How to Out-Peloton Peloton

Digital Fitness

I was in a call recently with the VP Fitness at a large national gym chain here in the US, and at one point during the call, she commented that, “We know we can’t out-Peloton Peloton.”

Respectfully, at Tribe, we disagree.

So what is it that makes Peloton so great?  Let’s take a look:

  1. Brand: Yes - people wear t-shirts with the Peloton logo in selfies.  But people also tattoo themselves with the Orange Theory logo, and with your members or city, you’ve likely built a great brand too.  You know your members in a way that Peloton can only ever dream of.
  2. Coaches:  More TV personalities than coaches, Robin, Cody and the rest are incredibly engaging on camera.  But most boutique studios and gyms have at least some coaches who would do great on camera, others can improve with a little practice and mentoring.  Also we have found that the more interactivity and data the coaches have to engage with during the workout, the easier it is for them to bring their energy and A-game.
  3. Music:  OK this is a tough one due to music licensing laws, and Peloton has spent literally hundreds of millions of dollars on commercial music licensing.  But Feed.fm (the music live streaming platform used by Mirror, FightCamp, Tonal and ClassPass among others) is available in platforms like Tribe - you just have to factor the music costs into your digital service overheads.
  4. Community:  Peloton has a Facebook group, and some follow / chat options in the user interface.  Your brand includes community and accountability that Peloton can never truly match as a “digital only” solution, because your members meet each other and your coaches in the real world, and smaller class sizes are more intimate.  You need a way to enhance that community in digital, and Zoom isn’t it.
  5. Hardware:  Peloton makes a great bike with connected metrics.  So do SoulCycle and others.  But Zwift has created a community of over 3 million riders with connected bike trainers while avoiding manufacturing their own hardware.  Apple Fitness+ doesn’t have its own connected hardware, neither does Peloton Digital - they just integrate with smartwatches like Apple Watch.
  6. Metrics:  In digital, people have got used to metrics, leaderboards, badges, gamification.  A lot of local boutiques do this in studio, but struggle to do it in digital, because … Zoom.  Again, there are platforms like Tribe that are changing the game for metrics and gamification in local and small group workouts - it is achievable with the right software code.
  7. Digital Platform:  Peloton (Apple, Tonal, Tempo, Mirror, …) have each spent millions of dollars building a custom digital experience designed specifically for fitness.  Vimeo and Zoom aren’t going to cut it to compete with this, because they don’t have any of the fitness-specific features.  But the good news is that Tribe is also spending millions of dollars on developing a digital fitness platform, and we are building it for both local and national gyms and boutiques to use.

If you’re thinking of building your own online fitness classes solution, why not at least try Tribe’s platform for free before you commit to a massive internal investment? Don’t re-invent a Ford Model-T before at least taking our Mercedes for a test drive and seeing if you’d prefer to lease it?

Local boutiques have so many of the ingredients to out-Peloton Peloton.  

The VP in my call said she has over 100 coaches who are truly Peloton quality, with great energy and stage presence on camera.  What’s missing is the platform to let them shine, and at Tribe, that’s what we’re building.

There’s no reason to surrender digital to Peloton and Apple.  Local matters and can win because the community and accountability it brings is stickier than the new generation of workout DVDs - even those with fancy hardware.  

Justin Marston

CEO
Thinker, writer, innovator, runner, Star Wars fan

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