Thursday, May 5, 2011

Running for Brooks

Brooks designs running shoes and apparel that provide the utmost comfort and support for runners. Their motto is "Run Happy!"

Brooks is an elite company for buying shoes and apparel. Especially when it comes to shoes, because they can cater to a niche market. Consumers who are near and dear to running will spend more money on a quality Brooks shoe, and for consumers who enjoy buying "green" products, Brooks appeals to them as well.

If you go on the brooks website, and are wanting to find out more information about their shoes and which one would be best for you, click on the "Brooks Running Shoe Advisor." This tool will ask you several questions about your foot, what you are using the shoes for, and what surfaces you will be using the shoe on. This quick test gives Brooks unique information on how to best supply you with an accurate shoe for you feet. I took the test and was recommended four different types of shoes: Glycerin 8, Defyance 4, Ghost 3, and Summon 2. After looking at all four options, the best shoe for me would probably be the Summon 2. This shoe is fairly affordable at $85.00 a pair and has built-in stability with smooth heel-to-toe transition. This light-weight shoe is a great choice for anyone! See below for a picture:

Summon 2 Running Shoe

After navigating the Brooks website, I was pleasantly surprised that they provide a large amount of information on their shoes, products, and running events/marathons. The Brooks website caters to their customers and gives them different interactive options when coming time to choose a shoe. This includes the "Brooks Running Shoe Advisor" that I mentioned earlier. Brooks is an overall amazing company and offers quality running shoes and apparel. Check out to learn more about the company and see what shoe is best for you!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Running, with a Local Flair

Here in the Seattle area is a company that is newer than many of the companies we have been writing on the last few weeks. Brooks is a company that exclusively focuses on running shoes, apparel, and accessories. They are based out of Bothell, Washington, a suburb that is about 20 minutes outside of Seattle. They have developed a reputation of having outstanding apparel for both men and women.

Brooks has slowly become a bigger and bigger threat to the "big boys" in the running industry. They have a staple of great shoes that are not only to compete with Nike and Adidas, but sometimes they have become more popular. As a high school kid around the running community, both Nike and Adidas were not viewed vary favorably. They were known as not having great shoes for runners. In fact, it almost appeared that running shoes were a bit of an after thought for those two companies.

Also, Brooks was very competitive with the likes of Asics, Mizuno, and Saucony. I have seen as many Brooks shoes as any of those other companies at meets and big runs, like the Seattle Marathon. There were countless runners taking the street who were wearing the Adrenaline or the Trance, two of the more popular shoes made by the company. That is a true testament to how far Brooks truly has come in the last five years.

Brooks has done a great job of creating shoes that have the customer in mind. As long as they continue to do this, Brooks will continue to make strides in the running community as a fantastic shoe to wear.


Lululemon's Local Heros

As of right now, Lululemon approaches the use of athletes in a different way than all of the companies we have discussed thus far. They will not pay athletes to wear their clothes and support their company. They want people to wear their products because they truly like their products and would choose to wear them. According to their website, over 60 athletes have become what Lululemon calls "elite ambassadors".

They also encourage local athletes to be ambassadors as well. They ask people who embody the lifestyle and culture of the company to apply and you should be allowed to find these people on their website (but it looks like the link is broken right now). They hope to provide inspiration to new and future customers and attract them with their low-key status.

This company uses a "manifesto" that poses questions and uses phrases to draw people into the culture of Lululemon. The manifesto poster is pictured above and can be accessed on the firm's website as well. Keep in mind they are targeting people (mostly women) that participate in yoga and dance.

The marketing strategy used by Lululemon is definitely a different approach but it gives off the attitude that anybody can be an athlete and we should look up to the people in our own lives and neighborhoods that inspire us. How do you think this strategy compares to others in the industry like Nike, Under Armour, and New Balance?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Wunder Under World of Lululemon

Lululemon is becoming quite the popular sports apparel store for yoga, running and other sports products that are desirable to consumers. As of a few months ago, I had never heard of Lululemon, until my sister was singing their praises and telling me how amazing they are. I was hesitant to go shopping with her to check out their products, because they are fairly expensive, and as a college student I don't always have tons of money to splurge on sports apparel. However, I went into the Lululemon store located in the University District by the University of Washington in Seattle. I walked in and tried on a pair of their "Wunder Under Legginings" and absolutely fell in love! Not only were they extremely comfortable, but they were trendy and made of quality materials. So, needless to say, I was instantly sold on their products and left the store with two pairs of pants: my amazing Wunder Under Leggings and a pair of cropped capri pants. The prices of the pants were a little expensive for me, but the quality was worth it! I ended up spending $78 on each and got a free hemming for my Wunder Under Leggings. They take your measurements for the hemming right in the store and have their alterations department alter the pants for you and when they are finished you can come back and pick them up or have them mailed to your home. Their quality customer service and attention to detail makes shopping in their store a positive experience.

Take a look below and check out the Lululemon Wunder Under Leggings and crop pants:

Wunder Under Legging Wunder Under Crop Pant

Lululemon specializes in yoga gear, including mats, sports bras, shorts, crops, pants, tops and much much more. They have products for yoga/pillates, hot yoga, running, and everyday sports activities. The nice thing about Lululemon products are that they are versatile and can be used in practically any sport. I wear my Lululemon pants to CrossFit and yoga, which are two sports that are completely different. However, they work great in both sporting arenas and are EXTREMELY comfortable. Their spandex material makes working out in them a great experience. And not to mention ladies, any pair of Lululemon pants makes your butt look amazing! =)

As a newly founded Lululemon customer, I would highly recommend their products. So the next time you have a day off, go in to your local Lululemon store and check out some of their new products!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's Yoga Time

Lululemon is a company based out of Vancouver BC which features comfortable clothing for yoga. Founder Chip Wilson turned to yoga in the mid 90s to find a different activity to pursue outside of this typical activities, snowboarding and surfing. Wilson felt such "rush" after his first yoga session that he wanted to continue. So, Wilson decided to make a store to not only provide clothing, but also educate the community about the improving their life through yoga.

Lululemon is primarily knownfor its yoga pants, seen in the picture to the right. The material is the pants makes them comfortable, flexible and sweat proof. This combination provides a the perfect experience for a person performing yoga.

Although, Lululemon makes men's clothing too, it has not caught on as quickly as the women's. Yoga, for the most part, is an activity that is highly feminine. It consists of balance, flexibility, concentration and mediation. Yoga is becoming more popular for men, but it is still an activity that is primarily involved by women. Thus, Lululemon needs to try to involve men in yoga to increase its market share.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Is Nike Above it All?

It's no secret...Nike is #1 and their list of sponsored athletes could go on and on and on. But instead of discussing how extensive the Nike brand is and how popular it is with consumers I would like to highlight just a couple of athletes.
  • Michael Johnson
  • Terrell Owens
  • Mark McGwire
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Lebron James
  • Tiger Woods

Yes, these are some big names but these are also the same athletes who have been in tabloids for their negative behavior. With controversy and scandel to their names, does it also reflect badly on Nike? Or is Nike above it all?

Here is an example of the backlash brought on Nike (not directly, but it still reflected upon them) after Lebron James left the Cavaliers. Fans were outraged at the way he left and he starred in a Nike commercial addressing this issue. Below is a spoof of this commercial made by upset fans. (original commercial

What do you think? Is Nike too big for the negative brand association brought on by athletes like these?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Customize Your Own Nike

Nike is one of the most popular sports apparel and shoe industries known to many people. You can see their products everywhere; in commercials, basketball games, and other sporting events. Nike has products for men, women, and children that are involved in various sports. Nike also lets you customize the products you wish to purchase from them. How does this work you might ask? If you go to their website at you can customize the color combination of sneakers you want or you can create a t-shirt with your own graphic and text on it and you can pick the color you want the shirt to be. For customizing shoes, you can also choose if you want them narrow or wide to fit perfectly to your foot and ensure maximum comfort.

Nike also offers sports teams the opportunity to create team uniforms. There are a variety of options to choose from and they offer uniforms for all popular sports. You can choose tops, bottoms, shoes and accessories. This is a great way to get good quality products for your sporting team and a great way to personalize what you are going to wear!

Nike is constantly reinventing products to launch on the market and everyone seems to love them. Keep tuned in to Nike to see what they come up with next!