For its twentieth birthday, Lululemon got a brand new bag.
“It’s the perfect time to really re-look, and make sure longstanding [practices] are still relevant and powerful with our guest and our communities today,” said Celeste Burgoyne, Lululemon’s evp of retail Americas.
Timed with the anniversary, taking place this month, the activewear brand is refreshing its signature “manifesto,” a group of words and phrases reflecting the brand’s core values, which are popularly displayed in every store location. It’s also featured on the brand’s iconic “shopper,” a shopping bag often reused as a tote.
Birthday festivities, set to play out through September, also include a robust social campaign, including videos featuring five brand ambassadors; birthday parties in 20 stores — NYC’s Fifth Avenue store welcomed 800 guests; murals in Brooklyn and LA; 25 stores “wrapped” in the manifesto (the words are displayed across their storefront windows); and an activation at the SeaWheeze Half Marathon in the company’s hometown of Vancouver.
Lululemon has much to celebrate: On Thursday, Lululemon released its earnings report for the second quarter of fiscal 2018: Revenue for the quarter reached $723.5 million, up 25 percent year-over-year. Notably, sales at stores open for at least 12 months were up 20 percent for the quarter, and e-commerce sales saw 50 percent growth from 2017.
Lululemon’s new shoppers
Like the first manifesto, the new version centers on nine themes: integrity, personal responsibility, social impact, honesty, authentic self, overcoming fear, greatness, purpose, and fun and laughter — and many of the original featured values stayed intact. “It was really a culmination of the past and the future,” said Burgoyne. “But one of my favorite lines is a new line: ‘The most important answers will never be found in a search bar.’ It has the same expression and meaning of the manifesto 20 years ago, but it’s a reflection of the world today.”
The manifesto will be featured in a limited-edition, six-piece apparel collection, as well as in stores and on packaging. The trademark shopper itself will also see a redesign, offered in new colors, shapes and sizes, including a medium bag and a jumbo bag, made to fit outerwear bought in stores and able to be slung over the shoulder like a tote.
Lululemon’s NYC store, featuring the new manifesto
The refresh was led by brand creative director Rémi Paringaux, a longtime art director with experience at brands including Gucci, Balmain and Hermès, who joined Lululemon in January and wanted to “shake things up.” Everyone from ambassadors to employees pitched phrases, which were edited down to those most representative of the brand.
Paringaux said, while the design was in need of some help, for the most part, the content held up — calling the original manifesto “ahead of its time.”
“Lululemon really put wellness on the map,” he said. “Wellness has become a trend, but it’s a good trend. You really realize that when you work here — especially coming from the luxury fashion industry, an industry that’s not so nice. I’m now trying to enable my best potential and my best self.”
Other executives on rebranding:
Ukonwa Ojo, CMO of consumer beauty at Coty, Inc.
“In leading the Covergirl relaunch, we started with the insight that people no longer strive for a singular standard of beauty, but use makeup as a tool for self-expression and personal transformation. This is bigger than a new campaign or a tagline. We wanted to spark a provocative dialogue that shifts cultural assumptions about when, where, how and why people wear makeup. We’ve been really pleased with how well this message has resonated with media, consumers and beauty influencers.”
Matt Scanlan, CEO and co-founder of Naadam:
“The shift from Naadam Cashmere to Naadam was very simple. We were responding to our customers. People called us Naadam and almost never Naadam Cashmere, so we cut the cashmere.”
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