Cult athleisure brand Lululemon is taking an unconventional approach to bucking the trend toward cheap knockoffs that is growing especially among Gen Z consumers.
Armed with a smartphone that can find and buy almost anything in the world with just a few clicks, the native digital generation can easily track down and buy duplicates, or “dupes” at an affordable premium and luxury items that rob the potential of their makers. selling and diluting their brand.
To try and mitigate the growing problem, Lululemon hosted last week’s “Align Legging Dupe Swap” at Westfield Century City Mall in Los Angeles.
Their store is giving away a free pair of black Align High Rise Pant 25” that can be sold for $118 each to anyone who comes in wearing a dupe of their signature leggings.
“We thought it would be a fun exercise to play in the context of dupe culture,” said Nikki Neuburger, Lululemon’s chief brand officer. Women’s Everyday Wear.“The feel and quality of Align pants is unmatched. If you’re wearing one, you’ll know, and if you’re not, that’s why we’re doing the dupe swap.
Intellectual property theft is one of the biggest threats for any consumer goods brand.
German sportswear giant chicken feet, for example, aggressively enforces its trademark whenever it finds anyone producing clothes with three stripes for trademark infringement. It doesn’t even stop at clothes—it even follows Black Lives Matter above their logo.
This exaggerated attempt to protect the value of one’s IP may also explain why the stigma once attached to wearing fake branded products or even cheap knockoffs nowadays seems to be disappearing, especially among members of the youngest demographic.
This represents a growing threat to the economy, especially in markets that rely heavily on the strength of their luxury brands such as Europe.
Increasing demand for fakes
A survey conducted last June The European Union’s Intellectual Property Office found that 37% of young people intentionally bought one or more counterfeit products, a significant increase from the previous result of 14% in 2019.
The respondents cited different reasons for their decision, whether it is a lower price, the ease of finding and ordering fake products or knowing the small difference between the original and fake.
One in 10 even mentioned that the idea came from the recommendations of social media influencers, where many apps integrate storefronts that make it easy to order one from popular Chinese internet retailers such as on DHGate and AliExpress.
For example, TikTok has more than 3.5 billion views for videos cataloged with the hashtag #dupe.
EUIPO executive director Christian Archambeau called the recorded increase in the survey “a worrying trend” due to the increasing number of products sold via the Internet.
“Although survey respondents still see price as the main driver of piracy or counterfeiting, the importance of social influences, such as the behavior of family, friends and people around them, is increasingly growing ,” he said in the report.
It’s Lululemon same dupe swap events planned for London, Shanghai and Seoul.