The three letters of the name for the yoga brand, Alo, stand for air, land, ocean, all of which often appear in the background of yogi demonstrations the brand shows off on social media. Danny Harris, the company’s CEO, founded the company along with Marco deGeorge in Los Angeles in 2007.
The timing was fortuitous.
Fashion and wellness
Over the past several years, it’s becoming increasingly common for women, including celebrities to be seen around town clad in “athleisure” even when they’re not on the way to or from the gym. Everyone boasts about A-list celebrities, like Taylor Swift, who wear their brand, and Alo is no exception. Alo is proud of its popularity among the stars “and the fashion-forward who wear Alo because it’s the perfect street brand, comfortable, contemporary and decidedly not just for the mat.”
Aside from the fashion trend, the willingness to shell out substantial sums for leggings reflects how the beauty market has been integrated with the ostensibly less superficial “wellness boom.” that is at the core of the Alo brand identity that will always bring its brand story back to the yoga center. That’s how a brand’s identity can nurture long-term customer relationships, even before they make their first purchase.
Before mentioning its popularity among celebrities, it stresses that its celebrities who really count are “the world’s best yogis who wear Alo because it’s the only line that actually elevates their practice.” Indeed, that group of “best yogis” are the primary Alo ambassadors, promoting the brand on their Instagram and YouTube channels – in what seems to be their main marketing channel.
Alo further capitalized on its relationship with popular yogi-influencers by featuring 67 of them (25 of which are men) as instructors for Alo Moves. Notable names in yoga circles featured there include California-based Ashley Galvin, who has 528K followers on Instagram, Dylan Warner who has 664K followers on Instagram.
While the superstar of yoga, Australia-based Sjana Elise Earp, who has 1.6 million followers on Instagram, does not appear there, she is one of the names the brand strongly associates with. You can see her model her Alo haul on YouTube where she has 109K subscribers. Alo is doubling down on influencer marketing as its main effort to retain customers.
Building a sense of community centered on yoga
Of course, Alo also has its own YouTube channel, which is primarily focused on yoga demonstrations. But it also has some more overt pats on the back for the brand. The “We are Alo” video below conveys an aesthetic of sand, surf, fluid motion, and design.
The video also features yoga instructors talking about the benefits they’ve found in joining the Alo community. It literally brings together people from across the world as the one from Israel joined up with another from California for the photo-shoot.
While the video shows nothing but light and love, the reality is not quite as simple, as revealed by one influencer being very much on the outs with Alo, and the comments on the article show that some believe that consumerism and yoga do not mix. Nevertheless, for the audience focused on the positive notes, the clothes get associated with the virtues of yoga — not just a means to achieve health but also mindfulness.
Tapping into values in marketing
Mindful of the advantage of evoking values that resonate with one’s customer-base in marketing, Alo also evokes the virtues of sustainability and authenticity in its marketing. Work amenities include “a solar-powered office, yoga twice a day at our studio, electric-car charging stations, an advanced recycling program that reduces waste to that of a small household, meetings outside by the fountains in our meditative zen garden, and dog friends at work.” It then drives home the authenticity point: “Alo is living it in every way we can, so what we share with you comes from a place that’s real.”
What Alo has pulled off is very effectively making the medium the message in bringing in the yogis with strong followers to represent its brand and building a business around the values associated with the yoga market. It makes use of influencer marketing while also checking all the boxes of authenticity, environmental awareness, mindfulness, community, health, and celebrity-endorsed fashion.
While it remains a private company with just around 200 employees, it has exceeded $10 million in revenue, thanks to its marketing strategy. Stay tuned.