“How do I turn my lifestyle into a business?” Aaron Bondaroff expresses his individuality through aNYthing — a new development in contemporary culture — personal lifestyle branding.

In Rob Walker’s exploration of this subculture, he writes:

Branding is… a process of attaching an idea to a product. Decades ago that idea might have been strictly utilitarian: trustworthy, effective, a bargain. Over time, the ideas attached to products have become more elaborate, ambitious and even emotional. This is why, for example, current branding campaigns for beer or fast food often seem to be making some sort of statement about the nature of contemporary manhood. If a product is successfully tied to an idea, branding persuades people — consciously or not — to consume the idea by consuming the product. Even companies like Apple and Nike, while celebrated for the tangible attributes of their products, work hard to associate themselves with abstract notions of nonconformity or achievement.  A potent brand becomes a form of identity in shorthand.

Read the NY Times Magazine article from Sun, Jun 30.