Emilie Perz Of Sequential Body: 5 Things You Need To Know To Create A Very Successful Lifestyle Brand
… Our beginnings oftentimes leave us with doubt, insecurity and inability to see our potential. This will always hinder us in some way, some avenue of our life unless we remember that it’s not about the past but about what we make of the future.
As a part of our series called “5 Things You Need To Know To Create A Very Successful Lifestyle Brand”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Emilie Perz.
Emilie Perz is an international yoga educator and movement therapist based in Southern California. She is the founder of Sequential Body and was introduced to yoga to ease her anxiety following her father’s death in her early teens.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of what led you to this particular career path?
I began practicing yoga when I was a teenager after the tragic and sudden passing of my father. At first, I became religious and even lived on a religious property but after a while the idea of spirituality really began to help with my healing process. Yoga was a path to meditation and mindfulness that helped me to heal from the pain of grief. What started off as a simple Lifestyle habit became a Lifestyle Brand as I became a teacher and business owner.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
My last name is Perz but everyone spelt it or said Perez. I would let it slide because I honestly didn’t mind since it happened all my life. However, by the time I grew my career and started to get press the downside of it always being misspelled would constantly create issues with people finding my website, knowing where I taught or google searching me. Now I recognize that if you are building a career you can’t even let the small things slide.
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
Eastern Body, Western Mind by Anodea Judith that dissects the human body in an emotional energetic way with a correlation to the chakras. It’s an interesting book on how to observe others on a deeper level.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Our beginnings oftentimes leave us with doubt, insecurity and inability to see our potential. This will always hinder us in some way, some avenue of our life unless we remember that it’s not about the past but about what we make of the future.
“You can’t go back and change the beginning but you can start where you are and change the ending.” — C.S. Lewis
Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. For the benefit of our readers, let’s define our terms. How do you define a Lifestyle Brand? How is a Lifestyle Brand different from a normal, typical brand?
Lifestyle brands often operate to give unique content to a specific audience of like-minded individuals. The mission behind these brands is to create a deep connection to their consumers through very focused content. This content often provides an emotional experience with the consumer they become attached to, such as a fitness high, or a specific diet goal. Lifestyle brands differ from common brands because it isn’t about mass consumerism or even sales but about creating a community of individuals dedicated to the mission behind the purpose of the product.
What are the benefits of creating a lifestyle brand?
They evoke feelings of belonging that all individuals crave. When we feel seen, wanted, worthy, accomplished, knowledgeable, etc., we act differently compared to when we are simply purchasing toilet paper. It’s because the essence of connection holds an enticing amount of energy behind it that makes better want to feel better about themselves.
In your opinion, what is an example of a company that has done a fantastic job building a believable and beloved Lifestyle Brand? What specifically impresses you? What can one do to replicate that?
I would say a great example is my own brand, Sequential Body. As a yoga-based wellness brand we have evolved to capture a huge, diverse market in less than a year. Our mission is to serve four unique health pillars: physical, mental, emotional and energetic health. What impresses me most about Sequential Body is our devoted community. Our subscribers are highly engaged on several social media platforms and are so supportive to the brand that they have even started to teach and offer classes on our platform! It’s our way of giving back to each other and keeping our community growing and thriving.
Can you share your ideas about how to create a lifestyle brand that people really love and are ‘crazy about’?
Dare to be different. Obviously, you don’t have to re-create the wheel, but people truly do want to feel like they are part of a one-of-a kind experience. I don’t believe anything needs to be elaborate to shine through. Authenticity, vulnerability and adaptability are key elements to engagement. Also, you can’t be consumed by numbers or sales. Lifestyle brands take years of fostering to flourish. Go slow and really develop your voice, style and unique way of product presentation. It’s those small things (your individuality) that will make you really different.
What are the common mistakes you have seen people make when they start a lifestyle brand? What can be done to avoid those errors?
I would say constantly re-inventing themselves. It really only works if you do it once or twice a year, but by constantly changing the model of the brand or product/services offered you send mixed messages and inconsistent branding options to your customer base.
Let’s imagine that someone reading this interview has an idea for a lifestyle brand that they would like to develop. What are the first few steps that you would recommend that they take?
Sit down and figure out the foundation first. You can have a great product but the reality is you have to know how and where to sell it in order for people to find it.
- Make a list of where this product or service will be sold from.
- Make a list of the mandatory things you will need to put in place in order to operate this business fiscally, physically, virally and organizationally.
- Make a priority list of things that need to be accomplished to launch this brand.
- Put a support system in place to actually help you accomplish the launch.
Ok. Thank you for all that. Here is the main question of our discussion. What are your “5 Things You Need To Know To Create A Very Successful Lifestyle Brand” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Trendy Branding. We live in a visual world. Branding is about exuding a vibe that people want to buy. One of the key things I did to make my online yoga videos pop was to give my classes signature workout names. #BFF or Beauty Fit Flows are our signature strength based yoga classes. #DTF or Down to Flow are our signature vinyasa based movement classes. It posts a spin on something that’s already out there and makes it fun and trendy again.
- Tell a story with your service or product. As the world comes out from a covid cocoon it’s really important that they stay bound to you. The only way for a consumer to stay integrated is through the story, lesson or emotion they feel from experiencing your brand. Create your voice and you’ll create a choice for consumers to relate to you or not. Sequential Body began by me talking through my life and personal experience through Covid-19. Losing my jobs, moving, pivoting my career gave me ample amounts of talking points that were super relatable, heartfelt and created an emotional bond with my consumers that I still cherish and nurture.
- Research your competitors for inspiration. You can learn alot from the way other brands operate. Trying to mimic them won’t garner you consumers because they probably won’t betray their coveted brands, however, seeing what they do and repositioning yourself in a different way can be super inspiring and motivational to get you started. I didn’t research yoga brands but I certainly researched female owned and operated lifestyle brands such as Goop, Sculpt Society, Harpo. I wanted to understand how a female entrepreneur works and how they operate a brand from the inside out.
- Get specific on your mission. What do you actually want to achieve in the Lifestyle market. Without a concrete purpose for what you’re doing you’ll soon be so overwhelmed you’ll lose track of what you were initially striving for. For me, Sequential Body is extremely community oriented. Our purpose is to make people feel like they are personally connected with you and the people practicing around the world with you. It’s about being seen on social media, sharing classes, leaving comments, having shout-outs, challenges, etc. It’s all about that extra personal attention and interaction that makes our members feel special.
- Focus on consistency. I always say repetition equals magic. The more you go in and do things over and over again, like marketing, creating content, reaching out to customers, etc. the more you’ll grow and the faster you’ll gain an organic audience. I didn’t know what I was doing in the initial stages of Sequential Body but I knew one thing, just keep doing what you started doing. I often thought about cutting down classes or only offering on-demand, but a year later we see that 75% of our subscribers watch the new content I put out right away. That’s huge for an online brand.
Super. We are nearly done. Here are our final questions. You are an inspiration to a great many people. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
Family Mindful Meetings. If there is one thing I learned through Covid, it was how fragile the family dynamic truly can be. Stress can be a trigger to bad emotional behaviors and lead to devastating patterns. If families could prioritize handling their mental health as a unit then they could easily stay open and receptive to feelings and issues as they arise. Mindful meetings are a great way to gather and talk about what you’re dealing with, potential triggers, emotional outbursts, and then openly discuss how to release these feelings and offer up mindful suggestions as well as a simple ear to listen.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.