Today’s post comes with a bit of selfish pleasure…I, like many others in Charleston, anxiously await as the doors to the new Lululemon Charleston Store open today on King Street! I am among the many in this community that have been transformed into a “Lulu Girl”, although it took a lot to get me to purchase my first $50 tank! The second I did, I never turned back…I can’t get enough. For as much time as I spend in gym clothes on a weekly basis, I prefer to shop at Lululemon for my workout wardrobe, and Target for all the rest! Without getting too far in to how incredibly awesome their products really are, I will say that if you have never tried it, you should; Wait no longer, your sweaty hours each day will be transformed, whether it be on the yoga mat, running, spin class, the weight room, or on a paddle board!
My post today is more about brand awareness and brand following. How can a simple symbol change the way the world views fitness?
Most of the time when you see this logo, you never see the name with it. What that tells us is that the Brand itself is strong standing on its own. Across the world, fitness gurus and common folk alike know what this symbol stands for. I did know what this logo meant long before I took the plunge. It is hard to say, but I would bet that a lot of “brand conscious” men and women wear Lululemon to the grocery store just for that little symbol. Those of us who actually wear it to sweat know that it goes way beyond the symbol on the back of our tank!
But how do we go about creating this following for our own brand? Let’s take a brief look at what Lululemon does differently than some of the other national fitness brands (This is only from my perspective and my opinion).
I actually came to know Lululemon not from their clothing first. It was not a meeting with their product, but a meeting of their people who jump-started my Lulu experience. In each of the cities where they have a showroom or a store, they employ various fitness-minded members of the community to be ambassadors for their brand. Not only do they wear the clothing, but they speak about Lululemon throughout the community at their various gyms, classes, and events. Their brand not only embodies their fabrics and their fit, but the company culture as well.
Of course the products are awesome, I already said that. To have a strong brand, you must have a strong product or service to provide, but that is sort of no-brainer, right? However, they took it one step further to create a product that can be worn not only in the gym, but also out into the world. They focused on who their target customer would be, what they look like, where they spend their days, where they spend their free time…and they transformed their product to mold to this target. I would wager to say that like me, most of Lulu followers leave the gym and maybe don’t go directly home…they have to run to the grocery to get dinner, to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription, and maybe to a neighbor’s house to drop off something borrowed. My point is that the clothes not only work well, they play well to…they look good! They are flattering and are (most of them) appropriate to run a few errands in around town.
I think I blogged about this a few months ago, but I read an interesting article about Lululemon that focused on their growth specifically, but stated that Lulu very rarely puts items on sale. Why? Because they don’t have to! They have created a brand that is so well-loved and well followed that they sell out long before they need to move the product!
Yes, I will be at the new Charleston Lululemon store later today with friends…even though I just got a package in the mail from them yesterday with a new jacket! I have quite the collection of these by now: