Lululemon PR Crisis Communication

Lululemon is an athletic wear American multinational company. Chip Wilson founded the athletic wear company in 1998. The sportswear brand received a lot of criticism from the public and media due to poor quality products and the company’s management remarks on women’s bodies in 2013. Today, we’ll discuss Lululemon PR crisis communication: crisis event to the athletic wear brand; lessons learned from the Lululemon crisis management; Lululemon crisis communication strategy.

Crisis Event to Lululemon

Lululemon experienced a crisis in 2013 when many customers claimed that the fabric quality of the company’s leggings and yoga pants was very poor; holes started to appear after some use. Some complained that they could it through with holes and poor quality fabric. As a result, the company’s stock price decreased by 6% and the company’s revenue decreased by 24%.  

Lululemon PR Crisis Communication Strategy

Some of the main elements of Lululemon PR crisis communication strategy or Lululemon crisis communication and they’re as follows;

Body Shaming Remarks

Soon after the crisis event, Chip Wilson said in an interview “Some women’s bodies just don’t work for these yoga pants and leggings.” In other words, the founder and CEO of Lululemon blamed women for the defective production and manufacturing of yoga pants. It brought a lot of negative criticism and bad publicity to the company about the crisis event.

However, many critics and female activists remarked that it was not the first time that Chip Wilson said something derogatory about women’s bodies. He had been passing negative remarks about the women’s body and physique for a very long time. For instance, he once said that breast cancer is happening due to women smoking cigarettes.

Thin Apology

By the time Lululemon’s founder Chip Wilson issued a video apology to the public and media, it was very late. Customers and media professionals didn’t buy and accept the video apology of the company’s CEO. In fact, they filed a lawsuit against the company for the misleading statement and not disclosing the company’s defective material products. The company was charging high prices from the customers; employing the low-quality material to amplify its profitability. Customers felt betrayed by the company for the dishonest and false claims of the company.

Pushed Customers Away

Along with jeopardizing the trust of customers, the whole scandalous crisis event brought a lot of negative media publicity and it jeopardized the company’s reputation to a great extent. As a result, the loyal customers of the brand started buying from other competitive brands like GAP, Nike, and others. The company’s stakeholders claimed that the brand was dishonest to them.

Product Recall

It was a great PR challenge for the athletic company Lululemon to deal with the decreasing market share, bad publicity, and negative interest in the customer’s market share. Finally, the company’s management recognized production and manufacturing faults in its products; apologized to the public and media, and launched the product recall of the defective products.

Lululemon’s PR team made it clear to the media and the public that the company wasn’t hiding anything and that the whole incident happened unintentionally.

Resignation of CEO

Along with the Product Recall, it wasn’t enough for the customers and the media and they wanted the resignation of the company’s founder and CEO Chip Wilson for his derogatory remarks about women’s bodies. The board of directions, stakeholders, and shareholder compelled the company’s founder to resign from its CEO’s position

“Second Chance Pants” Campaigns

In order to rebuild the trust and confidence of customers, media, and shareholders, the PR team of Lululemon launched a “second chance pants” product campaign. The 2nd chance pants had the higher quality and better and the company charged 6 dollars less from the competitive price. The objective was to show and prove the sincere commitment of the company to resolve the issue. After the incident, the athletic wear brand started developing new and improved products for the customers

Lessons Learned from Lululemon Crisis Communication

Some of the main lessons learned from Lululemon crisis communication strategy and Lululemon crisis management; they’re as follows;

  • Timely response to the complaints of customers
  • Acknowledging the company’s mistakes of the defective products
  • Management should avoid passing derogatory remarks to the media and public, especially the physique and figure of any specific segment of the customer’s markets
  • Timely launching the product recall campaigns to take responsibility and accountability for defective products
  • Forcing the resignations of the targeted individuals to show the company’s commitment to the resolution of the problem
  • Rebuilding the trust and confidence of customers with new strategic campaigns

Conclusion: Lululemon Crisis Management Case Study | Lululemon Crisis Communication | Lululemon PR Crisis Communication

After an in-depth study of the Lululemon PR crisis communication case study; we have realized that Lululemon is the world’s leading retail chain athletic wear brand. If you are learning about the Lululemon crisis management case study; then you should keep in mind the abovementioned crisis communication strategy and lessons learned from the incident.

error: Content is protected !!