Lululemon Athletica is a yoga-focused athletic apparel company. Initially, I discovered the brand when I became interested in working out in my early teenage years. Although the brand makes a variety of athletic apparel, what I admire about the brand is how available it is to people who enjoy feeling comfortable in their every day lives.
In regard to the athleisure phenomenon, Forbes contributor Jeff Fromm describes that millennials are looking for more than just basic or comfort when it comes to athleisure; they’re seeking a lifestyle. Lululemon wants to communicate with their consumers that they appreciate their brand loyalty and passion for wearing their products. Each one is designed to embrace their body-positive culture with the community.
Every time you slide on a pair of Lululemon leggings in the morning, or one of their stylish and practical jackets, the brand prides itself in ensuring you feel ready to take on the day and ultimately make it a happy and healthy one. This is sometimes communicated directly with its consumers, for instance, when messages such as these depicted below are plastered across Lululemon stores and even some of their actual merchandise.
By telling us to “breathe deeply,” or “friends are more important than money,” Lululemon is encouraging us to take these ideas and enact them in our personal lives, particularly through their products. One way that Lululemon differs from its competitors (such as Zella, Athleta, or Alo Yoga) is that their original vision was to create a store that was more than a place where people could buy athletic apparel.
Lululemon was founded in 1998 by Chip Wilson in Vancouver, Canada and the company began selling yoga apparel in 2001. Prior to becoming a traditional retailer, Lululemon started as a design studio by day and a yoga studio by night. Their designs were originally just for women to wear during yoga. After receiving feedback from many consumers, the brand evolved into an entire fitness chain serving running, cycling, training, and just about anything else involving sweat. The way Lululemon has evolved is highly significant because it shows how the company is passionate about improving to better provide to its most dedicated consumers wants and needs.
According to their website, “we wanted to create a community hub where people could learn and discuss the physical aspects of healthy living, mindfulness and living a life of possibility. It was also important for us to create real relationships with our guests and understand what they were passionate about, how they liked to sweat and help them celebrate their goals.”
The website also lists national classes and events open to the public. On National Yoga Day in 2015, Lululemon hosted a yoga class celebrating summer solstice outside one of their stores. Thousands of yoga-loving, dedicated Lululemon advocates attended in support of the event.
Lululemon sets the bar tremendously high through their value of the personal wellbeing of their consumers. Designers and store employees embody what they sell to ensure that consumers’ goals align with what they are selling, and that is what makes it so unique. As stated on their website: “Our core values of quality, product, integrity, balance, entrepreneurship, greatness and fun are lived by our people every day and are at the heart of our unique company culture.”