Design director at Jackson Wynne
^ OK that is NOT a Peloton.
For the record – this is an unsponsored post. I’m just a huge advocate for the at-home exercise products that they have managed to master and improve on.
I tend to ignore the recent news. Every company has its ups and downs so quarterly results are important but not in the scope of thinking long term. They are a successful company and offer a lot of insight on the perfect storm of several things, most notably: Product, Digital, and Community.
Many see it as an overnight success. The truth is, it wasn’t always a hot product. Founded in 2012, it was a long hard road to get to where it is today. An exercise startup that gained momentum over time, making the right moves and ended up a smash hit globally (as long as you live in the U.S., UK, Germany and of course, Canada).
The exercise industry was ready for a revolution with the marriage of technology with a premium designer-level product and the all too familiar subscription model.
Keeping in mind this is not a bargain brand, the price is a sticker shock for many but it’s the price of entry. The promise it delivers is encouraging providing fresh content for as long as you stay motivated to continue for.
Perhaps the most compelling part of Peloton is its tribe-like psychology. Joining live with your friends and connecting and competing with people all around the world with the live feed. Represent a group through a hashtag, start your own and follow your favourite instructor all from the comfort of your home, wherever that may be.
From a social perspective, you’ll find like-minded friends and family or find new people who get it and are experiencing a similar journey.
Part of the main draw is choosing the instructor(s) you vibe with. They have different challenges and music tastes and change it up to keep things interesting.
Celebrity-like personalities in their own right, you have ex DJs, athletes and sports enthusiasts becoming huge names. The cult of personality is huge here and there are opportunities for some that grow their personal brands extending beyond Peloton for multiple revenue streams.
From a company perspective, the product is digital, it just happens to include a physical exercise bike or treadmill, etc. The experience starts online from your first interaction with live chat asking questions to your eCommerce order, buying with Affirm as an option for monthly instalments.
Picking your delivery day and the friendly crew that comes and drops off your bike and orientates you on everything.
Reaching 100 rides gets you into the century club and you get a t-shirt for the accomplishment. It sounds like a small gesture but it makes it real. Milestones are set for you to keep going and hit your next huge goal.
Live feeds show who you are against and what ranking position you’re in.
Hitting personal bests has to be one of the best features. You are competing against yourself.
Getting monthly reports on your stats is a helpful check-in to see how things are going, how you did compared to the previous month.
Every business owner loves an opportunity to have a recurring billing structure. Peloton charges a monthly fee for you to access the system. You don’t need to do this, but it’s like having an Xbox without any games – you kind of need it.
Think of it as a gym membership, it’s easier to swallow that way at least that’s what I tell myself. In terms of making it worth it, exercising enough to “earn” your fee is another way to look at it.
Peloton comes with the bike and integrated tablet ready to go, just plug it in and set up your account and you’re ready to go.
Some suggestions to make the most of it:
- Invest in a good set of wireless exercise headphones
- A good bluetooth heartrate monitor is essential
- Yes – get a headband, thank me later
- Bike shorts provide some extra padding
- Get a few moisture-wicking shirt(s) for the week
- Definitely consider a fan – hello Vornado
- Have a water bottle handy, drink water when you need it
Folks, don’t forget to warm up and cool down. Often skipped, but very necessary.
Down the road
There are some minor issues to consider. For example, if more than one person rides the bike in your household, it’s a pain in the butt to constantly adjust the settings. Make sure you have enough ceiling room height to stand up on the bike.
What’s in store for Peloton? Can they get past the inevitable issues, lawsuits and bad press to continue to innovate the next generation of exercise technology? It’s still early yet but it’s exciting to see where they take it.
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