Monday, July 6, 2015

Lululemon Disrupting Social Media Sharing?

**Update** Official response from Lululemon:

Product isn’t going anywhere—we view social media as a great place to share how our community uses and loves our product.  Guests will still see the product they love especially when it’s in action, sweaty and on friends in the community.  Our local teams are the heartbeat of this brand, and rest assured that everyone is committed to elevating what they are up to each and every day.
You’ve also noticed our consolidation to city-level pages.  The stores and our guests are the center of all our decisions.  We integrated our store specific pages to city level pages because our guests sweat across their city and throughout the community--a city-level page allows our guest to have one true resource for all things sweat without having to check multiple pages. Better guest experience and more efficient for you.
Last week I had a reader mention that her store informed her that all stores have a directive from head office to not share new product photos on their social media channels. I disregarded this as crazy talk as I had not heard it and it just didn't make sense. Today there is markedly reduced amount of photos of the new products which I had attributed to it being the normal summer holiday slow down. In fact, other than photos from community members that where shared I only found two new store photos. Another few readers have shared the same intel and tonight the stores have posted these messages telling subscribers that they are amalgamating their facebook pages. It seems they want to have more control over the community interaction and messaging. I wonder if the ceasing of photo sharing is temporary as they move over to a different facebook page in order to not lose new albums. 

If the change is permanent and indeed a kibosh on stores sharing product, I'm not liking this at all. This seems so inauthentic and insulated vs. community building.  To me the Lululemon fan community has developed organically with facebook groups entering the scene back in 2009 along with blogs, Pinterest,Youtube vloggers, Tumblers and various social media accounts dedicated to lululemon information sharing by loyal customers which has expanded greatly over the years and provided great value to Lululemon. Lululemon has always used their facebook store albums as a constantly updating catalogue which are an interactive way for them to share their product and put their product in front of customers without paying for print media campaigns or other conventional promotion methods. They put the content out there, and wait for it to be shared and shared and shared...this is how social media viral marketing works. I'm surprised at the direction they are taking with digital media as it seems regressive and overly controlling of the community which established itself. I think when you try too much to control the image you are putting out there you lose a lot of the authenticity that has been built over the years. The message becomes corporate owned, not customer driven. I'm going to hope though that this is simply a lost in translation issue and that it is a temporary hold on image sharing as they move to new pages. 

Frankly, I don't see blog content suffering too much as there are local stores all over in which to find images to share, and readers that love sharing their finds online and participating in discussions. Plus there is always the old standby of ebay that debuts that rare unseen item. So in that regards the community will exist without it's original conduit.  What will suffer though is our ability to see a piece fit on several different body types within a days worth of blog posts or that hype about a certain item that gets built up over the days leading up to Upload. I can share with you that the trend of blog traffic from weekday to weekday has not changed in the past 6 years. It is always the same predictable pattern of customers interacting with store initiated content and disrupting that may be a mistake. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this change. There is already a discussion happening on this blog post here Product Drop, but let's move it here so we can easily find it. How do you feel about stores potentially removing the product photo sharing? Are you an ed that has intel or clarification to share (anonymously, as always).




http://www.anrdoezrs.net/links/7680158/type/dlg/fragment/whatsNewForWomen%3Fmnid%3Dmn%3BUSwomen%3Bwhats-new/http://shop.lululemon.com/products/category/whats-new

7 comments:

  1. I think it is awful.... Already not as excited for upload this week nor am I running to the store at 10am tomorrow( which is product drop day at my store). These images of new product feed our addiction/ drain our wallets . My husband is grinning because this is music to his ears. I was told this is permanent but we shall see.

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  2. Uh wow. I wonder if this has to do with the American dollar being stronger and there is less product drop in Canada! And by this censorship they are preventing Canadians
    From seeing the Americans product!

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    Replies
    1. That definitely could be a contributing factor. I've never before seen such diversity between country products as I have in the last 6 months. US stores (Seattle, Las Vegas, New York) have a lot more variety of products than Canadian stores have.

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  3. Comments posted on facebook groups:

    Hmm I just visited my stores FB page and it said same thing.

    So wait, we should buy based on the site photos? Lulu will go broke.
    1 hr · Like · 3

    They need to get better models then. Like an actual runner with muscles for their running clothes... And better styling and art direction...
    1 hr · Like · 1

    When you can't lead you micro manage.
    1 hr · Unlike · 3

    They'd be better served revising the GEC.
    47 mins · Like · 2

    My store has some of the best "real people" store photos. They always make it a point to post awesome stuff. This is a bummer.
    3 mins · Like


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  4. WOW


    Yes I noticed the fb combining when I was looking at the Metrotown page last week. The local store pages aren't particularly exciting to me and I don't see store photos so I am interested how the Vancouver page will look.

    But we like lulu because it is not so 'corporate' right? Otherwise we could shop at sportchek or Nike.

    Exactly! I'm not signed up to all the different Sportcheck pages or even all the individual aritzia pages or whatever other brand I like.

    I am not concerned because I have *** and *** doing try on's and posting new inventories for me . I like it better that way anyhow. I find all I need in one place and don't have to look at all of the lulu store Facebook pages 🙈. It works for a lazy bum like me


    yah that is what I mean. Everybody has always had the same access to all the pages but who the heck wants to litter their news feed and dig through days worth of store updates for photos. Having all the information in one place is helpful.

    Yeah, but the Vancouver stores often get different stuff than we do here in SoCal, ***. The Utah stores were the best at posting the new stuff since they are often the first to get new things in the US.

    I wonder if with this there will be a no photos in stores rule.


    i was thinking that^

    there are groups of areas that get very different product. I like to know where all the product is at. NY has been getting the scoops on a lot of items lately.


    ***, that is a good point about different inventory at different places. I didn't think about that. Lulu has been bad about sending same products to different regions. No pictures in stores is silly because how are they gonna stop me from taking pictures in dressing room? Or be like *** who buys everything and does try on's in her own bathroom

    what was the point of stores doing charge-sends with free shipping if they don't want us to know what they have? so dumb.


    I've been told no photos at *** before but not anywhere else.

    They can't fix what's broken but waste time changing something that's perfectly fine. Round and round goes Lululemon...


    I was told no photos on the floor years ago but the staff is ever evolving so by now they've had 5 seasons of staff turnover and store rules.


    I have been told no photos of price tags before, I ignored

    This is ridiculous. Half of what I buy is because of blogs that have posted pics for me or try on photos in stores. I don't have the time to drive to a store unless I have some serious interest... which I get from the photos.


    That seems silly to me - the blog previews and try-ons help build demand, which in turn helps their sales. If it wasn't for the blogs/groups I would buy half as much!


    Do they like us as customers? Or do they prefer those who don't buy most every week, set alarms for uploads, etc?


    I was told at my store to sign email sheet as all stores including outlet in Arizona combining on social media


    She also told me our new outlet has very little stuff as so much sold so to hold off going there
    Yeah, it seems they want to push us towards Hey, Lululemon for the What We Love previews and store emails.

    I'll take the shit in the dressing room and take photos ...


    Plus all the stores are entrepreneurial- good luck on my store following that... They like the relationship they have with their customers:) are they going to take that attitude away?

    That's bs half of what i buy is because I see it on other people uploads i scan through and used to hate most of it

    Exactly ***, and the stores work on group commission/store totals.You'd think they'd want to keep that autonomy.

    Definitely I can shop at a few stores but generally stick to the two where I have the best relationships.

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  5. It's ridiculous if they want to sell product. Keep pissing people off and they will just be done with your product. It's good but overpriced. Your customers will only jump through so many hoops!

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  6. Oh no. How will we tell when wanderlust product drops at select stores in canada ?:( it's been quiet lately

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