Though fashion has traditionally lamented the notion that “beauty is pain”, women everywhere have called BS on that agenda. Instead, women have demanded for their clothing to become a trifecta as complicated as each woman herself: functional and conducive to a fast-paced lifestyle, beautiful in design and shape, and comfortable enough to evoke an unspoken confidence. As an increasingly growing army of women has tackled raising families, running businesses, and overcoming meaningful obstacles, the uniform has changed from the uncomfortable office stiletto in a pencil skirt, to a multi functional running shoe accompanied by a sleek legging.
So, What is Athleisure Anyway?
With the concept of dressing for success beginning to focus more on accomplishing goals, feeling physically and mentally fit, and engaging in activities designed to create a well balanced lifestyle, the concept of “athleisure” was born. Women everywhere recognized the appeal of joining a sisterhood where they could feel beautiful while bench pressing 100 pounds, and could feel comfortable and stylish while juggling several young children, groceries, and their post-graduate homework.
While hordes of women roared in unison to welcome this new concept of dressing, clothing manufacturers began to take notice. However, functionality, price, quality, and reputation all appeared to be at odds with each other for several manufacturers, until Fabletics set the standard. In the four short years since their 2013 inception, Fabletics has expanded from a US based company to include most of Europe and Australia, and has opened six brick-and-mortar shops within the US. With such rapid growth, Fabletics has proven that they were listening to their clients’ needs, catering to their desires, and expanding their reach.
Fabletics Secret Recipe for Success
Without a solid product in their repertoire, no company would be successful based on stellar advertising alone. With over $250 million worth of product sold last year, product quality for Fabletics has become the solid foundation from which they have soared. Fabletics has focused on creating high-performance gear that is created to be both stylish, and purpose driven. With detail poured into every aspect of garment production, Fabletics pieces are tested for durability, flexibility, and feature finishes that move with a woman’s body. Thoughtful practices include forward thought being given to how a garment will move in action, and how that may make women feel as a result of such movement. With such poignant design tactics, the value of a Fabletics garment has proven to extend past its’ actual physical properties.
As a company, Fabletics has recognized the power of the repeat customer, with over 85% of their sales from repeat customers, and a significant amount of new customers being acquired via recommendation from current customers and fans alike. They have essentially created a community of loyal consumers who have been more than thrilled to act as brand ambassadors. With women sharing their positive experiences with the company via their online presence, Fabletics was able to successfully capture an audience that acts based upon crowdsourced information, and trusts the reputation of a company not based on the company‘s stated reputation, but its’ consumer written reputation. While this concept seems like a no-brainer in today‘s tech driven world, many companies have not adapted this concept in practice quite as seamlessly as Fabletics.
By making customers’ reviews a large part of their marketing structure, Fabletics has perpetuated the concept of community driven marketing. With featured customer photos taking up prominent site space, as well as a generous social media following, Fabletics has managed to both engage customers, and have them double as real-life models. Through showcasing women engaging in everyday scenarios while donning Fabletics, the company has provided customers with the understanding and confidence that their product will fit into their actual daily lives. This type of real-life marketing has seemed to apeal more to today’s consumer, versus the non-realistic portraiture of women in athletic wear chasing tigers in a futuristic moon setting.
By placing statistics related to their success prominently within their advertising, they have successfully insinuated the notion of customer trust on a scale large enough to be difficult to question. With millions of satisfied customers, extensive customer service agents ready to tackle any concern, and transparent business practices ready for critique, they have opened the doors for customers to traipse around inside the company, and become convinced for themselves that this is a company with whom they feel confident. In fact, the Corporate Marketing Officer of parent company TechStyle Fashion Group, Shawn Gold, has previously told Huffington Post, “If we don’t know what people want, and we don’t truly listen to their tastes and circumstances, it is impossible to improve their lives. Ultimately everything we do is confirmed by the direct opinions of our customers in their own language.” Many companies tout this type of transparency, but few actually live by these rules as openly as Fabletics.
Essentially, by this set of standards and practices, Fabletics fans have created the success of the company, acting as a symbiotic and crucial portion of the entire wheel that has lead to the rapid growth of the company. In return, the company has welcomed loyal customers with VIP status, special sales and deals, free shipping, and ongoing excellent customer service. Not to mention, they have given women an outlet to share the successes of their active lifestyles, and to actively remain involved in the movement that they have helped to create. With a solid product alone, Fabletics could have been a mildly successful company. With a solid product line, a growing community spirit, a positive and inclusive message, and a word-of-mouth spirit, Fabletics has been a wildly sucessful company, with no intentions of slowing down.