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Lululemon is a global company that produces athletic apparel and yoga accessories. The company began its existence in Canada in 2001 (2015 annual report, 2015). Nowadays, it has shops all over the world and its headquarters are located in Canada and Great Britain. The total assets are $1.29 billion. Lululemon Company is a leader in producing clothes for athletics in spite of the existence of its numerous competitors such as Athleta, Nike, and Under Armour (2015 annual report, 2015). Despite many failures that appeared during the companys operation, it still attracts a large target audience.

However, the marketing of the company cannot be called successful in any case. The public is aware of the companys many failures such as false advertising, issues with unsatisfactory quality of products, legal disputes, and controversial statements of the companys founder. Hence, the company needs to urgently devise a new marketing plan in pursuit to maintain its leadership position in producing athletic apparel and accessories.

Objectives, Goals, and Mission Statement

Although Lululemon Company is large and international, there is enough room for new improvements and revisions. A marketing plan is one of the most important parts in the development of any company, especially if such company has numerous competitors. Adidas and Nile are two companies that are more popular among the target audience than Lululemon is. Thus, the company needs to have some specific objectives for developing of the marketing plan. Therefore, the main principles of the mission statement should be to expand the companys sales, open new stores in foreign countries, and improve the companys reputation.

Regarding the objectives, the first one should aim at increasing sales at least by 10%. In order to achieve it, the company plans to introduce products for the new customers share, like pregnant women. The company is growing, and therefore the amount of income should increase, too.

The second objective is to open new locations and shops. In order to achieve it, the company will have to investigate the customers share in the other countries. Recently new shops were opened in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Germany, Australia, the United Kingdome, Singapore, and Hong Kong (2015 annual report, 2015). Lululemon is very popular in Canada since it was created there. However, this company is not a leader in the USA, European countries or in any others. Hence, the popularization of the product on foreign markets is one of the most important parts of the marketing plan. A special plan should be created for each country or region since cultural and political conditions play a major role among the target audience.

Concerning the goals, it is necessary to note that the major one lies in improving the reputation of the company. It is impossible to make people forget about the previous faults (in particular, bad marketing decisions applied by the company), but it is possible to avoid them in the future. The founder of the company has once said some controversial statement that has led to the decrease in the popularity of Lululemon Company. As a result, there is a need in professionals that can teach the companys personnel how to behave in the public and how they should work in the company. Another goal presupposes increasing the website traffic and online sales, thus expanding the number of individuals that buy the companys products, and even working on increasing the number of Twitter followers and Facebook likes.

Segmentation

Marketing segmentation is a process of creating different marketing strategies for different target audiences. For instance, men and women are differently interested in sport apparel: while men care only about comfort, women want their clothing to be attractive and gorgeous. In addition, Lululemon Company also produces products for children. As such, different strategies should be implemented aimed at meeting the needs of the three aforementioned target audiences.

The marketing plan should also be segmented in case of dealing with different age groups since the notion of fashion is perceived differently by teenagers and pensioners. The same thing is with athletic apparel: both adults and the elderly buy the companys products and their needs are different. Consequently, there should be different types of advertising. For instance, teenagers and the youth tend to search information about products on the Internet (social networks or website). Therefore, it would be more rational to place advertisements designed to aim this target audience specifically on the Internet. Pensioners, however, do not use the Internet as often as the youth, so advertisements for the elderly can be placed on the radio, TV, and on billboards. Besides, considering the fact that men usually drive a car, one may come to a conclusion that advertisements on the radio will be highly effective. On the other hand, women go shopping more often than men, so advertisements aimed at women can be put on billboard near shops. In addition, customers from different countries have different culture: for instance, what is popular in Canada or the USA will not be popular in some Asian or African countries. So, the other aspects that the company should consider when making efficient marketing plans abroad are culture, political conditions, laws, and climate.

Targeting and Positioning

Since Lululemon Company produces sport clothes and yoga accessories, the main target audience is women of 20-34 years old. Despite the fact that people of other ages are also interested in the companys products, according to Lululemon Company, their main target audience is young and educated women that value and lead a healthy lifestyle.

The importance of knowing the target audience is essential in any marketing plan. To ensure that advertising is appropriate, the most crucial thing is to understand what kind of female audience will be interested in the companys products. There is a popular consideration that young womens images could be used in adverts as they are physically attractive and could thus draw attention of the broad audience.

The company wants to expand to different parts of the world. However, there are countries where Lululemon Company cannot manage to find the target audience. For instance, in developing countries, sports and gym are believed to be a luxury or a waste of time and money. Therefore, such countries are not an appropriate market. In addition, as it was previously mentioned, the main target audience of the company is educated women, while the level of educated people in developing countries is not high enough. So, finding the target audience is the most important part in the creation of marketing plan and ensuring further companys success.

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The problem of Lululemon Company is its narrow target audience. According to the chairperson of the company, they do not produce clothes of big sizes since it is very expensive (Thomas, 2007). First, such strategy can be regarded as impolite according to overweight people. Second, the company loses many potential clients. The main competitors of Lululemon Company Nike and Adidas launch products for everyone: from small children to the elderly, from slim ones to people who needs big sizes, from women to men. It is the main reason why it is hard for Lululemon to compete with such companies as Nike and Adidas.

In order to alter the current situation, strategic positioning has to be used. It will assist the company to achieve competitive advantage over its competitors. Positioning could be applied in advertisements, sales locations, and through price. Advertisements could be applied on mass media and billboards, and it will help to attract womens attention. Moreover, it could be also used in malls, where women could be provided with a chance to test clothing. The right pricing strategy could also be applied as positioning strategy since it will inform the potential consumer on the product. The sample products of Lululemon Company could be also distributed into sport clubs and yoga classes free of charge. It will help potential consumers to try it on practice, test its quality, and get more data about the items.

Promotional Tactics

The promotional tactics will be explained on the example of products for pregnant women. As the main target audience of Lululemon Company is women from 20 to 34 years (Kaleigh, 2012), it is evident that this is the best period for pregnancy hence many women either get ready for pregnancy or want to come back to their previous shape after pregnancy. As a result, many advertisements are created for pregnant women with an emphasis on comfort. Such advertisements often compare their products with those of the other companies. However, this tactic is not efficient since the company should present its advantages instead of other companies disadvantages.

One of the promotional tactics is public relations. Lululemon Company actively provides its customers with yoga master classes (Kaleigh, 2012). They are especially popular among pregnant women since instructors are also pregnant and stimulate women to do sport even when they have little opportunity for this. Another instrument of public relations is publications in newspapers or magazines. For instance, some sport stars can give interviews mentioning that they performed in Lululemons clothes and it helped them to succeed. Hence, public relations is not direct advertising but is still efficient.

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Promotional sales are also an efficient promotional tactic, which includes different promotions that foster customers to participate. For instance, Lululemon Company calls people for taking photos with Lululemons production, and they can get a prize up to $500 (Soni, 2014). Such promotional tactic fosters people that did not have Lululemons products to buy them.

Social media is the last type of promotional tactics, which includes the promotion of the companys products in such social networks like Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Twitter and others (Kaleigh, 2012). Since the main target audience of the company is the youth, social networks are the best way to achieve their attention. For instance, new sport shoes in exchange for repost stimulate customers to promote the company themselves.

Monitoring and Evaluation

In general, the marketing strategy of Lululemon Company is successful since the company is the biggest producer of sport apparel in Canada, but such major competitors like Nike and Adidas are much more popular in the other countries. One of the possible reasons why the marketing plan in Canada is efficient is the absence of competitors on the national market of Canada.

When monitoring the overall state of the marketing plan of Lululemon Company, it becomes obvious that this company has successfully defined its target audience. Young women are the main customers of the company hence the main objective of the marketing plan is to attract their attention. Most of advertising, public relations strategies, and other promotional tactics are created for this group of people. It is the reason why the company became as successful as it is in selling products for pregnant women and women of 20-34 years of age.

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Neglecting the other potential target audience, the company makes one of the biggest mistakes. Men, children, and the elderly also do sport. Still, the Lululemon Company does not change its strategy and further produces clothes merely for young women. That is why old people and men do not even consider the company as the one that can satisfy their interests. In addition, young families that include a man, a woman, and children often go shopping in the same place. This, it is much more efficient to sell sport apparel for the whole family at the same time.

There are also some issues that spoil the companys reputation. For instance, the chairperson of the company claims that they do not produce apparel for overweight since it is very costly. In addition, the company is known for such accidents like Lululemon murder, when one employee killed another in one of the shops, or problems with the clothes quality when the company was forced to recall its products (Thomas, 2007). The results of the general evaluation of the company are good since it is one of the leading companies in producing sport apparel for young women. Nevertheless, the company has lost a major part of its potential customers due to their policy.

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The company obviously cannot effectively compete with such global companies like Nike and Adidas. However, it remains a leader in Canada. One of the main companys objectives is to spread its influence to the other countries such as the USA, Europe, and Latin America. The main target audience is women of 20-34 years of age. Special attention is paid to pregnant women since the major part of target audience aims to become fitter either in the process of or after pregnancy. The company uses such promotional tactics as advertising, public relations, promotional sales, and social media in order to attract more target audience. Hence, the overall evaluation of Lululemon Company is on a quite good level since the company is a leader of producing sport apparel in Canada. Nevertheless, the company neglects its potential customers and does not pay enough attention to its reputation. Therefore, by improving the marketing plan, the company can become a serious competitor to Nike and Adidas even in the USA.

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