Recently there has been a lot of press regarding Lululemon’s CEO blaming women’s bodies for the wear and tear on their pants. Once again, leave it to Facebook to see everyone’s thoughts and opinions.
In the articles I read, the pressing issue is that the CEO of Lululemon claims that the reason clothing articles are wearing out quickly is not because of the quality of the material but because some women simply do not have the body for their products. This has created a huge negative uproar online and through other forms of media that Lululemon will struggle to get their trusted brand back. Their once revolutionary marketing tactics have now been tainted by the CEO, who is no longer aligned with Lululemon’s core values.
This recent news has created informal discussions among consumers in a negative way about the company and Lululemon is struggling to make a come back. I do not feel Chip Wilson approached the situation correctly, and because of his outright blunt comments people will weigh this negativity heavier than any positive feedback resulting from this. The reality is that Lululemon is a fitness apparel store that promotes healthy/balanced lifestyles and women over a certain weight do not necessarily fit with that motto. Granted there are many exceptions, but I feel that they have the right to market themselves as a fitness company as apposed to a company like Abercrombie and Fitch that says you have to be skinny to look good. Consumers will dwell on this negativity because it is all around them and they trust what their peers have to say. Lululemon is clearly less credible now and people on social media have spread this information to a large amount of people quickly.
Recent negative press will also hinder people from being seen with the Lululemon logo and will create a dissociative group. People will not want to be apart of the Lulu lemon phenomenon simply because they will not want to be associated with their “poor” values.
I believe that the company will have to leverage its loyal consumer tenure to help them create their positive attitude again. Lululemon has provided consumers with superb, quality clothing since inception and have created a huge fitness trend among young adults. I know myself and many of friends still stand by them.
Other than quality assurance, Lululemon should provide consumers with the tools they need to live a healthy lifestyle and find clothing that is right for them. In the store, have a sales associate assist people in finding items that have the correct fit for their body type. Lululemon has already created an empire in which people view their ideal self-concept and have aspirations to be apart of the Lululemon world. There are many admirable stories online about women who strive to get fit and become a part of Lululemon. The company always helps them on their journey and reward them once they reach their goals. This should be publicized!
To come back from this debacle, Chip needs to apologize sincerely or resign as CEO. He has lost the company millions of dollars, and not to mention many customers. People love Lululemon and I believe that potentially launching a viral campaign showcasing their values along with creating forums online for people to talk on would help turn them around. Even a celebrity figure could assist people in wanting to be apart of the group again. People have a brand attitude towards Lululemon and I think it could be restored through this campaign and the removal of the root problem.
Bhasin, Kim. “Lululemon Admits Plus-Size Clothing Is Not Part Of Its ‘Formula'” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 02 Aug. 2013. Web. 07 Nov. 2013.