PR & Social Media Practices: lululemon, Fabeletics and Ellie

One of the biggest topics for entrepreneurs is branding. Positioning yourself correctly in your market, and aligning with the right client is important. Your message will determine who comes to you. This is equally important when dealing with PR for a major brand. Whether you’re Lululemon, McDonald’s, or RedBull. Your messaging on social media needs to be consistent with what your audience expects from you. For my case study,  I chose to look at Fabeletics for their Facebook, and compare them to their competition. As Fabeltics is an online only store, I decided to look at two different options for competitors. I chose Lululemon, which is an in-store & online fitness clothing company, and Elle, which is an online-only subscription service for fitness wear. Each of these different brands is at a different price point. lululemon is the highest price. They provide high-quality activewear and are known for quality so the price tag can be higher. Fabeltics is the middle ground. It is partly a subscription service. People will be charged monthly for credits unless they skip. These credits are about $60 and can get an individual a workout outfit. Lastly, Ellie. They are a monthly subscription box at $35 which provides a workout outfit to the subscriber every month.

For my case study,  I chose to look at Fabeletics for their Facebook, and compare them to their competition. As Fabeltics is an online only store, I decided to look at two different options for competitors. I chose Lululemon, which is an in store & online fitness clothing company, and Elle, which is an online only subscription service for fitness wear.

Each of these different brands is at a different price point. lululemon is the highest price. They provide high-quality activewear and are known for quality so the price tag can be higher. Fabeltics is the middle ground. It is partly a subscription service. People will be charged monthly for credits unless they skip. These credits are about $60 and can get an individual a workout outfit. Lastly, Ellie. They are a monthly subscription box at $35 which provides a workout outfit to the subscriber every month.

Fabeletics Social Activity:

When looking at Fabeletics on Facebook, they focus on two types of posts:

First, they choose bold photos, like the one below from August 25th on Facebook, that show off their clothing, but also are very striking and eye-catching to the audience. They know a majority of people who wear their clothing would not be doing things like this, but it is a marketing tactic to make people fee like, “Oh, if I get that outfit then I can do activities like this.” It is a popular marketing tactic to increase sales with a promise of status along with a product.

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Second, they chose to do posts that add value to their customers. This includes posts with links to recipes, articles, and other content that people who are focused on a healthier lifestyle may find interesting and useful. These types of posts are what keep followers coming back to the page. The value they provide, and the possibility of notification of sales and deals, encourage people to click the “LIKE” button and continue interacting with the page. This video is just one example of how Fabeletics promotes a healthy, fitness focused culture for their consumers, and gives them valuable content. They provided a workout video with ladies wearing their outfits, and giving those at home a workout to try.

When looking at Lululemon on Facebook:

They follow the same trend as Fabeletics, which is providing posts to encourage a purchase, and then posting items to give value back to their audience. Sometimes lululemon combines these posts to give value, and then also mention the products for purchase. They provide two different types of posts:

Photos featuring their products that are eye catching. Whereas Fabeltics does a lot of posts of women in unusual positions, Lululemon focuses on simplicity, and really highlighting their products, and making people feel like they need to have them as a part of their lives.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Flululemon%2Fposts%2F10155174991212732%3A0&width=500

As shown below, they often provide articles related to activities they believe their key audience would participate in. Yoga is a common activity for fitness focused women, and lululemon provides many articles of clothing for yoga, so this post fits into their niche and would give good information to their audience. By providing this information, lululemon looks like an expert in the field, which encourages people to go to their store and ask questions.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Flululemon%2Fposts%2F10155169061422732&width=500

Lastly, an added benefit that comes from having brick & mortar stores is that each location has a Facebook page, which they post local events, sales, free classes, and many other benefits to encourage a community around the store in the local area. You can visit both Colorado Springs lululemon, and Denver lululemon to see examples of this.

Ellie on Facebook:

Lastly, let’s look at Ellie, the fitness subscription box. They don’t have brick and mortar shops, just like Fabeltics, but all these companies provide fitness clothing and target very similar audiences. This is more a relatively new brand, but they are gaining a lot of traction with those who love fitness and convenience.

Though Ellie does similar posts, like both brands above, they also do two things quite unique which I think is really helping the brand gain traction, trust, and brand awareness. This is using individual’s pictures to help them promote their clothing.

One: This is using individual’s pictures to help them promote their clothing. They ask people to hashtag or tag the company in their posts, and then Ellie gets free promo material from all the customers who have purchased their outfit that month. They also provide some select influencers on social media with the outfit earlier than the public in order to have posts to use for the whole month.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fmeetellie%2Fposts%2F1543656925672906&width=500

Two: They employ quotes and funny saying that would relate to their core audience. These posts have been shown to really get traction with an audience because often people like to share these types of posts to their own profile, which then gets free exposure for the brand.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fmeetellie%2Fposts%2F1554623941242871&width=500

The example above shows just one example of the post. For a small brand, they are getting really good interaction with posts like above, whereas both Fabletics and lululemon don’t employ this type of post.  I think because Ellie is looking at a slightly younger demographic they feel that this type of quote post is successful.

Overall:

Each brand carries over some of the same practices, including frequent posting, “flat-lays” (as they are known to people) to show off outfits, and examples of workouts or recipes that would give value to their audience, but each one does it slightly differently.

lululemon has the most mature branding of the three brands because they provide clothing for people of all ages. They don’t want to just appeal to one age group but be a resource for all women (and some men) looking to find quality clothing for their active lifestyle.

Fabletics is more adventurous of the three brands. They post photos that are exciting, risky, and slightly outside the comfort zone of most people. They use this as an attempt to create a feeling of adventure and excitement around their outfits and show that their brand is a more risky one. They have you covered for any adventure.

Lastly, Ellie is new. It’s just starting to gain traction, and they know that social media is their biggest support. They were willing to engage with their fans often, they share posts from their customers and highlight them. They are heavy into using content that comes to them from others, which can help you offset the costs of needing multiple professional models and photoshoots to give you content.

I do feel as though lululemon and fabletics could encorporate the customer photos into their marketing a bit more on facebook, because I feel like this trend is one that really won’t ever change. People relate to real individuals, we like to see how others wear the outfits. This is the biggest thing I think I would change for the other brands.

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