Imagine you are a woman in the market for a new set of leggings/yoga pants.
You look at the Lululemon line of products because they are a highly recognizable luxury brand, your butt looks great in them, you can wear them everywhere except church, and decide you are going to buy a pair of Align leggings/yoga pants.
You are a careful shopper, so you check prices and end up on Amazon where the price is $124.
You are about to invoke One Click purchasing when your frugal husband whispers, “They look great and you will look great in anything, darling, but what about a dupe?”
WTF is a DUPE, Big Red Car?
Ahhh, dear reader, the Lululemon product is a bloody set of leggings made from a fabric that is widely available, the design is obvious, and the performance is easy to duplicate.
There are companies who focus on duplicating the performance of such leggings.
These are not counterfeits — garments passed off as being Lululemon including the little logo. No, these are perfectly legal dupes made by solid manufacturers.
Like who, Big Red Car?
OK, dear reader, like Sunzel for starters. They make a legging that is considered by third party testers to be the equivalent of the vaunted Align Lululemon legging. In this instance the Sunzel price, also on Amazon, is $26-28.
Where can you find this information, Big Red Car?
Publications like Teen Vogue go to considerable trouble to research and publish lists of the best dupes for a number of brands including Lululemon.
Here is such an article:
11 Best Lululemon Dupes on Amazon, According to TikTokers and Reviewers
Teen Vogue positions itself as an honest broker and relies upon the wisdom of the crowd defined as Instagram Reviewers and TikTok persons. There is wisdom in the crowd.
[I wonder if Lululemon advertises in Teen Vogue?]
Now comes the issue of BRAND. The Sunzel product is not Lululemon and will not arrive with the Lululemon logo affixed.
For a cost savings of almost $100 can you live without that logo or is that logo such a feature of the product that it is not something you can do?
I find this issue particularly interesting because the product itself — leggings/yoga pants/workout pants — is so pedestrian and the reviews indicate performance is identical.
Would you buy a single Lululemon pair of leggings or would you buy five Sunzel leggings for the same total expenditure?
Bottom line it, Big Red Car
I believe you can carry brand loyalty only so far. When somebody makes a product — being a consumable figures into it — that costs 20% of your branded product, and it is a pedestrian product rather than a huge fashion statement, I think the elasticity of brand loyalty is at its bloody limit.
I could be wrong.
Full disclosure: I do not own a single Lululemon garment nor do I anticipate buying any.
But, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car.