Staff Reporters
Jul 10, 2023

Asia-Pacific Power List 2023: Lynn Cheah, Lululemon

Bringing professional experience from luxury to Lululemon, Cheah has been leading the sports fashion brand into another decade in Chinese Mainland to become a must-have apparel and a label for the middle class.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2023: Lynn Cheah, Lululemon
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

Lynn Cheah

VP, brand marketing and community
New Member 

2023 marks the tenth anniversary of Lululemon entering the Mainland China market. Over the past decade, the Canadian brand has grown from a market entrant  to a top sports and fashion brand  with 101 stores in 36 cities across the Chinese mainland. By 2026, the market will be Lululemon’s second-largest market worldwide. But don’t judge Lululemon by its retail store presence alone. Those familiar with Chinese social media platforms will recognise its topics and online campaigns that have gone viral. 

The marketing leader behind the most recent success story is Lynn Cheah, who joined the brand in early 2021 as VP of brand marketing and community. Noticing the rise of the sports-fashion trend during the pandemic, with more people wearing such apparel to work, she seized the opportunity to promote the brand as a part of consumers’ daily lives. 

Fashion analysts attributed the brands’ success in China to three core values of connection, growth, and sweat. Connection, of course, is a key component of a marketer’s job, and Cheah’s outreach creatively presents their sports and fashion products more inclusively, through campaigns that don’t fixate on physical appearance but engage with the community around discussions of Chinese local culture and lifestyle. Last summer, over 100,000 people in China were said to participate in Lululemon’s annual ‘Summer Fun Challenge’ that ignited a national fitness boom in Beijing, Chongqing, Shenzhen and Shenyang, advocating ‘the sweaty life’. 

Positioning the brand’s philosophy through a self-improvement ‘Supergirl’ persona, Cheah has also helped the brand engage with the community by encouraging mental health positivity. As Cheah pointed out, “finding ways to be well has become a lifelong pursuit for many”. On World Mental Health Day last October, Lululemon launched its ‘Wellbeing for All’ series of campaigns and activities in the Chinese market, inspiring people to take positive actions towards physical, mental, and social well-being, in a year of nationwide lockdown.

The brand also introduced an online wellbeing hub on their WeChat Mini Program for guests to check-in daily to practice wellbeing. More than 50 offline stores partnered with ambassadors to launch more than 60 community activities.

Digital marketing, of course, is a key component to any brand’s marketing strategy in China and Lululemon also takes full advantage. For the past five years, it has partnered with Tmall to celebrate its Super Brand Day. Most recently, on April 7, the brand once again honoured the day with brand-specific sales, special promotions and exclusive perks but went a step further to present its iconic Align collection at a pop-up space named “Align Movement Theater” in Chengdu. This was paired with a livestream on the Tmall flagship store and leveraged by the campaign hashtag ‘Get into it’, the slogan of the Align collection, garnering 38.5 million views in a single week on Weibo.

Last July, Lululemon officially unveiled a digital flagship store on J Shop, JingDong’s upgrade of its fashion and lifestyle business, featuring clothes printed with the word “love” to express love for Chinese Valentine's Day in summer. In May, Lululemon launched ‘Worn by Us’ campaign celebrating its 10th anniversary entering Chinese Mainland. 

Before Lululemon China, Cheah has served as a seasoned leader for fashion and luxury brands. From Singapore to Malaysia, Hong Kong to Paris, she has managed multicultural teams from Louis Vuitton Malletier to Tory Burch and Stuart Weitzman, specialising in luxury retail, social commerce, and ecommerce.

Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers


Campaign Asia

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