People aspire to own an Aston Martin. Andy Palmer, the car maker’s CEO, says he is not selling cars, he is "selling the dream". Aston Martin also has a dream: to be seen, and valued, as a luxury lifestyle brand. When keen cyclist and speed junkie Lionel Martin and engineer Robert Bamford got together in 1913, they were more interested in building a fast car than running a business. It showed. Aston Martin went bust in 1925, the first of seven bankruptcies that various incarnations of the British car maker have suffered. These days, though, it seems no product, however humble, is complete without a lifestyle. If it is a commodity, more often than not the lifestyle will be about having fun. Think how the labels on drinks or snacks now chatter incessantly at their customers. If it is a luxury product, the lifestyle will be about as po-faced as it is possible to be. Watch the promotional video for Aston Martin Residences, a Miami condominium project that carries the car’s brand. In this...

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