Famous for popularizing the athleisure look, sportswear maker Lululemon has something new in the works: beer. Brewed by Vancouver’s Stanley Park Brewing and branded with the Lululemon logo, the Curiosity Lager will be sold in the region starting August 15.
“Just because you’re a yogi doesn’t mean you won’t have an occasion for beer, and we’re certainly interested in talking to that crowd,” brewery marketing director Doug Devlin told CBC.
While the partnership might seem unlikely, craft breweries and Lululemon have one major thing in common: digital prowess that belies their small size.
Independent craft beer brands boasted above-average Digital IQs in L2’s recent Beer Index, demonstrating their ability to compete across several digital channels. Craft brands made stronger investments in websites and content, although they lacked the budget to compete with multinational corporations on the paid advertising front.
On social media, craft brands established larger, more engaged communities. Stone Brewing Co., for instance, outperformed every Index brand on Pinterest. By frequently updating content like its collaborative global Beer Map, the brand kept up growth of 91 new followers per week – more than 27 times the Index average of 3.3.
Lululemon also outperforms its larger competitors in several key areas of digital. The sportswear brand has a sleek, easy-to-use website and mobile app and was one of less than 10% of brands to incorporate user-generated photos in product profiles. While Lululemon still has a smaller Facebook presence than industry giants like Nike and Adidas, its Instagram page was the fifth most popular in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Sportswear.
The craft beer partnership might seem nutty because the two brands’ fan bases aren’t clearly aligned. But by pairing up with a craft brewery, Lululemon is bringing its loyal customers together with the equally engaged community of craft beer enthusiasts – a scheme that could lead to social media success.