Lululemon Sweat Collective: A Passion Project
One of my biggest passions in life has always been fitness. I lift weights, I rock climb, I coach synchronized swimming, and I like to spend tons of time outside in the summer. I use the gym to fuel my spirit, procrastinate, cope with my own thoughts, and to feel the endorphins. The reason I’m telling you this is because when I wanted to work on a passion project, the fitness industry was so obvious to me. I wanted to blend my passion for fitness, marketing, design, and strategy. So I picked a company that I love: Lululemon.
During my undergrad in the Winter of 2016, I wrote a marketing paper on Lululemon, and these were my findings:
- Athleisure brands experience massive growth, and competitors have come into the market strong
- Lululemon faced major PR issues in 2013 regarding its CEO's comments about women's bodies
- In 2015 Lululemon appeared to have switched their branding to target a broader, more 'non-athletic' market, but they have since switched back to targeting active and athletic people
- Rely heavily on brand loyalty
- Opportunity for growth within men's apparel and leveraging Lululemon brand ambassadors
To start, I asked a few of my active friends to write down some of their pain points when shopping for clothing. I then grouped all their thoughts into categories and here is what I came up with:
So then I started to wonder how I could fix these problems. How might I make the user experience of shopping at Lululemon better? So I formed some “how might we (hmw)” questions.
Some ideas that I bounced around with included:
- Interactive displays in the change rooms
- Blended reality points throughout the store
- An improved influencer program
- Social media campaign easter eggs throughout the store
- Improved store layout to enhance social engagement
The next day, instead of working off my own memory of a Lululemon store, I decided to visit the location at Conestoga Mall in Waterloo to observe whether these pain points existed there.
I thought the overall experience was excellent as far as clothes shopping went. While I didn’t like the exterior of the changerooms of the particular store because it was very exposed, the staff were excellent, the store was well-lit, I could see most of the merchandise, and the mirrors made it easy to see the clothes on me. I was about to give up on Lululemon because I forgot how great of an experience it was shopping there. But then I saw it:
The Sweat Collective
The Sweat Collective is a program that offers “local influencers” a 25% discount, found here. Basically, if you are a fitness instructor, coach, professional athlete, or personal trainer, you are eligible for the discount and the exclusive newsletter. Lululemon has access to a lot of fitness influencers and people who strongly represent the values of the brand.
Then, when I was checking out, I was trying to use my Sweat Collective discount, and this process took quite a lengthy amount of time. First, they had to find my profile. To my dismay, I found my membership had actually expired, so I had to prove to them again that I still coached synchronized swimming to be able to get my discount. This process took nearly 10 minutes. During this time, I was chatting with the employees about the program, and my creative juices just started flowing!
Leveraging the Program
Influencer marketing in the fitness industry has always been fascinating to me, so I settled upon this route. But how can the Sweat Collective be better? How can we encourage more use of and leverage the sweat collective? How might we engage and bring together a community?
I propose creating an exclusive stand-alone app that users download when they join the Sweat Collective in stores. The features of this app will include:
- A “membership card” that is scan-able to prove membership to receive in-store discounts
- A renew membership notification and ability to renew online
- Early access to new merchandise online
- Exclusive social media contests
- Discounts on Lululemon affiliated classes
- Tailored local content, “Pinterest” style
- Size match suggestion to help influencers find their correct size at nearby stores
- Could you incorporate augmented reality somehow?
- How would the verification work? Would there need to be an actual human verifying? How long would it take?
- Do people want another app? I want to save space on my phone only keep the necessary apps.