Lululemon is a brand with a loyal cult-like following, but Customers began to sour on the Lululemon brand last year. However, the buzz is anything but sour on Lululemon these days. And it’s because they are realigning to their Customer-center.
September 1st, the high-end yoga-wear maker introduced their new Pant Wall. The new fits are arranged according to how they feel when worn, rather than the silhouette as it was in the past. The new pants range from Tight fit to Relaxed and include other fits such as Held in, Hugged or Naked.
I realize of course that I am not the target of Lululemon, since I would never wear yoga pants (you’re welcome!). They certainly wouldn’t have my size. And if they did, the sight of me wearing this is enough to put everyone off their food for a week! However, the last fit description sounds interesting, to say the least!
The new fit descriptions are designed to help Customers know which fit is appropriate for what activity. The new wall is in response to Customer Feedback that they were confused about how the pants should fit and sometimes bought them too big. The Pant Wall was designed to help Customers feel less confused in the store more satisfied with their purchase after they leave.
The Customer response to the change seems to be positive, according to analysts. They are upgrading the stock and forecasting a positive turning point the brand by the 4th quarter. Morgan Stanley upgraded LULU, predicting that the stock will continue its success in earnings for 2016.
The VOC is the Key
So what does this story show us? It shows us two things. First, that listening to the Voice of the Customer (VOC) is an important part of your brand strategy. Second, that incorporating what you hear in the VOC to your Customer Experience pays off for your bottom line, a.k.a. stock price value rising.
An important part of your success (a.k.a. stock price value rising), is having a few ways to keep in touch with the VOC. Lululemon has a few channels in place to listen to the VOC:
- There is the Ambassador program, designed to give local athletes and brand ambassadors a way to weigh in on the product lines.
- Then there is the heylululemon.com site (also called their feedback page) where they invite their Customers to make suggestions and submit ideas.
- There is the Guest Education Centre, where they answer all questions and concerns via email, live chat, or call center.
They also do roundtable research at the store level. One of my work associates emailed me recently regarding a recent experience she had with Lululemon. When she was invited to an event at the store, she thought it was a party with drinks and snacks and would feature an exclusive preview for new products. However, it turned out to be something much more rewarding. Here’s what she described:
“…Don’t get me wrong, there were drinks and snacks. However, I, along with about 10 other people, had the opportunity to not only network a bit, but also sit at a round table where we were asked about our lives and what inspires us, as well as our thoughts, likes, and reasons for shopping with Lulu. Then, they offered us a chance to give feedback on our concerns and what they could change and improve (whilst notes were taken by the store and Regional managers of the brand). They also had new products we were given the opportunity to try on and give feedback as well. At the end of the evening, it was also a nice surprise to be given a gift card to shop with them again.”
All of these listening channels are paying off—and according to stock pundits, by next year or even the fourth quarter this year, quite literally.
It’s nice to see a brand remember what makes Customer Loyalty and Retention work. Lululemon had begun to lose their balance with their Customers coming out of their pose as the top Yoga-wear brand. But by realigning their strategy with a Customer focus and listening to the VOC, they are once again finding their Customer Center, and positioned to take the top spot once more.
How are you listening to the VOC with your brand?
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Colin Shaw is the founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s leading Customer experience consultancy & training organizations. Colin is an international author of five bestselling books and an engaging keynote speaker.
Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter & Periscope @ColinShaw_CX