Athletic retail chain Lululemon recently opened a store on my corner. I mean, literally, 100 yards away from where I live. Like all their stores, this one hosts free yoga classes on Sunday mornings. For someone like me, and the 20-odd other folks in the room every Sunday, this is a big deal. The classes are hosted by a rotation of teachers from nearby yoga studios. January was Maha; this month it’s Tru Yoga. My guess is that no money changes hands — it’s a promotional opportunity for the studios. So the cost to Lululemon is a few hours of a single staffer’s time and a little bit of electricity. Oh, and sometimes they serve fruit and muffins.
For that, they get 20+ qualified potential customers (based on geography and product category interest) in their stores for an hour a week. Many of us have been there on consecutive weeks. I’ve already told a dozen people how smart and cool the brand is. Talk about top-of-mind.
Folks, this is how it’s done. Deliver something cool to your audience. Don’t try to sell them anything. As my friend Curtis says, say everything without saying anything.
If you want to learn more about Lululemon — and you should — check out their manifesto. It has little to do with getting people to wear more spandex and everything to do with who they are and how they see the world. My favorite: Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to. What's yours?