Last week, Lululemon generated an additional round of criticism and confusion.
Following Chairman and Co-Founder Chip Wilson’s insensitive comments last month about women’s body types, the executive stepped down from his position. In a concurrent announcement, Lululemon named Laurent Potdevin, formerly of Toms Shoes, as its new CEO. The simultaneous statements left much of the general public thinking Potdevin was replacing Wilson, when in fact he will fill the role Christine Day stepped down from in January.
Thankfully for the company, Lululemon got a bit of a PR boost from its new association with Potdevin and his socially-conscious résumé.
While the company’s latest kerfuffle is far from the biggest PR problem Lululemon has faced this year, the convoluted communications do not help strengthen the already faltering brand loyalty of many customers. After a rough 2013, it is critical that a Lululemon crisis communications plan be established so that the company can send a consistent, united message to its customers and hopefully salvage its brand.