Get a membership, send $10, and pick out Kate Hudson’s favorite exercise outfit. It’s yours to wear to the gym or wherever, as a special “thank you for joining” this $250 million dollar business called Fabletics, which is now leading the sales of activewear in the country. Kate Hudson is offering great style in workout wear, including patterned leggings and specially designed tops, and they are created of materials that breath, stretch, and work out with you. Not only are Hudson’s unique styles sweeping the market, but her company’s marketing style is proving a match for Amazon.com, a household name at the online market of all things!
How does the successful membership work? Seeking to provide a great product, offer personalized service with good value, and provide easy access to the whole experience, Fabletic carefully designed its membership. This is proving very attractive to the activewearer, and the business has grown 35% in each of the last three years. You may choose to pay 49.95 for the month and shop when you like, or if you do not wish to shop that month, you notify them by the 5th and no charge will be given. If you do not notify, your credit card is charged, but this can be used as payment or credit. Membership may be canceled at any time by a simple phone call to Member Services.
Personalized service for the membership includes surveys which help determine your likes, dislikes, and style. For example, the first survey asks: “What is your favorite way to sweat? Gym , cycle, run, or yoga, or do you mix it up?” Other questions ask, “Where do you like to workout? What colors get you goovin? Is your body type petite, lean, athletic, or curvy?” The site will go on to get your exact measurements, password info, and your email address. At this point they will give you personalized selections in all price ranges, with total outfits and separates.
Comments on the total process were very positive. The enthusiasm is due in part to the marketing strategy used by Fabletics, and it seems to be working. Customers like being encouraged a little; they like good brand names and quality products; they like convenience and little perks that signify personalized service, and they like the affordable quantity of unique style provided by Kate Hudson’s activewear. They like the membership that provides this. They like it enough to grow a $250 million dollar business in three years and challenge Amazon’S 20% of the online commerce business.
Gregg Throgmartin, General Manager of Fabletics, believes that it is the membership model, offering a high value brand from the beginning, that is the reason for the marketing success. The personalized service indicates who the customer is and what she wants.
Retail stores featuring Fabletics are increasing steadily but a reverse process of success is working. The retail store has not been preparing the customer for online. Customers already know and possess memberships and have liked the experiences on-line. They go into the retail store fully aware of what they are browsing for, and Fabletics is careful to put their best foot forward in the retail stores.
The new customer is interested in new experiences that are data based and designed for convenience and shopping. Amazon.com has found that formula, and it has worked for them. Fabletics has been creative and used risk-positive ideas that appeal to the modern shopper, and it is also working. Competition in a new market can only benefit the consumer, who seeks the best of what he wants, for the money he wants to pay. It promises to be a long race.