Friday, November 1, 2013

Gaby DiChiro: Assignment 3

Lululemon Athletica is a unique company that prides itself in selling not only yoga-inspired athletic apparel but also an enlivening new lifestyle. I have been buying Lululemon apparel for about seven years now and I will confidently say that the inspiring and growing community that this company continues to build upon has led me to make several vital changes in my life, which have in turn resulted in a more enriching and healthy lifestyle that I continue to embrace more and more everyday. Just by browsing the company’s website, one can gain the sense of community and lifestyle that company strives to create – one that promotes “long, healthy, and fun lives.”

The Lululemon website does an exceptional job in devoting 50% of their site to marketing its athletic apparel and other products while the other 50% is dedicated to educating its community members on matters such as product care, goal setting, sustainability, and healthy living tips. The latter also includes a link to their blog and a messageboard for feedback and discussion. Their manifesto, which is located on their shopping bag as well as on their website is a collaboration of inspirational quotes, words, and facts that together, sufficiently deliver the overall message that the company wishes to instill in its customers and/or community members. The power of this manifesto leads consumers to want to continue to buy into their products and adapt the lifestyle in which it has created. It is extremely transparent that the company really does care about their customers and wants to make a lasting impact on their lives.

The website does an excellent job in marketing the Lululemon brand because they are constantly updating the content and are able to keep members and consumers interested and intrigued. They are constantly getting new products, which are always displayed on the site as large images coupled with the product’s purpose, impact, and benefits. The site even provides an entire section devoted to the quality of their products, the fabrics and technologies used to make their products, and the sustainability of their products. This allows for users to really know how their products are being made and gain more knowledge as to why the prices of their products are set slightly higher than most other athletic apparel companies. This section also includes a feedback and discussion forum in which people can talk about why and why not they enjoyed certain products and suggestions to the company for how they can improve products in the future. By dedicating a section of their site to discussion, it promotes a more inclusive and participatory culture among its members – one in which they feel like their input is actually acknowledged and being taken into account. Lululemon also puts on various yoga classes and other events at almost all store locations – allowing for the community to come together in order to inspire, teach, and embrace similar interests with one another. The events are promoted through their website and feedback from participants regarding these events is also posted.

One key feature that is not utilized on the Lululemon website is the use of premiums to attract new customers. This company seems to devote most of their energy in marketing to current users rather than extending its targeted segments to new consumers. There never seems to be any special deals promoted through their website and the sale items are very limited and often overlooked due to a lack of promotion. They have a strong loyal customer basis and strive to strengthen their relationship with those customers to the best of their ability, which they are very successful in doing.

Overall, the Lululemon website is very easy to navigate and its simplicity allows for visitors to really focus in on the content and the message that the company is trying to deliver rather than unnecessary distractions. The content flow and positive, impacting content that the site provides makes the Lululemon marketing methods extremely effective. 

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