Let me just say this. Lululemon is all kinds of brand smart.
It’s Saturday afternoon, and I’m in downtown Vancouver for the first time. Naturally, my first stop is the infamous Robson Street. My eye is quickly drawn to a sign with that big red circle and white horseshoe most of us women know all too well. Of course, it’s Lululemon.
I bee-line over. There isn’t a sale, but the store is packed and there is a line 15 women deep just to try on clothes. I poke around a bit and zip on a beautiful terry cloth hoodie. When I look at the price, I feel a bit queasy. My husband is with me (shopping with him is like hunting with a game warden), but if he wasn’t, I have no doubt I would bite the bullet and splurge.
It got me thinking. Why would I purchase a hoodie that costs a day’s wage? Because it would make me look trendy? Because other women would see the logo on my back and think, “Oh, she must be so fit. She wears Lululemon?”
In a word…yes.
As Steve mentioned a few weeks back (link here), we like to buy products that reflect our identity or, in other words, our brand—how we want others to see us. Women across North America are now spending less on denim, and more on athletic wear. It’s not men they are trying to impress. It’s other women—women they see at the gym, in their yoga class, on the trails. It seems, nowadays, women are opting for the brand “healthy and active, while trendy and fresh.”
And therein lies the genius of the Lululemon brand. They have capitalized on the trend of functional fashion. They know their audience. And they know how to market to them.
And marketing is key. Instead of paying big bucks to have famous athletes wear their product, they feature the locals—women who are friends of friends of almost everyone in the neighborhood. Cute trendy yoga teachers are given free clothes. I have two friends myself who “model” Lululemon. Do I want to look just like my trendy lovely friends? You bet.
Would it motivate me to spend $110 on a pair of yoga pants? (Apologies to my husband, but…) Absolutely.
It’s clear Lululemon has our number, ladies. But—if it’s true that we are what we wear—at least we’re a group of fit and fine women.