Once upon a time, in a Lululemon store, a customer spent $100 for a pair of leggings! And did so without a flinch!
It wasn’t any ordinary pair of leggings, however. The pair was a Lululemon (cue the angel sound effect) leggings, and there was something magical about it, an almost magnetic pull that got people to come into the store and purchase them.
This customer has been you, me, and everyone else.
There is something compelling about the brand that gets us to stop and think about it, and think only good about it (even if we aren’t buying anything).
In this blog post, we’ll look into how exactly a small yoga wear store got to be the billion-dollar giant that it is today.
In true Lululemon fashion, a fun exercise to do while reading this blog post would be to take deep 4-7-8 belly breaths with every “Lululemon” mentioned in this article!
As one of the Best Athleisure Wear Brands of 2020, Lululemon Athletica, Inc. has thrived since its establishment in 1998; the beloved brand has made the journey from just one store in British Columbia to now over 450 throughout the world.
Since 2007, it has even been traded publicly on Wall Street as LULU and has seen significant returns over the past five years. LULU’s 532.8% is pretty strong compared to Nike, Inc. (NKE) with “only” 103.6% over this period.
The Twitter hashtag of Lululemon, #thesweatlife, gives us a glimpse into the versatility of its products. It may have been designed initially as yoga wear, but the Canadian brand has expanded to everything athletic and, in doing so, expanded its customer base.
“Lululemon is the personification of the sophisticated cool aunt who is aware of every current affair, is sensitive to social issues, and encourages you to always be your best.”
And for those who want to have a quick overview of Lululemon’s marketing strategies, we’ve created this video for you:
How It Began
Since the founding of Lululemon in 1998, the brand has been wildly successful. The founder, Chip Wilson, was passionate about activewear and, more specifically, yoga at the time of his founding of the brand.
This drove him to focus less on the brand but more on the movement his brand created. The primary focus of Lululemon seems to be the fitness and the betterment of oneself.
This is done cleverly by Lululemon by putting on classes and organizing workout groups in the communities they are active in.
All it takes is a trip to one Lululemon store for you to see a plethora of inspirational and motivational quotes printed on the shopping bags.
This company is determined to be the chosen brand of those who wake up in the morning with a goal in mind and go to bed at night with that goal completed. This shows the level of dedication they have to their consumer base and the community they are the center of.
“Our primary target customer is a sophisticated and educated woman who understands the importance of an active, healthy lifestyle. She is increasingly tasked with the dual responsibilities of career and family and is constantly challenged to balance her work, life, and health. We believe she pursues exercise to achieve physical fitness and inner peace.“
In turn, they create loyal and satisfied masses that are happy to support the brand that supports their goals. This comes to play when the products they sell can be found elsewhere at lower prices.
Still, if there is one thing that Lululemon wants to make clear, it is that they design high-quality products. These athletic wears perform to high standards for the community of customers that they want to see accomplish their goals.
And speaking of products, there’s not only plenty of styles to choose from, but LULU has also invented different fabrics for different purposes: Luon, Luxtreme, Nulu, Nulux, Everlux, Everstreme. Read here which Lululemon leggings are best for you.
In the case of Lululemon, looking out for “your” people and “taking care of them” has paid off over the years.
The Exponential Rise of Lululemon
Studying the popularity of Lululemon is a fascinating avenue for any up and coming brand.
Besides admiring Lululemon’s success, it can be beneficial to understand the strategies behind such growth and take inspiration from it and, eventually, implement it.
Some reasons behind the growth can be accredited to:
- Community-Based Marketing Strategy: It invokes a sense of belonging in the customers and gets them to shop repeatedly.
- High-quality Products: Lululemon might be on the pricier side, but all its products are made with the best quality materials and possess a finesse that lasts for a long time.
- Unique Brand Image: Even with a ghastly murder to happen in one of its stores, Lululemon still has a pristine brand image.
- Leaping Bunny-Certified: If getting a gold-standard in cruelty-free certification isn’t a selling point, then we don’t know what is.
- Diverse Social Media Content: Lululemon’s social media is carefully curated to the best of its function, for example, Pinterest as a catalog for their products, YouTube for easy to do yoga tutorial videos, and Facebook and Twitter for updates.
Understand Their Customer Base
Lululemon has thrived because of their careful and thorough market research determining that their target demographic is “those, who are passionate about traveling, athletically fit, seek work-life balance, and struggle from work-related stress.”
Lululemon apparel is primarily purchased by “yoga savvy women” who want clothes that work best for their activities and are consistently followed by people of all avenues.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Lululemon saw the perfect opportunity to promote health and well-being through partnerships with familiar faces on social media platforms (yoga training videos on YouTube) and from a variety of campaigns and challenges.
These collabs encouraged those stuck inside to get moving and not to let the closure of gyms put people into an unhealthy, inactive funk.
Lululemon has used organic product placement throughout the advertisement of these challenges to gather a loyal base of customers. They feel that this company is doing the right thing by reaching out to those who are stuck inside but desire to keep moving and helping them fulfill that want.
Another reason it is on the list of best athleisure wear brands of 2020!
What’s in Store?
Lululemon has benefitted the most with it’s “outside the box thinking” when it comes to their store strategies.
They had a heavy emphasis on opening pop-up stores and make themselves known to people but only have a limited stock of those products.
This marketing strategy of generating “scarcity” doesn’t make Lululemon the first to use the approach but certainly makes the best at it. As a result of this marketing strategy, customers become curious to see what else the brand has to offer, leading them to the Lululemon website and into the abyss of online shopping.
In the not-so-long-ago days of human interaction, the brand would often outfit and supply local trainers with some of their equipment in exchange for a free exercise or yoga session run by those experts in Lululemon stores.
This practice increased traffic into their stores and tied their brand to fitness and yoga resident experts.
If the first few months are any indication, Lululemon’s marketing strategy for 2020 seems to be in embracing diversity, promoting body positivity, and maintaining the best relationship with the masses.
Making Their Customers Go Gaga!
Over the years (and originally), women have been the primary target of Lululemon. The company just recently decided to expand its approach to menswear.
Through collaborations with Mr. Porter, the award-winning online retail destination for menswear, an increasing number of men had their attention drawn to the brand.
In addition to this, the Lululemon brand has also started producing clothing for more broad fitness purposes like cycling, golf, and general athletics since men tend to not have a high representation in the realm of yoga compared to women.
Show Me the Money!
Lululemon has paid attention to the world and acted on their observations.
Two of their largest spikes in online traffic come from Christmas time in 2019 when people were actively searching for gifts, and March of 2020, where more and more people have become confined to the internet due to global lockdowns.
The reason for this success was paid search marketing. They paid top dollar to be the first and most prominent results whenever a potential customer would search any one of a variety of keywords pertaining to their merchandise.
From Athletic Apparel to Selfcare
Lululemon has expanded its line of merchandise from athletic apparel to self care products.
The company seems to hang its hat on self-improvement and their customers’ overall health instead of simply focusing on their brand.
For their loyal fan base, who will not only purchase their products but also promote and recommend it, these new selfcare products will cement that idea even more.
Their skincare products are made specifically for problems that perspiration creates with the skin. This approach is wise because their existing target audience is generally sporty and athletic, and it expands its target to everyone else.
Because everyone sweats (#thesweatlife, remember?).
They stay true to their belief in overall wellness by excluding controversial and harmful chemicals that are key ingredients in many competing products but providing healthier and more natural alternatives that get the job done.
All of their self-care products are gender-neutral, which helps with the recent efforts of Lululemon to expand their target demographic, and by not making any claims to any gender in a world where that topic (if not handled with sensitivity) seems to grow in controversy with every passing day.
The choice to market the skincare line as gender-neutral has been admired and proven successful. These products’ prices are relatively low compared to their flagship yoga pants, ranging from $12-$48.
Ultimately, the launch of these products will help build and further expand Lululemon’s community that is centered on well-being and health.
The Athleisure retail market has proliferated, and the tactic to use this growth into foraying into a new discipline is a smart step by Lululemon.
- One clever and foolproof strategy that Lululemon employs is the constant adaptation to the world’s changes, for example, their recent voting activation on Twitter.
- Inclusion, diversity, and equal pay plays a vital role in the brand’s reputation.
- Establishing a loyal customer base is an imperative factor for consistent sales.
- Lululemon’s community-based marketing is successful since they promote positivity, especially with online book clubs and a series of podcasts.
Best Athleisure Wear Brands of 2020
The global Athleisure market is at an all-time high. This can be credited to the versatility of the apparel and the accessibility of it.
After popular (and premium) athleisure brands like Lululemon, Nike, and Adidas, some other budget-friendly athleisure brands that are just as good are Vimmia, MPG, Zobha, Onzie, Cory Vines, Lorna Jane, Oiselle, Alo, Lolë, and YOGASMOGA, among others.
- Good quality athleisure wear doesn’t always have to be expensive. There are many affordable brands that make your calves look just as well defined.
- The versatility of athleisure wear has recently made it quite popular. You can use these leggings to work and to work out!
Marketing Campaigns by Lululemon
The success of Lululemon’s “This is yoga” campaign speaks for itself about just how much community marketing works.
The campaign featured people from all over the world: London, Beijing, Vancouver, and some of the popular cities in the United States, like Los Angeles and New York, in Lululemon gear doing various activities like yoga, surfing, drumming, etc.
The campaign reiterated that Lululemon’s services aren’t limited to just yoga, contrary to the campaign title.
Another successful campaign of Lululemon is the men’s “Strength to be,” which “celebrates the growing community of men living life as their true selves and representing their own definitions of masculinity and strength.”
Lululemon’s Marketing Strategy 2020
Marketing is about creating value. While this simple task might seem easy, it is rarely not.
The marketing strategy that Lululemon employs is Relationship marketing. This strategy helps in business engagement, retaining customers, and attracts repeat business.
- Expanding a product into various dimensions is a strategic tool that benefits the brand, intrigues the customers, and opens avenues to cross-promotion.
- Content marketing strategy for athleisure brands can be easy if the brands are consistent in producing quality content and will be much appreciated if such brands promote body positivity and diversity.
What Is the Lululemon Logo?
One part of Lululemon’s marketing strategy is its logo. For one, it signifies support, comfort, and, most importantly, quality.
If you see it on the butt of the person in front of you, you know that those leggings will hold during the wildest Ear Pressure Pose (a.k.a Karnapidasana) or Legs Behind the Head Pose (a.k.a. Dwi Pada Sirsasana).
But what does it actually mean? Is it the Greek Omega letter? Is it some sort of a Hindu zodiac sign? Does it represent an hourglass figure or maybe “perfect balance”?
“The lululemon name was chosen in a survey of 100 people from a list of 20 brand names and 20 logos. The logo is actually a stylized ‘A’ that was made for the name ‘athletically hip,’ a name which failed to make the grade.”
Since they’ve taken it off their page and are not commenting on it anymore, this adds to its mystery and keeps people talking about what it stands for.
We’ve heard “pure, butt-hugging joy” once, and believe it’s the best description.
Content Localization for Lifestyle and Fashion Companies
If you have read our article on content localization, you know just how important it is for brands to localize their content and how it is a must if one is to take their brand into the global market.
Fashion is a discipline that needs no language and yet needs to be translated in an impeccable manner while localizing the content.
An easy way to localize your lifestyle and fashion content is by hiring an agency that does so.
- Content localization is a linguistic and social/cultural adaptation of your product to cater to the needs of the specified community of your choice.
- Localized content opens prospects for collaboration with local brands.
The Need for Fashion Content Marketing Agency
As this is the age of the internet, the most prominent way of content consumption is via social media.
For a brand, this means to put out content on the brand’s social media that convey the brand message and intrigues the viewers to browse through the products.
One way to produce quality content consistently while focusing on the ‘Next’ would be to take help from a fashion content marketing agency that does all of it for you.
- Hiring a Fashion content marketing agency with a localization approach can be beneficial to brands, especially start-ups that don’t yet have or can afford an in house team.
- Fashion content marketing agencies do everything for you from model scouting, photography, videography, and digital manipulation to even boosting your content for a wider spread of your brand.
The Lululemon pants that make customers feel like they’re being embraced continue to create storms in the athleisure market. Even though the athleisure market growth has slowed down over the years in the US, Lululemon leggings were, are, and will remain the center of the hype!
Like what you read? Follow our blog for more such content and drop us a comment below if you have any queries, our team of experts is always happy to communicate, learn, and share their knowledge with you. You can also find us on Youtube.
How did you like May Thawdar Oo’s blog post “The Secret behind Lululemon’s Success”? Let us know in the comments if you have anything to add, have another content idea for beauty content marketing blog posts, or just want to say “hello.” 🙂