Lululemon Athletica’s topline TrendSignal for March 2013 is 75, an unprecedented +27 point change over the prior month value of 48 and +29 point change over the prior year TrendSignal of 46. This translated into an Advertising Value Equivalent of nearly $95 million for a single month!

Those outside the athletic apparel brand category may not recognize the Lululemon name, but its meteoric rise in the media was hard to ignore.  As the NY Times reported, the company was hit with a yoga pant recall, revenue hit and stock slide.  And the media ran with the story, taking Lululemon from a trailing 12-month TrendSignal of 47 to 75 points — a + 27 point increase. While the yoga pant recall may be costly, if brand momentum in the media can be sustained it could more than compensate for the loss.

Recall Is Expensive Setback for Maker of Yoga Pants
“Everyone has wanted to be in Lululemon’s business for a long time,” said Faye Landes, an analyst at Cowen. She said, however, that L…
NY Times

The TrendSignal increase for Lululemon over the prior month was the largest for any brand in the sports and athletic apparel space.  Was it negative?  From a media perspective the brand’s sentiment was strong and the advertising value dwarfed the top 3 athletic brands for the last quarter combined – coming in at $96+ million on what was an average 12-month trailing media value average of less then $500k.  The WSJ agrees…

Lessons From Lululemon: All Publicity Is Good
All Publicity Is Good. The old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity has a generally acknowledged exception in cases of …

Media Value, or more commonly termed advertising value equivalency, is understandably a soft metric.  But Lululemon’s “bad news” translated into both a strong TrendSignal gain with almost no sentiment downside, resulting in an AVE figure of ~$95 million — nearly twice category leader Nike’s media value for March.


The Lululemon Trend Report is part of the Athletic and Outdoor Apparel Brand report series, available to subscribers.