Lululemon Content Marketing for Cause Based Niches

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( — November 14, 2015) Vancouver — Content marketing is quickly becoming one of the most important pillars of marketing strategy. It fulfills many different roles, from brand awareness to conversions and SEO. Content marketing becomes truly great when it has a unified message. That only happens when a brand is accompanied by a cause. There are plenty of examples of case-based marketing, but in this post we will use Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) as a case study to explore how a casue can elevate content marketing and take it a level beyond.


The defining cause of Lululemon is “Fuel Happiness.” The brand has attached itself to a series of campaigns related to happiness and positive feelings. There is a clear connection between happiness and athletics- scientific research supports the idea that exercise makes people happier. But turning that into an opportunity for cause-based marketing was a unique strategic insight for Lululemon. Most athletic brands tend to gravitate towards serious themes like discipline and work ethic. Lululemon can connect to a more positive and warm mood using its connection to happiness. Turning happiness into a cause opens up many possibilities for Lululemon.
For example, content marketing works best when there are many posts and other pieces of content on similar themes. By encouraging its customers to be happy, Lululemon has a ready-made theme with many possible applications. Anything from motivational phases and posters to pep talks or detailed discussions on the nature of happiness all make excellent content. The content can range in tone and weight, so one day might bring an inspirational phrase while another involves a long post about how to stay strong through depression by exercising.
There are many reasons to expect this kind of content to be successful. First of all, it builds a strong association between the brand and positive feelings. That alone is a benefit to the strength of the brand- by making its cause happiness, Lululemon can avoid seeming like a cold corporation and instead feels empathetic to its customers. The depth and variety of content related to happiness that Lululemon creates all adds to this image.
Furthermore, the content has the potential to generate a lot of engagement. User engagement is a major part of content marketing. Not only is it SEO-friendly, but it also makes customers that much more connected to the brand. Creating that close connection is the foundation of good business, because customers that have a closer connection to the brand and its marketing are more likely to return for more purchases. It’s not just about selling a product- it’s about building relationships. Cause-based marketing is a powerful avenue for relationships because it is so effective at engaging the emotions of the customers who encounter the content. That is why content marketing is such a good delivery mechanism for cause-based marketing- it develops a platform and a standard to channel all of the emotions of the cause.
For Lululemon, that cause is a way to reach customers in a very different way from other athletic brands. In many ways, this cause has more in common with vegetarian and vegan food companies than athletics because of its emphasis on feeling good, general health, and positivity. That means Lululemon can reach out to potential customers who might not identify strongly with the gruff, messy presentation of other athleticwear brands. Lululemon ensures that these emotions shine through with an aggressive content marketing strategy that combines on-site blogging and content development with lighter social media engagement. The multi-platform approach ensures that Lululemon can create or find a wide variety of content and be assured that the company will have a useful place to host it.
Lululemon stands as an example because the company has succeeded in distinguishing its brand by associating it with a cause and accomplished that feat using content marketing. Of course, it takes prolonged time and effort to craft the right content and deploy it in the proper context, but it pays off in the form of deeply engaged customers who have a real relationship with the brand. The “Fuel Happiness” campaign has a particularly engaging core that also has the versatility to deliver many different kinds of content. Everything from a tweet to a long-form story can fit into “Fuel Happiness.” The lesson is clear- the right selection of a cause will generate years of excellent potential content, and content marketing works very well to support a broad cause-based marketing campaign.