It didn't take long for Lululemon Athletica to grow into a $10 billion yoga apparel empire.
Its business concept —convincing consumers to buy $98 dollar yoga pants — has inspired a number of competitors, including Gap Inc.'s Athleta, which is now opening a slew of stores featuring Lululemon-style athletic attire. Its Old Navy brand is also offering its own line of slimming yoga pants.
Why has Lululemon been so successful? Put simply, it found a savvy way to exploit women's deepest insecurities.
A New York City yoga instructor recently confirmed this. "Women want to look good for other women before they want to look good for men, " she told us. "Lululemon was the first place that provided workout clothes that women weren't embarrassed to be seen in, they could even grab dinner after yoga if they wanted to.''
Meaning that women will go to any length — even spending several hundred dollars on a workout ensemble — to impress their peers.
"Impressing men? That's easy, '' she says. "But impressing their friends in the studio is a lot harder."