Loyalty & Retention

Scaling Wellness: Lessons from Lululemon's Membership Program

Athleisure brand Lululemon has become a prototype for community-led growth, building both free and paid membership programs that foster deep brand connections and customer loyalty.

About the Program

Lululemon's core mission is to provide customers with high-quality products that inspire them to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. The membership program reinforces this mission by offering members access to the activities their clothes make possible. The program also allows members to connect with like-minded individuals while participating in activities that align with Lululemon's brand values.

Lululemon’s membership program, launched in 2022, garnered attention and praise for a new approach. In lieu of points for discounts, the program built a community of Lululemon customers who receive experiential rewards.

“The future of the membership program…will include creating a Lululemon community across our ecosystem…driving retention and spend per guest.”

The brand anticipates that within the next five years, 80% of customers will become part of the program. 

Registration confirmation from Lululemon

How it Works

The Membership Program includes free and paid tiers. As the benefits page illustrates, the free (Essential) membership provides customers with access to transactional benefits like free returns, exchanges and early access to product drops while also offering community building opportunities like virtual community events and asynchronous studio content.

Member program benefits from Lululemon


Free Community Activations

Virtual community events from Lululemon

Lululemon’s online events allow members to participate in fitness and wellness experiences from the comfort of their own homes. These virtual events include fitness classes and workshops on various topics with brand ambassadors and experts in various wellness fields, allowing customers to connect with them and learn from their expertise.

Lululemon Studio content from Lululemon

These live sessions are complemented by free access to select asynchronous studio content, allowing users to tailor their experience to their own goals and schedule. By offering free users with a sampling of community benefits, the brand is effectively employing a freemium strategy to upsell their paid membership offering.

Pop Up Insight:

  • The community is the product.

  • Employ a freemium strategy to increase paid subscriptions.


Paid Membership Program

The paid (Studio) membership, priced at $39 USD/month with a 12-month commitment and purchase of a Studio mirror includes additional benefits such as unlimited experiential classes, early event access, 10k+ workouts, 10% off gear, and 20% off at partner studios.

Paid membership content by Lululemon

Early Event Access

Lululemon regularly hosts events including yoga classes, run clubs, meditation sessions, and workshops on nutrition and wellness. Offering early access to this engaged community delivers value to members while ensuring well attended, engaging events.

Partner Studio Discounts

Lululemon regularly hosts events including yoga classes, run clubs, meditation sessions, and workshops on nutrition and wellness. Offering early access to this engaged community delivers value to members while ensuring well attended, engaging events.

Pop Up Insight:

  • Leverage partnerships and collaborations to deliver value and acquire new users.

  • Consider linking the premium tier to a hero product that directly relates to the program.

Key Takeaways

Experiences create brand connections

With increased competition, many brands have become commoditized. In Lululemon’s space, there are now dozens of competitors. Experiential rewards help convey the brand’s story and foster deeper brand connections. 

Free and paid tiers

For some brands, offering paid tiers may make sense, allowing a brand to productize its membership program. 

Community is key

Central to Lululemon’s program is the ability for customers to interact with one another, building a shared sense of identity. Customer to customer interactions are critical to a community-centric approach to brand growth. 

Walk, then run

Before opening its program to the masses, Lululemon first launched a smaller-scale program for a subset of customers. This incremental approach may not make sense for all brands but is an easy way to test the waters of a membership program with minimal resources. 

Take Lululemon's success and make it your own.Sign up to the Pop Up Report to receive more case studies like these delivered directly to your inbox.


© 2024 RareCircles Inc. All rights reserved.

© 2024 RareCircles Inc. All rights reserved.

© 2024 RareCircles Inc. All rights reserved.