Brand Personality Project: Lululemon
Gabriella Garcia, A’Lara Smith, Patrick Tehan, and Sydney Vanderpool
Retail Consumer Behavior
April 25, 2018
Lululemon is a technical athletic apparel company for men and woman. Lululemon was founded in 1998 by Chip Wilson in Vancouver, Canada. It was started originally a design studio by day and a yoga studio by night. The original mission statement for the company states that they were “Creating components for people to live longer, healthier, fun lives.” The way that their mission statement was originally written shows that Lululemon is not just a place to buy athletic gear but a place where you can find all aspects to living a healthier lifestyle whether it be healthy living tips, run clubs or yoga classes. In recent years the company has decided to forgo the traditional mission statement and has created what they call the “Lululemon Manifesto.” Their “manifesto” is a collage of words and phrases that they hope will catch the eyes of their target market and inspire them. These phrases in include “this is not your practice life, this is all there is,” “Creativity is maximized when you are living in the moment,” and “breathe deeply.”
Lululemon is classified as a specialty store. They sell a wide of assortment of goods but all the goods are related to fitness. These goods include apparel for training, running, cycling, yoga, and many more physical activities. They also sell fitness-related accessories like bags and yoga mats. Within their community you can also find information on classes for activities like yoga, photography, and even calligraphy. The classes are only available in certain locations on certain dates, but you can purchase their apparel and gear in the brick-and-mortar locations or on their website.
Although Lululemon has recently been expanding their product lines to attract more of the male customer base, their primary target market is young women aged between 24-35. Their target market tends to have higher incomes and are usually well educated. Its women who are busy trying to balance their careers and families all while trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Women in this demographic tend to be more interested in yoga than others. This is why this demographic is more drawn to Lululemon, since the company’s main focus is providing yoga accessories and apparel. They also shop at Lululemon because they want higher quality work apparel that not only fits them goods but also makes them look good. Lululemon offers a wide variety of styles, colors, and patterns to meet this need. The target market mainly consists of women with families. Women that have families usually by more fitness apparel than those who do not, and the more kids a woman has the more likely she is to buy even more fitness apparel. They have busy lives and are not just wearing the clothes to exercise in but are wearing them in their everyday lives. These women shop at Lululemon because they want clothes that are comfortable to do their daily chores and activities in and they still want to look good as well. Their target market is not geared towards any ethnicity in particular but their clientele bases is more white than anything else.
In the interviews most of the results were the same. Everyone questioned thought that if Lululemon was a person that it would be a female. This has to do with two things, firstly their brand name sounds feminine. The other reason people believed that Lululemon would be a female is because the brand offers more women’s apparel than anything else and that it is mostly women who buy Lululemon. For the age of the brand everyone put ages that ranged from 20-30 years old. This is because younger people are the ones who are more focused on living healthy lifestyles and exercising. Every single one the interviewees said they thought Lululemon would be white. All of the answers for Lululemon’s occupation were related to health and fitness in some way, which makes sense since it is a fitness brand. The answers varied when it came to pay because some thought Lululemon would have a very high income because of the high-income women who were the brand’s apparel while others did not think it would make very much money as a person because of the way they perceive people who work in health and fitness fields. When asked about what kind of car Lululemon would drive all the answers were nicer high-end cars like Mercedes or BMWs. From the answers from the last questions, a large majority of the interviewees that Lululemon would be on the wealthier side. Nine out of Ten of the interviewees thought Lululemon would be married, and all agreed that she would have kids. Almost all of the hobbies lister for Lululemon where fitness related and would be activities that mostly young people would be interested in. All of the names given for Lululemon were on the simple side like Lindsey or Sarah, this has to do with the fact that all the interviewees pictured Lululemon as a white female. Interestingly, all of the answers from the interviewees were consistent with the brand’s target market. Young and married women in their mid to late 20s.
Lululemon’s main channel for marketing is online. They have several ways of using the internet to market their brand. They pay to have their website pop on google when key words like “yoga” or “yoga pants” or searched. This insures that people who would be interested their products and merchandise will be directed to their website. Lululemon also has a heavy social media presence. They have advertisements on Facebook and Instagram. Another way that the brand uses Facebook is to create event pages for the classes they offer and invite people that live within that events area to like and share those event pages. This method not only helps spread awareness of the event, but also helps the brand get more online traffic since they always have a link to their website on those events pages. On Twitter and Instagram they have advertisements promoted to users who fitness or yoga account. Like the google search advertisements, this insures that they are advertising to consumers who would be interested in their products. Another marketing method used by Lululemon is their partnerships. These partnerships are formed with small business owners within a Lululemon store’s community. They have these local business owners come into their stores and hosts classes over their business, for example a local yoga studio instructor teaching a yoga class in a Lululemon store. The small business owners usually do this for free because they are getting free publicity for their business. By hosting these events Lululemon is able to attract more customers in store to buy more of their products in a more cost-effective way. Another successful marketing strategy used by the brand is their use of brand “ambassadors.” These ambassadors are usually popular fitness trainers or athletes. These are people who convey and embody the company’s values and lifestyle. These ambassadors are meant to interact and even inspire their customers to do the same thing. They may also hold classes or might just visit a store. These ambassadors receive free gear from the brand while the brand receives advertisement from the ambassadors. This strategy helps Lululemon gain more clientele from their ambassadors’ fanbase.
Nike is one of Lululemon’s competitors. They are one of the main producers of fitness apparel, including a women’s yoga line. Since Nike was founded in the mid-1960s they are a more well known established brand than Lululemon. They do not have to depend on advertising as heavily as Lululemon does because they are able to rely on their brand name alone. Another reason they are viewed as competitors to Lululemon is because they have a much wider range of products. They have products for almost every single sport or fitness activity you can think of. Lululemon’s limited range of products puts them at a disadvantage, but Lululemon is still a younger brand that will be able to catch up with Nike in time. Another competitor of Lululemon is Victoria’s Secret. They are also a more established brand than Lululemon. The main reason that Victoria’s Secret is a competitor of Lululemon is because they are able to offer the “style” factor with their product that Lululemon does. Victoria’s Secret may have a more limited product line when it comes to the fitness apparel, but they do have more stores than Lululemon. Many customers may choose to shop with Victoria’s Secret because they may not be near a Lululemon store location and are weary of buying merchandise online. Nike and Victoria’s Secret both have similar price points to Lululemon. Fabletics is a cheaper alternative for all three brands. This is why Fabletics is a major competitor for Lululemon. They offer products similar to Lulumen’s for much less. They also have a promotion where you can get your first outfit for $25 which not only brings in customers for their brand but also takes customers away from Lululemon. Their brand also offers the same styles that Lululemon has and have a diverse product line. Fabletics biggest disadvantage is that they do no have any brick and mortar locations like Lululemon.
There are many ways that Lululemon is able to stay competitive with those other brands. The first way is innovation. The brand has multiple labs that are continually experimenting with new technology and fabrics in order to create changes within the world of fitness apparel. Another competitive advantage that Lululemon has is their relationship with its customers. They have real athletes and their consumers test their merchandise to receive feedback on the quality of their products. They also offer discounts to certified yoga and fitness instructors in return the company only wants written feedback on the products purchased. They also style the brand as a “community” so all their customers feel like they are apart of the brand. The last competitive advantage that Lululemon has is their efficiency. They give their customers the option of ordering products. The products order online is shipped for free from the brands factories. This saves Lululemon costs, time, and employee resources. Another way Lululemon is efficient is its use of outsourcing. They may design all of their products in the Canada, but they are manufactured in foreign countries like China in order to lower their manufacturing costs.
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