The rhetoric about yoga as an inclusive lifestyle, fully applicable to any sport, has long since become a marketing cliché, and lululemon's success has been coveted by sports giants.

According to fashion business news, the German sports brand adidas has launched the latest adidas Yoga Make Space yoga series, including women's, men's and children's yoga clothing. Inspired by the four elements of water, fire, earth and wind, this series extends to design special products for various yoga occasions and needs such as waterside yoga, hot yoga, men's yoga training with greater range of motion, and windbreaker. 

According to adidas, yoga stretches back centuries and has a rich heritage rooted in spirituality, benefiting both body and mind, which explains why the movement's popularity continues to soar.

In addition to the Yoga 4 Elements series, the core product designed for women, adidas tries to emphasize the universal value of yoga for different groups of people in this series, as well as the inclusiveness of the sport.

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Knowing the value that yoga mat practice brings to different people, and how everyone practices differently, the collection offers designs that are suitable for a variety of yoga spaces such as studios, outdoor and waterside scenarios. In addition to using adidas' latest material innovations, each garment also uses recycled materials in part, supporting the brand's commitment to sustainability.

The launch of the latest yoga series, Yoga 4 Elements, the core product designed for women in this series is undoubtedly an important sign of adidas' layout of the yoga clothing market. In June last year, to celebrate the International Yoga Day, adidas launched a new series of professional yoga series, and organized a sizable offline event in the Chinese market with hundreds of yoga enthusiasts in the four major cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu, which is also one of the signals.

After the Canadian sportswear brand lululemon became the dark horse of the industry with its niche yoga clothing business, Nike has kept up, and now adidas is close behind.

Although lululemon's successful case of propping up a market value of 100 billion with a pair of yoga pants has become a story in the industry, for sports giants Nike and adidas, which contribute their main sales through basketball and running, the real important thing has never been the market segment of yoga clothes. Occupy, but the huge increase hidden behind yoga clothes - the female market.

As the most important participants in yoga activities, women have shaped lululemon's product thinking.

The reason why the classic Align series trousers, which is popular all over the world, is widely sought after by consumers, is precisely because it helps female consumers to open up a new extreme experience, and it seems that there is nothing when wearing them. Before the Align series, there was a lack of products that balanced functional performance and wearing feeling, and female consumers were often more sensitive to wearing feeling.

Since then, lululemon has improved its products through a rich database, launched Asian version women's sports bras, further realized product upgrades and market expansion, and successfully overtook Puma and Under Armour to become the world's third largest sports brand. The market share of the two major sports brand giants Nike and adidas is threatening. Behind this, the unique perspective of opening the market from the perspective of women is indispensable.

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Women, as the main participants in yoga activities, have shaped the product thinking of lululemon.

For more than 20 years, lululemon has established a tradition of innovation for women on star products from the Align series pants to sports underwear, and this tradition has continued to the latest on the shoe collection. In March of this year, lululemon successfully entered the footwear market with the uniqueness of women's products for a long time, and launched the first women's footwear series since the brand was founded 24 years ago.

Faced with the already saturated shoe market dominated by giants such as Nike and adidas, lululemon, who is long overdue, regards the female innovation perspective as an opportunity for overtaking on the curve. Lululemon believes that women's feet are completely different from men's, but most current sneakers are based on men's feet and then changed to women's sneakers.

The current lululemon is no longer just a yoga clothing brand with a feminine label. With the rapid rise of the brand’s menswear business and the expansion of more businesses such as shoes and personal care, the brand stands directly opposite Nike and adidas. The group of female consumers and people with high spending power behind them are the customer groups that the two sports giants most hope to win.

Lululemon released a new five-year growth plan on April 20, targeting $12.5 billion in revenue in 2026, meaning doubling revenue from 2021. This is the second five-year long-term plan released after the group completed its 2019 five-year plan two years ahead of schedule, with total revenue exceeding $5 billion, doubling its e-commerce business and doubling its menswear business.

The latest growth strategy targets doubling menswear and digital revenues from 2021 levels, quadrupling international revenues, womenswear and North America at low double-digit CAGRs over the next five years, and store growth. The compound annual growth rate is in the mid-double digits. Meghan Frank, lululemon's chief financial officer, called the goals "bold but realistic."

In the 2021 fiscal year ended January 30, lululemon's sales rose 42% year-on-year to US$6.25 billion, breaking the 6 billion mark for the first time, a 57% increase from 2019, a gross profit margin of 57.7%, and a 65.5% increase in net profit. % to $975 million, making it one of the best-performing sportswear retailers last year. Calvin McDonald, chief executive of lululemon brand, who led lululemon into a high-speed growth track, also rose 25.3% to $13.3 million in salary last year.

Even though lululemon, which earned $6.3 billion last year, is only one-seventh the size of Nike and one-fourth that of adidas, this dark horse, which is developing into a comprehensive sportswear brand, holds a card that the giants do not have, giving them a huge sense of insecurity.

Faced with the fast-moving lululemon, Nike, which recovered, released its yoga series for the first time in January 2019. In January 2020, Nike launched the yoga series Infinalon again. In April 2020, Nike released a graphic titled "Yoga Belongs to Everyone" on its official WeChat account today, started promoting the new Nike Yoga series, and also provided online yoga training plans on the Nike Training Club app to cater to the epidemic Crisis-driven online fitness development.

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In April 2020, Nike published a graphic titled "Yoga belongs to everyone" on its official WeChat account today.

Nike said in the article, "Yoga is not just a sport, but a way of life. It can belong to Everyone. Regardless of body size, gender, level or age, whether you are good at running, basketball, dancing or boxing, as long as you are willing to give yourself to yoga, it can give you a better self.

Come, Nike and adidas have similar positioning of yoga, which is different from lululemon's boutique positioning from niche markets and niche sports. Both of them intend to make yoga sports that once targeted at subdivided audiences into a more inclusive one. The popular movement of sex, and even the way of life.

The advantage of doing this is to gain large-scale profits from the growth of the yoga population, the popularity of yoga sports and the maturation of the yoga market, and to develop yoga into a niche sports business line parallel to tennis, golf, and outdoor functions. With relatively low prices, Nike and Adidas are expected to occupy the more sinking yoga market and compete with lululemon, which has established advantages.

However, the two major sports giants have obvious shortcomings in the layout of the yoga market. Tennis and golf product lines with a longer history are still only marginal businesses of the two sports giants, and the ceiling of the yoga business is obvious. The reason why lululemon can turn the niche yoga business into a business with a market value of 100 billion is not only because of how many tangible products can be sold, but more because of the brand religion built by a group of core loyal consumers. 

As a spiritual movement that advocates the unity of body and mind, yoga exercise is an excellent medium to link tangible products and intangible values. When people buy yoga clothing products, in addition to considering the functional characteristics of the products themselves, they are also contributing to brand values ​​and adding Eligibility for the Brand Community is paid.

It is a pity that Nike and adidas, which advocate the spirit of sports competition on the product, do not accurately grasp the characteristics of yoga. The rhetoric about yoga as an inclusive lifestyle that fits perfectly with any sport has long since become a marketing cliché.

That is to say, in the context of yoga, Nike and adidas have still failed to find the right position to establish a real spiritual resonance with consumers. As long as there is no clear and attractive proposition that is uniquely attractive, Nike and adidas will struggle to defend against lululemon, and it will neither be able to truly achieve a constructive breakthrough in the field of yoga clothing, nor will it be more difficult to leverage larger players through the business. Women's market.

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Compared with Nike, which laid out yoga earlier, the slower adidas actually needs new business to reverse the current predicament.

Adidas released its first-quarter performance report on Friday. Its sales in the three months ended March 31 decreased by 3% year-on-year to 5.3 billion euros, mainly due to the 35% drop in sales in Greater China and a decline in gross profit margins. To 49.9%, operating profit also decreased by 8.2% year-on-year to 437 million euros, and net profit fell 38.2% to 310 million euros.

Compared with Nike, which laid out yoga earlier, adidas, which moves more slowly, actually needs new business to reverse the current predicament.

In addition to uncontrollable objective factors such as business stagnation in Greater China and withdrawal from the Russian and Ukrainian markets, the market generally believes that adidas performance has declined. Behind it is the decline of brand potential. Previously, LADYMAX's analysis believed that adidas' current problems include the lack of coherent strategies in the product matrix, the lack of technological innovation, and the lack of centralized explosive power in marketing. In the Chinese market, in addition to the influence of BCI, the overall loss of European sports brand culture in the Asian market may have also caused its market performance in Greater China to plummet.

Some analysts believe that the crisis of adidas is that professional sports such as basketball continue to lose points, and sports lifestyles including adidas Originals have not been implemented. From the perspective of global strategy, adidas has relied heavily on YEEZY for sports lifestyle in the past few years, but YEEZY as an external cooperation series has not driven the revitalization of adidas' brand fundamentals. Adidas had to open the floodgates to YEEZY, which had over-marketed its hunger, which was still a drop in the bucket for the group's performance.

The recent cross-border joint series with Prada, Gucci and the rumored Balencaiga have been placed high hopes by adidas, which is considered to be an attempt to enhance the brand's potential and explore high-end positioning. These collaborations with luxury brands should have a boost for adidas to build a feminine image. However, driven by insufficiently strong marketing, this series of joint names seems to be too scattered, and ultimately did not form a line from points to form a synergistic effect for the promotion of brand potential.

In the latest joint cooperation with Gucci, the two brands did not create a popular topic that matched the importance of the two joint names, and the market discussion was limited to fashion lovers. The pomp of the topic presents a stark contrast.

Yesterday, adidas and Gucci announced that the joint series will be released on June 7th. Although it has only been two months since the series was released, the market sentiment has cooled down significantly, which also exposes the lack of the brand’s grasp of marketing sentiment and timing. sensitivity. Even with the endorsement of first-class athletes and Blackpink endorsements, adidas is still unable to make a sensational turnaround.

In the opinion of many people in the industry, compared to launching joint names one after another, adidas' top priority should be to regain the core spirit of the brand, integrate the precious historical assets of the brand and the systems of different business departments into a force, and more importantly, , deliver the assets already owned through key marketing capabilities.

In the face of the marketing-heavy yoga business, it may be difficult for adidas at the current stage to create surprises for the market.