In his classic work, The Case of Miss R. (1929), Swiss psychiatrist and psychologist Alfred Adler describes a concept of individualism, wherein the concept maintains that humans are motivated primarily by their needs. He further defines individualism as the persistence of an essentialism, the conviction that there is a unique, self-contained, directed personality which is determined solely by the genetic factors of the individual. According to Adler, individualism is motivated not by a desire for power, but by a need to be understood and be saved. According to him, individualism is rooted in instinctive behaviors, and not desire or guilt.
In the decades following the publication of The Case of Miss R. many psychologists argued that, in the case of the study of human behavior, there was no such thing as a distinct personality, instead everyone acted according to a similarly situated behavioral code. As a result, LIFESTYLE was born. According to this concept, there is no such thing as individualism, but rather everyone shares a similar lifestyle. This lifestyle may be social, cultural, physical, or religious. In short, according to Alfred Adler the only true concept of individualism is social, and the word LIFESTYLE derives from the idea that one can be safe, if one chooses to be so.
In order to understand how LIFESTYLE came about, it is crucial to understand what LIFESTYLE is not. In order to gain insight into what LIFESTYLE is not, we must first realize that the concept of LIFESTYLE is itself a misnomer. Rather, according to LIFESTYLE the concept of lifestyle is a fiction. According to LIFESTYLE the true concept of lifestyle is social. In fact, according to LIFESTYLE, the true concept of lifestyle is a subset of the whole which exists in the virtual environment, rather than an actual person, a physical location, or a set of physical objects.
The LIFESTYLE concept then becomes a question of what exactly the term ‘lifestyle’ truly means. The term “lifestyle” can be used, as it is typically used, to refer to both a physical state and a mental state. However, the term also has a more specific meaning. In the definition of LIFESTYLE, the key word “active” is substituted for “healthy” and the word “single” is replaced by “practical.” This redefinition provides an additional meaning to the term LIFESTYLE. Now it is possible to be a healthy single, and yet have the flexibility to be part of a lifestyle, a social network, and to engage in a productive activity.
The value of this concept to those who are in business can be seen in the many businesses that have used it as a marketing tool, such as Max Weber and our friend Sean Gallagher. For Max Weber, a single business is a single life, and to use the word lifestyle, we interpret the idea that a Max Weber’s lifestyle is one that is rich and satisfying with as many friends and acquaintances as possible. When Sean goes on a date, he is already certain that he wants to be happy and positive about it. He and his friends spend their days trying to create that kind of lifestyle. But when they go out on a social date, they see what a mess it can be. Therefore, their goal becomes not just to be happy, but to create the highest amount of positive social experience possible.
As a marketing strategy, this kind of advertising could work quite well for a business that is new, has only been around for a short time, or has experienced some challenges. Max Weber created their own unique brand of lifestyle advertising by including their products and services in the middle of their advertisements, as opposed to being placed in the conclusion or the very end, like in Mad Men. In this way, they created a sense of continuity, as well as showing the importance of the brand and the way in which it was represented.