I’d never heard of Lorna Jane and then, about 18 months ago, it started entering into the peripheries of my awareness. It happened simply enough when, on a couple of occasions, I found myself complimenting people’s outfits, asking where they got them from. I was told “oh this is Lorna Jane.” Mmmmm what is Lorna Jane I asked? Then the stores started opening up everywhere and I knew.
Why am I writing about Lorna Jane, a fitness brand? Well because I think it is a truly remarkable business and because there is no doubt in my mind it is going to be huge and it will be an international brand all women know.
Another factor is Lorna Jane stood out to me because they are getting bigger and bigger in a market that I thought was pretty much saturated by the big brands – like Nike, Reebok and the like. That alone was impressive to me, as it is refreshing to see there is always space for new brands in the “big brand-owned” markets. I think the challenge for the big brands is they don’t always keep in touch with the real needs of ALL of their customers. Also, the big sporting brands aren’t always in tune with women and their needs, often making men’s products and then feminising them, but they’re missing the mark.
I think Lorna Jane is a great lesson for anyone with a great business idea to find the “gap” in the market they want to target and get in there with something special and unique. Lorna Jane has done just that – great clothes for women, living an active lifestyle, made from a patented fabric that enhances the product (essentially taking the sweat away – women are going to love that), and with a whole culture of health and lifestyle wrapped around the brand…. it really is very clever.
It has the usual humble beginnings story and as its progressed, Lorna Jane makes activewear with a simple goal of making women look and feel great. It’s a brand where fashion meets sport and the goal of the business is to motivate women to achieve their best through active living. A good message with obesity on the rise at an alarming rate, in Australia and worldwide.
Here’s an example of some of the messaging from the Lorna Jane Website
“Mission – Active Living is our Core Focus “
Driven – the Lorna Jane Business is driven to create products that will ignite the nation’s enthusiasm to live a more active lifestyle.
“Our passion to achieve this wakes up our cells every morning.
“It’s what makes us want to dance. It’s the energy that moves us from the status quo to something grander and more expansive, something that makes our hearts beat faster, our minds and our eyes open wider than ever before.”
I like the brand, but I love their message. It’s honest, it’s targeted, it has a motivational and spiritual mix in line with their products, and it motivates the target audience not only to buy their products but to live a better life, and if you are living a better life you’re going to buy more of their products. I don’t think this last point was their intention (they certainly don’t come across as conniving) but it’s definitely what they have achieved with their total company positioning. The reality is if you make something that people want and deliver quality and a motivational message in line with the product, people are going to keep coming back right? Lorna Jane has hit this right on the head and it all feels natural, as opposed to some big marketing guru coming in and telling them how to do it or say it. Refreshing in itself.
Lorna Jane is a great example of successfully selling lifestyle brands into a market “owned” by the “big boys” and again, an example of remaining true to yourself in positioning your company for success.
Girls stay tuned for a store to open near you, where ever you are.