So how does Lululemon inspire such cult-like loyalty among its customer base (principally yoga practitioners)? They do the basics really well — for both in-store and online shopping. It’s clear they’re paying attention to customer experience management across many dimensions.
A Well-Designed Experience Playbook
Here are some of the things they get right:
- Know your customer — and prove it by the way you recognize her and/or personalize her experience while shopping
- Deliver high-quality products — a great balance between form and function
- Stand behind your products with great customer service, to achieve superior fit to the customer’s individual needs
- Extend the brand across multiple touchpoints
- Manage the experience from order entry through eventual in-home delivery (for online shopping)
- Look for unexpected opportunities to create delight
My Own Experience with the Brand
Here are some examples of Lululemon’s principles in action, from my own observations.
|Know your customer||They remember the style of yoga I practice, the name of the studio, and its general location. They ask about my practice whenever I visit the store (about once every 60–90 days).|
|High-quality products||Great fit, high-performance fabrics, still work well after multiple washings. Highly functional for the intended purpose, thanks to careful construction/seaming details.|
|Great service||Free alterations to improve fit.
Instant feedback for online shoppers about inventory status of specific SKUs (by color and size). No sign-on hassles.
|Branded touchpoints||Highly reusable bags, imprinted with their manifesto. I see them everywhere (even my cleaning lady carries one). On a recent flight from Boston, their logo appeared on garments worn by at least a handful of fellow travelers.|
|Design the order-to-delivery experience||Highly designed order confirmation documents (email, online invoice with tracking info); includes pictures of items ordered, along with inventory and delivery status. Very visible button to track delivery status. Well-designed tracking form. Sensible up-sell options offered at bottom of email to confirm order. It’s clear some usability experts had a hand in this…|
|Unexpected moments of customer delight||I loved everything about the order confirmation email. It increased my excitement about the forthcoming delivery.|
Behind the Scenes
I’m aware that they have adapted Apple’s “evangelism playbook”: choosing brand ambassadors from among well-respected yoga instructors within a local community.
Empowering your brand ambassadors can be a highly effective tactic for expanding the cult of brand loyalists — which I understand well from my days at Apple.
Having said that, I’ve not yet encountered any brand ambassadors in my local community — except for the unofficial, vocal enthusiasts who love their Lululemon gear and wear it all the time.