Namaste! One retail brand that is great at inspiring and educating people around the world is non-other than Lululemon Athletica! Lululemon lives, breathes, and encourages healthier and happier lifestyles.
This clothing brand was founded by Chip Wilson, whose passion lays in technical athletic fabrics. After taking his first commercial yoga class, he came to a realization that the post-yoga feeling was quite close to the exhilaration he would get while surfing, skating, or snowboarding. From this, a design studio was created that doubled as a yoga studio in the evening to pay for rent. This started an underground yoga movement where yogis could purchase exclusive yoga wear, and yoga teachers would wear the products to market and provide feedback. Eventually, in 1998 the very first Lululemon store was opened in the Kitsilano beach area of Vancouver, BC. The goal for Lululemon was to hire and train their staff to live and breathe Lululemon culture so that they could positively influence those around them. The positivity the company spreads, and the quality and popularity of their product has created a success story out of this Athletic wear brand, where it has now opened 354 stores world-wide.
With competitors like Nike and Under Armour (just to name a few), how has this athletic wear company managed to stay relevant and on top of its game? Aside from their trendy, and high quality products, Lululemon can attribute much of its success to its social media network. With 1.49M Facebook followers and 1.3M Instagram followers Lululemon Athletica has done a great job of keeping a presence on popular social media platforms. They are also on Tumblr, Pinterest, and they even maintain their own blog! With the majority of Social Networks being mobile-friendly, Lululemon’s social networks are easily accessible anywhere and at any time.
Let’s have a look at their Instagram page. Within its Instagram description, Lululemon asks its followers to show how they live #thesweatlife. This hashtag alone has 268k posts. Their #lululemon hashtag has just over 1 million. These hashtags are used by their customers who generally are wearing their products in their photos. The content on the Instagram account encourages health and fun – which in turn fosters followers. The description for many of their photos are meant to be inspirational and even educational – yet at the same time, they are promoting their brand, their products, and even to announce the opening of new stores.
On Facebook, you can see that Lululemon Athletica is quite active on their posts. Not only do they post about new products and designs, they also post inspirational articles and use this page as a tool to communicate and engage with their customers. Lululemon customers use this Facebook page to rave about products that they love, and even the very opposite: rant about products they dislike or are disappointed with. One great thing that Lululemon continues to do on Facebook is maintain responsiveness with its customers. If a customer posts a complaint regarding a product, Lululemon is quick to respond within 24 hours to ensure that they try to resolve their issue. You may have even come across one of their popular Youtube videos on Facebook called “Sh*t Yogis Say” – which has over 2.7 Million views. Why? It’s funny content of course. To those who practice yoga, the video is relatable and will I’ll admit, I’ve shared this video on my own Facebook page!
Lululemon also has personal Facebook pages for each of its stores which are looked after by their store employees. The reason behind creating separate Facebook pages for each location is to create a sense of community for the customers of those particular stores. Here, the stores can post about free local yoga classes held by store staff, and allows customers to get to know the friendly faces they’ll find at their closest Lululemon location.
Lessons for Others
It’s clear that Lululemon is definitely doing something right when it comes to using their social media networks to grow a successful business. With a goal to inspire, engage, and challenge its followers, Lululemon is not only successfully marketing its brand and products, but they are also building relationships and communities. Not only does Lululemon use social media as a marketing tool, they also use it to ensure their customers are always happy.
Name of Organization Contact: Laurent Potdevin, CEO
Authored by: cchu
If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.
Lauren Drell, (Jan 6, 2012), 5 Fitness Brands Kicking Butt on Social Media, Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2012/01/06/fitness-brands-social-media/#vMyZPOqiPgqG
Megan Haynes, (March 5, 2012), Lululemon Inspires Socially, Retrieved from http://strategyonline.ca/2012/03/05/lululemon-inspires-socially/
Company History, Retrieved from http://www.lululemon.com/about/history