Gaiam IMC Campaign


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Gaiam IMC Campaign

  1. 1. Gaiam 1 GAIAM Integrated Marketing Communications Plan for Gaiam Yoga Apparel and Props By: Jill Bichner April 24, 2008 IMC 409- Spring Term ‘08
  2. 2. Gaiam 2 Table of Contents Section Page Number(s) Title Page 1 Table of Contents 2 Company Overview 3 Situational Analysis 4 Brand Position 5 Competitive Analysis 6 Target Audience 7 Marketing Objectives and Strategies 8 Campaign Theme 9 Tactics 10-11 Campaign Time Line 12 Media Support 13-14 Plan Rationale 15-16 Bibliography 17-18
  3. 3. Gaiam 3 Company Overview • Gaiam is pronounced “guy-um.” • The name Gaiam is derived from a combination of Gaia, the earth goddess of the Minoan civilization of Crete, and “I am.” • Gaiam was founded in 1988 in Boulder, Colorado.1 • Gaiam created the acronym LOHAS which stands for Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability. • Gaiam attempts to make a difference in the world by educating people on the benefits of LOHAS. • Gaiam sells over 10,000 environmentally friendly products.2 • Gaiam acquired 67 percent of Healing Arts Publishing LLC in 1998 and the remaining 33 percent in 1999. Gaiam also acquired Inner Balance Inc. in 1998 and merged Internet properties with Whole Foods Market Inc. in 2000, creating a new company called Inc.3 • Gaiam acquired a yoga props company in 2000 along with an organic clothing manufacturer by 2001. Also in the year 2001, Gaiam acquired ownership of Earthlings, Inc. and acquired Self Care, Inc. In addition, they launched an internally managed affiliate program in 2001 through LinkShare Affiliate Network.4 • More recently, Gaiam has acquired interest in Leisure Systems International Ltd., GoodTimes Entertainment, Conscious Media, Inc. and Cinema Circle, Inc. 5
  4. 4. Gaiam 4 Situational Analysis • Gaiam is competing in a market in which other companies are also producing clothing made from organic materials. • One example is the use of organic cotton, which uses no chemicals in the farming of the cotton therefore leaving the air, water and soil in better condition. • The Organic Trade Association protects consumers against toxic risks from chemicals put on the clothing by placing strict standards on all stages of textile processing. • The use of organic cotton is a growing trend. Some companies such as Patagonia have always used organic cotton. Meanwhile other companies such as Nike are beginning to use them in some of their products. Additionally, “eco-chic was all the rage at FutureFashion.”6 FutureFashion was a fashion show put on in 2006 in New York which featured clothes made from organic fibers. • Companies such as Gaiam tend to be the ones leading the way in sustainable practices by going green. • Gaiam claims that 90 percent of an emerging group of consumers have shared values of authenticity, environmental awareness, healthy lifestyles and person development. Gaiam calls the group of consumers cultural creatives; Gaiam estimates there are 50 million in the United States alone.7 • Gaiam markets its products through business to business and direct to consumers through five sales channels which include media, national retailers, corporate accounts, catalogs and the Internet, meanwhile distributing its products from one fulfillment center.8
  5. 5. Gaiam 5 • Gaiam also has 16 million catalogs in circulation and utilizes the Internet for direct sales of other eco-friendly products.9 Brand Position • By creating the acronym LOHAS, Gaiam has positioned itself as a company devoted to lifestyles of health and sustainability. • Included in the ideas of health and sustainability are fitness and green living. • Gaiam attempts to set the standard for the growing LOHAS industry by offering information products and services that match the LOHAS lifestyle. • Gaiam’s position is also to foster a sense community among is consumers in order to create a conscious community of people who will make a difference in the world. • Gaiam is a company which acts to inspire its consumers to live better lives. • According to Gaiam, “we are building our brand identity as the trusted source and unifying brand for people interested in the benefits and rewards of lifestyles of health and sustainability.”10 • Gaiam is in the position to sell the high quality products made from all natural materials, such as organic cotton. Use of products such as organic cotton helps to provide proof of Gaiam’s position. • Proof of Gaiam’s devotion to health can be seen in the companies it chooses to team with, such as Whole Foods Market grocery stores, which is also in the position of promoting healthy living. • Proof can also be seen in the other products Gaiam offers, such as renewable energy solutions, which include products that are solar, wind and hydro-powered.
  6. 6. Gaiam 6 • Gaiam is a company that is positioned to help its consumers feel connected to the earth, make a difference in the world and to make a mind-body connection. Competitive Analysis • Gaiam believes its competitive strengths are a focus on the growing market segment (LOHAS), experienced management team, exceptional customer service, distinctive branded products, efficient operating model, multiple distribution channels, established infrastructure as well as its acquisition experience.11 • Gaiam competes primarily in the following industries: sports and recreation equipment retail, apparel and accessories retail, consumer product manufacturers, electronics and pharmaceuticals industries.12 • A list of Gaiam’s top competitors in the apparel industry includes NIKE and Reebok. • Gaiam’s yoga apparel tops its competitors by using more organic cotton in its yoga pants and tank tops. Gaiam uses approximately 90 percent organic cotton,13 while NIKE uses five percent.14 Meanwhile, Reebok’s apparel is made from a combination of polyester and spandex.15 • In most cases, Gaiam’s yoga apparel line lies within the price range of its competitors. • Gaiam tank tops are priced between $36.00 and $40.0016 while NIKE and Reebok tank tops are priced between $40.00 and $45.00 for NIKE17 and $28.00 and $40.00 for Reebok.18 • Gaiam’s yoga pants are priced around $50.00,19 meanwhile NIKE’s pants are priced between $45.00 and $65.0020 and Reebok pants cost between $30.00 and $60.00.21
  7. 7. Gaiam 7 • Gaiam’s yoga props, such as mats, cost between $22.00 and $50.00.22 NIKE’s brand of yoga mat cost about $25.00.23 I was unable to find any yoga props sold by Reebok. • Overall, the emerging of LOHAS is a fragmented segment with no market leader. Target Audience • Gaiam divides its products into five categories: sustainable economy, healthy living, alternative healthcare, personal development and ecological lifestyles. • Gaiam recognizes that these five segments share a common target consumer and should be viewed as one industry. • Gaiam describes its target audience by using the company’s acronym LOHAS which stands for lifestyles of health and sustainability. • Therefore, psychographically, Gaiam’s target audience is anyone who values personal development, wellness, ecological lifestyles and conscious communities. • Of Gaiam’s target audience, 80 percent are women, 70 percent have college degrees and 54 percent have an annual income of over $75,000 a year.24 • Of the 10.1 million people who currently practice yoga in the United States, 80 percent are women;25 appropriately, Gaiam’s yoga apparel line is targeted towards women in magazines such as Yoga Journal, whose target is almost identical to Gaiam’s. • Gaiam reaches out to target audience members online and in over 30,000 retail stores,26 such as Target and Whole Foods found in both urban and suburban locations. This essentially brings access to the LOHAS lifestyle to every corner of the United States.
  8. 8. Gaiam 8 • The target audience is appropriate because educated individuals with higher incomes have the means to understand and pursue the benefits of healthy lifestyles. • This is a recommended target because the individuals who lead a healthy lifestyle and who practice yoga, will embrace Gaiam and the acronym LOHAS. • Also, targeting leaders of healthy lifestyles is appropriate because they will be able to help increase brand awareness by passing along information by word of mouth. Marketing Objectives and Strategies Objectives: • One objective is to increase consumer awareness and knowledge of LOHAS. • Another objective is to increase brand awareness. • The last objective is to increase consumer awareness and involvement of other Gaiam products. Strategies: • Increase consumer awareness and knowledge of LOHAS through product placement. • Increase brand awareness through promotions and advertising. • Use sponsorship of a yoga event to demonstrate yoga props and apparel as well as other Gaiam products.
  9. 9. Gaiam 9 Campaign Theme • The theme for this integrated plan will utilize Gaiam’s acronym, LOHAS which stands for lifestyles of health and sustainability. • The theme will use this acronym to help promote consumers to change towards living more healthy and sustainable lifestyles. • In order to establish new relationships with consumers, Gaiam must convince people to change their lifestyle. • The overall theme will be, “Get into your LOHAS.” • This is essentially telling the consumers to get into their ways of living lifestyles of health and sustainability. • Consumers will become aware of the many products Gaiam has to offer that will help them live LOHAS. • The theme, “Get into your LOHAS,” relates to Gaiam’s tag line of, “A lifestyle Company.”
  10. 10. Gaiam 10 • Gaiam must also establish awareness among consumers who are living the LOHAS, but are not presently Gaiam brand consumers. • The theme, “Get into your LOHAS” links the acronym, LOHAS to Gaiam’s tag line and position by promoting consumers to “get into a lifestyle change.” Tactics Promotions: • Utilize the LOHAS acronym and the campaign them, “Get into your LOHAS,” through product placement in order to induce action from the consumers. • Use a specific and relevant television program to place Gaiam yoga mats. • Use personalities within the television program to promote the benefits of yoga and the convenience of Gaiam yoga mats after television contestants participate in a yoga workout. • Use personalities to explain Gaiam’s acronym LOHAS and the campaign theme, “Get into your LOHAS” to help increase awareness of Gaiam and what the brand stands for. • Product placement on the television program will span over the course of the 15 week program. Advertisements:
  11. 11. Gaiam 11 • Branch out with print ads in magazines other than Yoga Journal that share the same target consumer as Gaiam. • Use the Acronym LOHAS along with the campaign theme, “Get into your LOHAS” in the advertisements in order to increase awareness of brand and LOHAS which is essentially what the brand itself stands for. • Consumers will then have a chance to integrate the message they may hear on television with the message they may see in magazines. • Timing will coincide with the 15 week television program to maximize the amount of exposure audibly and visually. Besides coinciding with the television program, advertisements will be placed specifically in the first four months of the year. Advertisements will then be placed in a different magazine which shares a similar target audience. However, this time advertisements will appear in the issues prior to and during the summer months. Event Sponsorship: • Studies show that in-person events can increase purchase intent by as much as 52 percent.27 • Gaiam will sponsor an event that reaches out to hundreds of health conscious men and women who are active in the yoga community. • Sponsors at this event will have a spot at the yoga bazaar expo show to demonstrate products. • Creation of promotional materials will accompany this sponsorship and be placed throughout the conference. Material will depict the acronym LOHAS and campaign theme, “Get into your LOHAS.”
  12. 12. Gaiam 12 • This integrates with the campaign theme because there will be hundreds of men and women in the yoga community who will be in attendance. They can create a buzz about Gaiam products, helping to increase brand awareness and perhaps help increase purchase intent. Campaign Time Line January February March April May June July Week: Week: Week: Week: Week: Week: Week: 12345 1234 1234 12345 12345 1234 12345 Promotions- xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxx Product Placement on Biggest Loser. Tuesdays Jan 1- April 15. Advertisement- Fitness: Fitness: Fitness: Fitness: Fitness: Fitness: Fitness: Place new print x x x x ads which utilize the acronym Redbook: Redbook: Redbook: Redbook: Redbook: Redbook: Redbook: LOHAS in x x x x similar target consumer magazines.
  13. 13. Gaiam 13 Sponsorships- x x The Midwest Yoga Conference Media Support • The placement of Gaiam yoga mats and apparel will be in the television program Biggest Loser. Biggest Loser is a reality game show in which contestants work out with personal trainers in an attempt to lose more weight than their competitors over a time span of 15 weeks. • Biggest Loser uses yoga as a method of working out. Biggest Loser also places products such as Extra chewing gum and Ziploc Zip ‘N Steam bags. Biggest Loser trainers often promote these products during the show. Gaiam will team up with Biggest Loser so that during yoga workouts the contestant will use Gaiam yoga mats and props, and the logo will be shown during the yoga workout. The trainers, while explaining the benefits of yoga will be able to explain Gaiam’s acronym LOHAS and incorporate that the Gaiam brand is a great choice in yoga mats and props.
  14. 14. Gaiam 14 • The program Biggest Loser also challenges the home audience to lose weight and partake in healthy living. Therefore, Gaiam will also advertise in Fitness magazine, a magazine which shares Gaiam’s similar target market of middle to upper class working women. The magazine is issued once a month during which Gaiam will advertise in the January through April issues. The timing will coincide with the 15 week program of Biggest Loser because it is likely that consumers who are inspired by the show may pick up the magazines for extra guidance. There will then be crossover in which that same consumer sees Gaiam’s product placement as well as magazine advertisements. The timing is also important because many consumers make New Year’s resolutions to get healthy and or lose weight. The show and the magazine advertisements both start in January right after New Years. The advertisements will incorporate the acronym LOHAS because it is a great way to send Gaiam’s message. These print advertisements will also incorporate the campaign theme, “Get into your LOHAS” because this is a great leverage point which helps link Gaiam’s product to the consumers’ personal values. • After the first 15 weeks, Gaiam will then place advertisements in Redbook magazine. Redbook shares Gaiam’s target consumer by reaching out to working mothers between 35 to 54 years of age. These print advertisements will also utilize the acronym LOHAS as and the campaign Theme, “Get into Your LOHAS.” These advertisements will appear in each month’s issue starting in April and running through July. This is an important time because many consumers seek to start living healthy and or lose weight in the months of or prior to summer. • Gaiam will sponsor the Midwest Yoga Conference which takes place at Indian Lakes Resort in Bloomingdale Illinois, from May 27 through June 1.
  15. 15. Gaiam 15 • This event is important because the participants’ lifestyles match with Gaiam’s core values and acronym of LOHAS, and it is a great way to establish brand loyalty among consumers who are already involved in yoga and who utilize yoga props and apparel. Sponsorship will establish a strong connection between the brand and the consumer by reminding current Gaiam consumers that Gaiam is the brand who shares their values. It is also a great way to establish brand awareness to any new consumers. • The yoga bazaar expo will be an opportunity for Gaiam to demonstrate other Gaiam products which are directly related to LOHAS. Plan Rationale • In my opinion the consumers who care most about the world around them are the consumers who put their own health and wellness as a main priority. • Gaiam sells many products dedicated to lifestyles of health and wellness, so I believe the acronym LOHAS should be utilized more to help encourage people to participate in making themselves and the world a cleaner, safer and healthier place. • Reaching out and educating consumers of the target market through sponsorship of the Midwest Yoga Conference is a great way for Gaiam to help spread the idea of LOHAS. It is up to these individuals to help spread the message and help create awareness. • Issues which concern our environment, disease and rates of obesity in America are ever- growing and it is imperative that the Gaiam brand reaches out now, more than ever.
  16. 16. Gaiam 16 • Gaiam can benefit from product placement and advertisements within media that shares the same goals of promoting healthy living, such as Biggest Loser and Fitness magazine. • There is an ever increasing emphasis on health in consumer buying trends so by Gaiam joining Biggest Loser, Fitness and Redbook; they will be able to reach out to consumers who are striving to make healthy changes for themselves, their families and for the environment. There will be reinforcement as the consumers will begin to see the Gaiam brand showing up in places that is has previously not showed up in. • By integrating product placement on television, advertisements in magazines and sponsorship of large consumer targeted events, Gaiam will be able to produce brand awareness. By integrating the acronym LOHAS, Gaiam will encourage and direct people to seek out lifestyles of health and sustainability. • Gaiam has a loyal consumer base. For example, the average person who buys one Gaiam brand DVD returns to by five more.28 • This integrated plan will maintain the relationship with current Gaiam consumers by reinforcing the brand’s values which it shares with its target consumer, by helping establish awareness among the many Americans who are changing the way in which they consume products and live their lives and finally, by reaching out to those who may be just beginning on the path to a lifestyle of health and sustainability.
  17. 17. Gaiam 17 Bibliography
  18. 18. 1 Gaiam Inc (1999, July). . Retrieved March 5, 2008 from, Web site: 2 (2008). . Retrieved February 20, 2008 from, Web site: -ID_6062- -/free-co-profile.xhtml 3 (2005). . Retrieved February 20, 2008 from, Web site: 4 (2005). . Retrieved February 20, 2008 from, Web site: 5 (2005). . Retrieved February 20, 2008 from, Web site: 6 (2004-2005). The Case for Organic Cotton. Retrieved March 6, 2008 from, Web site: 7 Gaiam Inc (1999, July). . Retrieved March 5, 2008 from, Web site: 8 (2005). . Retrieved February 20, 2008 from, Web site: 9 (). . Retrieved February 21, 2008 from, Web site: 10 (). . Retrieved February 21, 2008 from Web site: aboutmission.asp?Type=about 11 Gaiam Inc (1999, July). . Retrieved March 5, 2008 from, Web site: 12 (2008). . Retrieved March 31, 2008 from Web site: - ID__60602- -/free-co-competition.xhtml 13 (). . Retrieved March 31, 2008 from Web site: 14 (). . Retrieved March 31, 2008 from Web site: 15 (). . Retrieved March 31, 2008 from Web site:
  19. 19. 16 (). . Retrieved March 31, 2008 from Web site: 17 (). . Retrieved March 31, 2008 from Web site:,grid,_grid,f-10001+12002+26009&re=US&co=US&la= EN 18 (). . Retrieved March 31, 2008 from Web site: 19 (). . Retrieved March 6, 2008 from Web site: 20 (). . Retrieved March 31, 2008 from Web site:,grid,_grid,f-10001+12002+26009&re=US&co=US&la= EN 21 (). . Retrieved March 31, 2008 from Web site: 22 (). . Retrieved March 31, 2008 from Web site: 23 (). . Retrieved March 31, 2008 from Web site:,grid,_pdp,cid-1/gid-162558/pid-162557,_grid,f-26009+1 2003&re=US&co=US&la=EN 24 (). . Retrieved February 21, 2008 from Web site: (Clicked on Visual Experience) 25 (). . Retrieved April 3, 2008 from Web site: 26 2005). . Retrieved February 20, 2008 from, Web site: 27 Hein, K. (2008). Study: Purchase Intent Grows With Each Event. Brandweek, 49(4), 4-4. 28 (). . Retrieved February 21, 2008 from Web site: (Clicked on Visual Experience)