Move Nourish Believe

Website review: What’s in a name, Lorna Jane?

In Examples by Peter Gearin

The women’s activewear company’s spin-off site, Move Nourish Believe, is devoted to all things healthy, happy and sweaty.

Lorna Jane Clarkson must find it bizarre to go to work. Her name, Lorna Jane, is on nearly every sign, product and docket. Staffers say her name every time they answer the phone or speak with a customer. Lorna Jane herself can’t discuss business with anyone without mentioning her own name, as if her company is herself and she is her company.

Maybe that’s exactly how it is.

Lorna Jane is a bricks ‘n’ mortar and online retailer specialising in so-hot-right-now female activewear. It has dozens of stores across Australia and, according to its website, has a presence in 13 other countries (including 25 outlets in California alone).

There’s little doubt Lorna Jane (the company) and Lorna Jane (the person) are rolled-gold, lycra-clad Australian business success stories. The company, reportedly worth $500 million, employs 1200 people across Australia alone. Even a scandal involving an accusation of staff bullying in 2015 that led to Clarkson crying on 60 Minutes hasn’t appeared to damage the business or shake its positive vibe. According to an estimate in a news report in 2016, one item of Lorna Jane clothing is sold every 19 seconds in Australia.

In fact, the company claims that Clarkson practically invented the whole idea of activewear almost 20 years ago. “At the heart of it all is the creator and pioneer of Activewear and Active Living, Lorna Jane Clarkson,” its website says. “Since sewing her first one-off design in 1989 at her home in Brisbane, Australia, Lorna Jane has transformed her fashion vision into a world-leading Activewear brand and created a new fashion category.”

Lorna Jane’s stated mission is “to empower every woman to lead her best life through the Active Living philosophy and the daily practice of Move, Nourish and Believe”. It is this idea of “active living” and the associated messages promoting female empowerment that drive Lorna Jane’s activities in content marketing.

The Move Nourish Believe spin-off site is all about “living the Lorna Jane philosophy”. Broken down into the three categories of the website title, the site features short, highly instructional articles that help motivate and inspire women to be as healthy and as life-ready as they can be (dressed in Lorna Jane, presumably). Features include “5 reasons to eat protein” and “How to find your move groove”; another tells us how to make floral ice cubes using edible flowers.

The site has stories promoting good health, fitness and “wellness” – “Want killer curves? Here’s how!” – as well as recipes and meal plans. There are inspiring stories and motivational messages, as well as a selection of free downloads, such as festive wallpaper, “cute Christmas e-cards” and a guide to “why you should choose love over fear”.

The imagery used on the site is consistent, colourful and appealing. When they are not showing Clarkson herself, the photos depict very fit young women in activewear – jumping, stretching, smiling. They represent the very idea of an ideal Lorna Jane consumer.

Lorna Jane Clarkson

Lorna Jane Clarkson in a promotion on her eponymous website

Stories published on the site often attract a fair bit of feedback from the Lorna Jane “sisterhood”. These are the subscribers who are invested in the Lorna Jane philosophy and are happy to get the latest pieces of inspiration straight to their inboxes. In the comments section, some speak of their health issues or problems with motivation, and the “MNB” team is quick to reply with words of advice and encouragement.

Members of the sisterhood are invited to shop for content alongside the socks, shorts and tights. For $39.99, they can have an Active Living Diary, which includes exclusive recipes, quotes and 12 “reflection pages”. For $34.99, there’s an Active Living Planner to keep track of progress when they undertake the Lorna Jane 12-week fitness challenge. Other Lorna Jane content includes free and paid tablet apps, such the “LJ Fit Challenge Move Guide”.

Of course, they can also turn to Lorna Jane (the person) if they need more inspiration. Clarkson has published two books under the title Move, Nourish, Believe: The Fit Woman’s Secret Revealed, sharing her philosophies and inspirations around the concept of “active life”. Book two is available through the “etail” site for $39.99.

“Her promise is to be authentic and to speak from the heart,” the book blurb says, “as well as give you insights into her daily rituals, how she runs her multi-million dollar active wear fashion business, and how she motivates herself to eat well and exercise every single day of her life.”

Clarkson is Lorna Jane; Lorna Jane is Clarkson. They are the same thing.

Model in Lorna Jane ebook

Model in Lorna Jane ebook

At the end of 2016, Move Nourish Believe produced a free ebook called 30 Days to Believe – the Art of Active Living. As expected, it’s full of inspirational messages and positive suggestions to help women “understand and embrace their potential” … “Only compare yourself to: YOURSELF”. “You are good enough. The end.”

The ebook, which offers a tip per day for a month, talks about the importance of breathing and goal-setting and visualising and yoga, and implores women to find their inner fighter. “Get your fierce female on, we know she’s in there.”

These messages would appeal to anyone lacking self-belief. But the key target market is suggested by an image near the end of the ebook and used in the promotional material. It’s not a photo of Lorna Jane Clarkson and is unlike every other image on the MNB site. It’s a black and white image, shot from the rear, of a plus-size model crossing a bridge, wearing Lorna Jane.

“We believe in you, and you should too!”

Links & references

Lorna Jane’s Move Nourish Believe website

30 Days to Believe – the Art of Active Living ebook

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