LuLaRoe nabs cultural accelerator founder Oliver Luckett to boost brand image
Multi-level marketing company LuLaRoe is attempting to alter its deteriorating brand image by hiring social media entrepreneur Oliver Luckett as the brand's Chief Social Retail Architect.
Luckett is the author of bestselling social media book "The Social Organism." He is also CEO of ReviloPark, a cultural accelerator based both in LA and in Reykjavik, Iceland, where Luckett is also a university professor. In his new role with LuLaRoe, he will be tasked with teaching the 80,000 LuLaRoe reps how to sell more product.
Luckett said, "My team and I plan to aid this passionate and successful network of retailers to reach their potential within the social ecosystem."
Passion is a key value that LuLaRoe depends on for its increased expansion. Founded in 2013, LuLaRoe had an explosive start to its business raking in $1.3 billion in annual wholesale revenues in four years. As the company known for comfortable leggings with wild prints grew, it's less than wholesome practices have come into the spotlight.
Both poor quality product and a corporate structure that is more pyramid scheme than legitimate business are now core LuLaRoe associations. A slew of recent news stories and online testimonials have revealed the inside life of a LuLaRoe rep as well as the debt accrued while trying to sell the brand.
Women are enticed to join the company as "Independent Fashion Retailers". For $6,000, they purchase their first assortment which is given to them without regard for popular sizes, trends or geographic location and weather which might affect styles purchased. They end up having hundreds and thousands of dollars of defective inventory and dead stock in their homes that is virtually unsalable.
They are then coached by their mentors to continue buying because the only way to boost their sales is to purchase more product. Mentors at the top of the pyramid offer low level reps suggestions about types of credit cards to get and how to distribute their personal debt to buy more product.
Mark Stidham, co-founder and CEO of LuLaRoe said that he started the business with a "commitment to bless lives and strengthen families." Similar to Avon and other multi-level marketing companies, the consumer who becomes the rep is a woman who is looking for ways to maximize her earning potential.
Unfortunately however, when a rep tries to leave LuLaRoe she is socially ostracized. LuLaRoe reps jump on dissenters in the community with extreme measures like questioning their commitment to their religious beliefs. To that end, Facebook groups now exist as support communities to help women trying to leave the scheme.
As the new "Social Retail Architect," Luckett is undoubtedly also tasked with breathing new life into the brand image and with boosting morale among the sales reps.
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