Marketing Lesson from Lululemon: If You Make a Mistake, Own Up To It

Marketing Lesson from Lululemon: If You Make a Mistake, Own Up To It

You may have remembered the uproar earlier this year from angry Lululemon Athletica customers, who purchased the company’s signature athletic yoga pants, only to discover that the sheer material was see-through – giving rise to many uncomfortable and embarrassing situations.

Back in March, the company had to recall thousands of pants that, according to one expert, could’ve cost the company $67 million in revenue in 2013.

WBN MarketingNow, the company has announced it has taken those very pants and transformed them into what they call “Second Chance Pants” – including a special tag that admits the mistake.

Will Second Chance Pants Give the Company a Second Chance?

The pants now come with reinforced sections to eliminate the see-through aspect of the pants, along with a few other changes that stay true to the Lululemon brand but make the pants a bit more appropriate in yoga class.

It’s the tag and the label, though, that make the pants intriguing. The company is attempting to turn a potentially-costly mistake into a public relations boon by owning up to the problem and very visibly trying to make things right.

It’s always advised that companies own up to their problems and their mistakes, especially when these failures are public and damaging. Customers prefer to see a brand attempting to right a wrong because it speaks of good customer service.

Whether this move will work has still yet to be seen – especially given the recent controversial statements made by the company’s CEO, Chip Wilson.  Coincidentally, the latest scandal would benefit from Wilson owning up to his comments, something he has yet to do.

But it’s fair to say that of all the options available to the company to fix the controversy over their pants, the “Second Chance Pant” may be the best one they could have taken. That isn’t nearly as good as not making a mistake in the first place, but no companies are that good or lucky.

Nella DeCesare, Marketing Strategist