Why lululemon is the new breed of brand
A few years back I recall seeing a former Nike VP of women’s wear speak. She was asked what was the biggest change she’d seen in that category during her time at Nike. Her answer was the emergence of lululemon, from a new player with a tiny product range and hippy attitude into a serious threat taking Nike market-share and establishing themselves as a retail brand to be reckoned with.
In the years since, lululemon has continued to grow their reputation, in the process turning into the world’s second best retailer (based on may favorite measure of sales per m2) behind Apple. More recently I was able to spend a couple of hours with the former MD of lululemon Australia who is regarded as the architect for the success of the business here. We spoke at length about the manner in which lululemon connects with the local community wherever operate in the world. The degree of authenticity, trust and loyalty the brand commands is a direct result of their ‘local’ focus. A stand-out example of this is the network of lululemon local health and wellbeing ambassadors and the classes they run in-store. But as a brand, lululemon gets active and imaginative in taking this brand belief of ‘locally connected’ much further.
Recently the brand worked in LA with Marketer, Peter Abraham, running club BlacklistLA (who run for the purpose of seeing art), and the Do Art Foundation to create a significant, large-scale public art installation that connected directly with the running community of LA. Under the guidance of Carmen Zella, Do Art’s founder a number of local artists were commissioned to create a series of public art pieces connecting to create a unique 4 mile running route.
The project was unveiled on BlacklistLA’s Monday night run, which attracted a crowd of over 600 runners. As Abraham summarizes; “The artists created inspiration for the runners, who in turn gave energy back to the artists with appreciation and a heightened awareness of their surroundings. lululemon, in turn, was able to galvanize and motivate the LA run community around a unique idea. The city of LA meanwhile got artwork that makes the downtown area a better place to live and work. This project created a virtuous circle that connected the running community, the city, and lululemon in a harmonious night of community-building, making it a great model for other cities and brands to follow.”
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more at…
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Pics via Peter Abraham – the founder of Abraham Content Marketing Studio.
Abrahams works with purpose-driven brands to tell their stories in meaningful ways.