Lululemon Athletica is by far the most well-known Canadian activewear brand. Founded in Vancouver by Chip Wilson in 1998, the company has grown from an enterprise that was a yoga clothing studio by day, yoga practice studio by night, into a global activewear brand.
What makes Lululemon stand out?
Lululemon rose to popularity when yoga became a mainstream “thing” in the early 2000’s. Today, people all over the country wear “yoga pants” daily, whether or not they are interested in practicing yoga. The pants are comfortable, form-fitting and fairly flattering because of the compression effect within the fabric.
Lululemon stands out because they appear to be the first in Canada of its kind and the biggest. The products are of good quality, and address the needs of those who live active lifestyles as well as those who just wish to wear comfy clothing. Lulu made activewear stylish. The stores are attractive and inviting, and the products hint at a healthy, trendy lifestyle many Canadians aspire to live.
The subtle Lulu logo is instantly recognizable, yet does not dominate the products. Its subtlety is its strength.
How do Lululemon’s signature elements translate into their web and social media presence?
Lulu’s social channels illustrate the healthy, active, yogic lifestyle the brand exudes. Their Facebook page includes recipes, meditation podcasts, running tips, yoga info and plenty of images of women appearing healthy and beautiful in their Lululemon activewear.
The company’s Instagram channel uses the hashtag #thesweatlife and the account description says “Our products create transformational experiences for people to live happy, healthy, fun lives.” Photos include people running together or alone, practicing yoga, and hugging each other. There are motivational posts throughout, including sayings intended to inspire the sort of lifestyle Lululemon sell, including “less scroll, more soul.”
What can we learn from Lululemon?
Lululemon’s products are not made in Canada, and the company does not position itself on the “made in Canada” pedestal. Instead, this active lifestyle brand positions itself as a transformational, global movement toward active, healthy lifestyles, and presents itself as a motivator and a provider of the tools needed to live this sort of life in a stylish, comfortable fashion.
From Lululemon, we learn that identifying people’s aspirations and then tailoring products and an entire brand story to meet and lead those aspirations, can result in a multi-million dollar, global enterprise.