to capture the trend of the sugar-free era and turn it into a label for the pursuit of health.

Countless women are "addicted" to Lululemon's yoga pants. This is how they can tell others "I have time to exercise and look at my figure."

In recent years, fast fashion brands have been losing money and closing stores. Many consumers said in interviews that brands are no longer so important to them. The key is whether they can demonstrate their individuality.

▲ Picture from: "People"

Just as He Yu, the managing partner of Black Ant Capital, mentioned when discussing new consumption topics, the awakening of a new generation of consumers' self-awareness has brought about changes in consumption behavior, shifting from status anxiety and conspicuous consumption to pursuing self-expression and meaning propositions Identify with the circle.

The Internet celebrity bookstore Tsutaya directly put forward the concept of "lifestyle proposal", which means that what he sells is not books or other goods, but uses "commodities" to make proposals for "life".

Suzaki Masuda, the founder of Tsutaya Bookstore, believes that the so-called lifestyle proposal is the information that brings people happiness and enriches people's lives, and is to provide life-related feelings and atmosphere . Suzaki Masuda hopes to output a complete set of lifestyle proposals to customers .

Instead of displaying 10,000 kinds of goods in the store, it is better to make 100 life proposals.

In Masuda's view, making proposals for life has no direct relationship with what products are sold. He talked about the "lifestyle companies" he identified in his book "Mystery Solving the Tuna", among which is Apple.

The meaning of life proposals lies in the ability to cross borders, races, ages, and genders. These iPhones have done it. Steve Jobs did not create a best-selling product, but made a life proposal.

In the past two years, Apple has promoted activities such as "Today at Apple" and "Apple Retail" in the Apple Store, not for selling goods, but for turning the store into a social place for people.

Ben Thompson, a well-known technology critic, believes that Apple is building an offline social network that conveys the idea to users: You buy not only iPhone, iPad and Mac products, but also the relationship with Apple.

Alexander Chernev , a professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, once pointed out that brands usually define customer value through three dimensions: functional value, psychological value, and monetary value, while “lifestyle proposals” are psychological values.

When psychological value becomes an increasingly important factor in consumer decision-making, it may be difficult to divide a company into digital, fashion, food, travel… these industries in the future, and there may only be one company left in the world—— "Lifestyle Proposal Company ".

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