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ISSUE 1.14 - Lululemon, a chip off the old block.

Founder of Lululemon Chip Wilson attended one of his first yoga classes at the age of 42 and what did he take away form that experience? He says he immediately noticed that people looked really uncomfortable in the baggy, mostly cotton clothes they were all wearing. A new insight was achieved.


Chip is a proud Canadian and got his foray into entrepreneurship by starting Westbeach, a surf/skate and boarding clothing company. From that experience making very specific "functional" clothing he saw a gaping opportunity to create new clothing for Yoga. While noodling this new idea around he started thinking about a name for this new brand. He knew from some past business experience in Japan, that the Japanese consumer specifically liked brand names with an L in it. Why, well because the letter L isn't in the Japanese language so it makes the name sound really American, which Japanese consumers love, a market he planed to enter right away. Playing around a little more, with words that had 3 L's, the Lululemon brand was born.


Hyper focus

Lululemon started selling it's new "special fabric" pants for $100, which at the time was super expensive for work out clothing and quite a big risk. At the time there was no way to tell how receptive women would be for this price range or this type of pant. As a result, his strategy was to hyper-targeted the pants to well-educated women in their early thirties. 32 to be specific, literally only 32 year old women. "We focused in on just that 32-year-old professional woman an no one else. We really didn't focus at all on the 33-year old, or the 31-year old. Narrowing in on one extremely narrow segment of the market was what Wilson believed Lululemon needed to succeed. This hyper focused target group was knows as "super girls." He was not concerned at all that he would be alienating other women in the process. "If you start making something for everybody, then you make something for nobody in branding." Turns out, he was right, boy was he ever right, or should it be "girl was he ever right" !



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