Lululemon Athletica —How One Company Succeeded in one of the Most Ruthless Industries
Lululemon Athletica, a Canadian yogawear company has done something impossible. In one of the most saturated industries (retail apparel) with Adidas, Under Armours and Nike, they were able to carve out a significant market share. How were they able to go from 0 in 1998 till 14 billion dollar market cap today?
By using the strategies below:
🧘- Retail Experience (Ch#1)
Founder of Lululemon Chip Wilson, has already gathered needed experience by growing and selling Westbeach and Homeless which were skateboarding and snowboarding companies. The biggest lesson? Cashflow and reliable suppliers.
🧘- Emerging Trend (Ch#2)
Even if you have everything perfected — from distribution, product and market strategy. If the market isn’t ready for your product, you will tire yourself out. Wilson noticed the emerging trend and offer the product that filled the gap. By being first and fast, the market size was his for the taking.
🧘- Product Perfection (Ch#3)
From the design, functionality and visual attractiveness — Lululemon garments have won over women hearts (and booties). The sheer focus on perfection justified the high price point which their audience were happy to pay.
🧘- Law of Category (Ch#4)
The “Law of Category” chapter from “22 Immutable Laws of Marketing” was the guiding strategy for the Canadian yogawear company. Instead of going in the gauntlet with other sports tech golems like Nike or Adidas, Lululemon invented a new category combining the functionality of workout clothing and premium look and feel of a streetwear. The athleisure category has been born and they were the first to take on the spoils.
🧘- Nailing the Target Persona (Ch#5)
Every marketer harps on the importance of target persona — the one or several individuals who possess demographic and psychographic attributes of their perfect client.
Lululemon developed Ocean (and Duke) — a 32-year old successful business woman who owns a condo, is it top shape and embraces the modern yoga lifestyle. They hit the nail on the head with estimation.
🧘- Keeping the Staff Happy (Ch#6)
Lululemon is being loved by their employees because of the support, up to 30% better pay rates and feeling of community. Today Lululemon is one of the top 10 employers in US (according to Glassdoor.com).
🧘- Branding Power (Ch#7) — In the full guide
🧘- The Most Memorable Retail Experience (Ch#8) — In the full guide
🧘- Lululemon’s Secret Sauce — Ambassador Program (Ch#9)
Influencer marketing is one of the most successful strategies for exponential growth. Lululemon invented their own ambassador program by leveraging local fitness and yoga coaches for promoting Lulu’s product while helping them grow their business at the same time. This symbiotic relationship worked out tremendously for hyper-local markets (wherever the Lululemon retail stores opened).
🧘- Embracing Social Media (Ch#10)
You have to go where your customers are. Lululemon’s audience was predominately women so Lululemon used Social Media channels like Pinterest and Instagram to grow over 2 million followers. While social media isn’t the channel to conduct sales (even though instagram is changing that) it was the perfect way to widen their brand exposure.
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