What it's like being a member of the Lululemon tribe for the day

  • Opinion
  • May 9, 2016
  • Elly Strang
What it's like being a member of the Lululemon tribe for the day

Late last month over 2000 yoga-pant-clad fitness fanatics descended on Western Springs for Wanderlust. The event is described as a mindfulness triathlon that offers different workout sessions. This includes a walk or run, yoga, meditation and even hula hooping.

I was invited along as one of Lululemon’s guests and spent the day wogging (a combination of walking and jogging) the 5km session, shakily finding my strides in the yoga session and almost falling into a blissful snooze at the end of it all in the meditation session.

To my great relief, Wanderlust wasn’t just catering for the extremely health conscious.

Alongside the paleo, gluten-free food options on offer for lunch there were big, juicy burgers being sold at two of the food stalls. It’s all about the balance in life.

When I wasn’t breaking a sweat, most of my time was spent relaxing in the sun in Lululemon’s outdoor lounge area, as well as trying out the ‘the bubble experience’.

This was event activation done right, as people came in swarms throughout the day to investigate what the hell was going on inside the eye-catching bubble tent.

It was completely transparent to the outside, with plants and beanbags encircling the interior.

Meanwhile, wireless headphones played three different sounds tied to the event theme of mindfulness.

The ‘love frequency’ I found quite grating to hear (it just sounded like radio static) but the two other sounds were surprisingly peaceful. I forgot where I was for a few moments.

As outlined in a previous story, consumers are increasingly interested in experiences more so than material goods.

Experiences are easier to share socially and don’t degrade like something material, AUT marketing and retailing lecturer Dr Sommer Kapitan explained.

Lululemon could’ve taken the easy route and had a couple of clothing stands on display at the event, but it chose to do something far more memorable.

People were drawn to the mysterious bubble like bees to honey. They snapped photos, took videos and booked 15-minute sessions hours in advance to experience it.

In the process, they’d end up perusing the clothes and staying for a free drink and a perch on its lounge set. 

In a similar crowd-drawing move, Lululemon hosted a free spin class inside a tent on the beachfront at the Wanderlust Sydney event.

Its presence at these events shows the athletic apparel retailer has truly found its sweet spot in the consumer market: young, health-conscious women.

As I huffed and puffed my way through the 5km run, person after person dashed past sporting tops, bras or tights that featured the immediately recognisable stylised symbol of Lululemon.

For many, this symbol is worn like a badge of honour, denoting their belonging to its tribe.

Lululemon is also cleverly tapping into the growing ‘transformational economy’ and the consumer movement towards health and wellbeing.

Wellness tribes are growing in New Zealand, with Nike’s Britomart store hosting a run club every Wednesday. Lululemon also offers free yoga classes in its Takapuna store on a Sunday morning.

As Interbrand says: “The quest for wellness has become more prominent, and people have taken more active roles in their health—from wearing a Fitbit to seeking out more personalised insurance plans. But it’s also become more popular to “show off” your healthy side and use brands to display allegiance to a community with a distinct set of values. Smart brands are taking hold of this trend and building their own communities, either within stores, in the local area, or online.”

Seeing as Lululemon promotes its clothing as integral to getting sweaty and exercising (#thesweatlife) and outdoor pursuits, it captures consumers’ aspirations to be healthier, happier people.

Admittedly, outdoor or athletic retailers have a natural advantage at this when compared to to other apparel retailers. Their products can be easily linked to an experience, like being worn on a hike or to a yoga class.

However, The Experience Economy author Joseph Pine reckons it’s not much of a stretch for other fashion brands to start looking at offering deeper transformations than just ‘looking good’.

He said to Business Of Fashion, “Brands must remember that consumers are looking to become better people. If they’re buying physical goods, it’s to achieve aspirations, whatever they might be.”

So to other retailers, here’s my advice: More bubble tents, fewer product stands.

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Ambiente: A window on the world

Global forces like Brexit and climate change are affecting trade worldwide. Sarah Dunn consults the Ambiente trade fair in Germany for evidence of how this ...


Sephora beauty bus to tour New Zealand ahead of store launch

  • News
  • June 24, 2019
  • Emily Bell
Sephora beauty bus to tour New Zealand ahead of store launch

If you hadn’t already heard, global beauty giant Sephora is coming to Auckland this July. Founded in France by Dominique Mandonnaud in 1970 and owned by luxury goods group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitto, Sephora has since become a leading beauty pioneer, community and trailblazer in the industry, to say the least.

Read more

Pottery Barn hits the New Zealand market through Ballantynes

  • News
  • June 21, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Pottery Barn hits the New Zealand market through Ballantynes

Heritage Canterbury department store Ballantynes is introducing the US brands Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and West Elm to the Kiwi market through a New Zealand exclusive partnership with Williams-Sonoma.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Global recognition for instore innovation

  • Design
  • June 20, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Global recognition for instore innovation

The Global Innovation Awards (GIA) program was created by the IHA and International Home + Housewares Show to foster innovation and excellence in home and housewares retailing throughout the world. This year saw 30 national winners from 29 countries. The competition is structured on a two-tier level, evaluating national and global retailers across the following metrics: Overall mission statement, vision and strategy, store design and layout, visual merchandising, displays and window displays, marketing, advertising and promotions, customer service and staff training, innovation.

Read more

Trends analysed at Chicago's International Home + Housewares Show

Each new year for retailers is another question mark in guessing what to present to consumers. Luckily in the world of retail, trade shows can ...


Shoptalk 2019: The city of lights delivers

Juanita Neville-Te Rito shares a sprinkle of retail magic from Las Vegas retail conference Shoptalk.

Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit