Boutique spinning classes have grown to mainstream prominence within the world of fitness with some even garnering near cult like followings. Yet, with mounting demand and constant bursts in popularity, a number of these classes have become increasingly exclusionary in terms of cost and convenience.
Peloton, however, is aiming to disrupt this narrative. Bringing the spinning class experience into individual user’s homes is the idea behind Peloton’s hardware. By combining content and innovative software with the bike itself, Peloton has been able to scale quickly and find a place amongst the ranks of the nation’s most premier classes.
Carolyn Tisch Blodgett, Peloton’s VP of Brand Marketing, discusses the tactful efforts the company has made to be more than just a footnote within modern fitness discourse.
Though Peloton’s offering is hardware (the bike) do marketing tactics stress the classes more than the hardware itself as the popularity of cycling classes is mounting?
Peloton is truly unique because it combines the best of hardware, software, and content to create a one-of-a-kind fitness experience. We live stream up to fourteen classes a day with our world class instructors from our NYC studio, and have over 4,000 classes in our on-demand library. So while our bike is certainly best in class, it's really the combination of the bike with the software and the content that makes Peloton unlike any other product.
How do you utilize the mainstream rhetoric of cycling that’s perpetuated by things such as SoulCycle and ClassPass to market Peloton?
The value proposition of Peloton is that we bring boutique fitness classes into your home, at your convenience. As such, we don't see other boutique fitness classes as competition - rather, they are broadening the market and making more people realize how fantastic instructor-led fitness classes can be. And once people are hooked, the idea of getting that same great class experience but in your own home on your own schedule really sells itself!
Do you attempt to reach people who indulge in the aforementioned classes or is Peloton’s demographic different than the SoulCycle tribe?
People that already love boutique fitness classes definitely have an easier time understanding what makes Peloton so fantastic. They are already addicted to the endorphin rush they get when they finish a 45 minute cycling class but for a host of reasons - time, inconvenience, price - don't get to them as much as they would like.
For others, Peloton is their first introduction into boutique fitness classes and they very quickly realize that for the first time they're getting an incredible workout that they love, all on their own schedule.
Our engagement rates are so high because both groups of members fall in love with the product very quickly!
Peloton also boasts a physical studio people can attend. How does this work in the marketing efforts and overall branding of Peloton’s primary offering of the bike?
Peloton brings the studio fitness experience into your home, so we see our NYC Chelsea Studio as a content house. It's where we live stream our classes from so that people around the country can really feel like they're in our NYC studio riding right alongside others.
However, the studio also serves as home base for our riders. Home riders will often make a special trip to NYC so that they can live ride with our instructors in the studio and actually get a chance to meet them in person. Watching a home rider meet an instructor in real life for the first time is one of the most powerful moments at Peloton because it truly feels like they are coming home.
As there is an inherent technological component of Peloton, how is this explained in marketing in a way that’s not overly technical and rather used as a way to aid Peloton’s branding and voice?
We are a technology company at our core, but we are also incredibly consumer-centric. That means that all of our technology is rooted in enabling a better consumer experience rather than just moving the technology forward. We always try to explain this consumer benefit in our marketing so that riders understand how this will enable a better consumer experience.
Any new innovations we can expect to see from Peloton in the near future?
Peloton was founded four years ago, and we just started shipping bikes two years ago. Over this time we've grown exponentially, but we know we've only scratched the surface. We still have a tremendous opportunity in the US cycling market. However, we also know that our founders didn't create Peloton to create a bike company, they created Peloton to transform the fitness industry and we will continue to move towards that goal.