Posts tagged with "Peloton"

Peloton aims to refocus as broader fitness brand—pitching an app and tiered subscriptions

May 30, 2023

When Peloton unveiled its 2019 holiday commercial—depicting a husband who gifted his wife a stationary bike for Christmas—the ad was widely panned as sexist, dystopian, and reminiscent of a hostage video, reports CNBC

People took umbrage at the commercial’s characters—a white, upper-middle-class family—and said it sent a range of dangerous messages about everything from gender norms to body dysmorphia.

While the controversy eventually faded from the headlines, the public remembered. The ad solidified Peloton’s nascent identity as a high-end bike company reserved for a certain type of person at a certain income level. Now, the company is ready to change that perception.

On Tuesday, May 30, Peloton is launching a new marketing campaign that bills the retailer as a company for anyone, regardless of age, fitness level and income—or whether they shelled out thousands for a pricey piece of equipment.

The brand relaunch comes a little over a year into Barry McCarthy’s tenure as CEO. He has worked to transform Peloton from a hardware-focused company into one that’s just as invested in its app and the high-margin subscription revenue that it brings.

Since McCarthy, a former Netflix and Spotify executive, replaced founder John Foley in February 2022, the company has been on the defense.

It has worked to rein in its gargantuan costs, remedy recalls and find new revenue streams as demand for its connected fitness products slowed and consumers became more cautious about their discretionary spending.

While the company has yet to return to profitability, it has managed to stop the bleeding. With a new marketing chief at the helm, Peloton says it’s ready to reintroduce itself to the world and shed the image the holiday ad seared into some minds.

It has unveiled a new marketing strategy designed to capture a new customer base. ″[We’re] now leaning in for the first time to the idea that OK, not everyone is going to bring premium Peloton hardware into their home,” Tom Cortese, Peloton’s co-founder and chief product officer, told CNBC.

“We know that the perception externally does not match the reality of who we are,” Peloton’s Chief Marketing Officer Leslie Berland, who started with the company in January and led the relaunch, told CNBC in an interview. “This company historically has been thought of as an in-home bike company for fitness enthusiasts but over the years, it has evolved into something that is much more bigger, much broader than that.”

The relaunch comes along with a new, tiered app strategy that includes an unlimited free membership option (with no credit card required) and levels that cost $12.99 and $24 monthly.

The content people will have access to varies by the level and, in some cases; legacy users will have less access come December, when a grace period ends. Currently, people who pay $12.99 a month to use the Peloton app can do a bike class every day, but in December, they’ll only be able to do three per month.

The relaunch includes a “Gym” function that enables users to take Peloton’s app into the gym with them and create custom workouts.

Peloton is also saying goodbye to its trademark fire engine red and black colors in favor of a new mix of hues it says better captures the “energy” of a workout and the “afterglow” that comes. New branding materials include shades of purple, pink, green and a lighter red.

In a splashy 90-second marketing video shared with CNBC, Peloton’s app takes center stage. It shows people of all shapes, sizes, fitness abilities and ages using it to take strength and yoga classes at home, but also in gyms, which have long been considered a threat to Peloton’s business.

While Peloton features its Bike, Tread and Row machines in the clip, it does not show the hardware until about 30 seconds into the video.

Peloton insisted the focus on selling subscriptions does not mean it has abandoned its hardware business, and said the company is on a dual track with both.

Briana Deserio, 32, has been a Peloton member since the early days of the pandemic. She said the brand’s competitive and aspirational appeal originally led her to buy a Bike. When briefed about the company’s new marketing strategy, she told CNBC she supports the move and its focus on being inclusive. But she said there’s a chance making Peloton accessible to everyone could dilute its brand.

“It’s kind of like a club and now everyone’s coming into the club,” said Deserio.

Berland, Peloton’s new marketing chief, isn’t concerned about the brand losing strength. She said the new marketing strategy reflects what the company already is.

“Our members, our instructors, our classes, our content. That is unchanged. The company has evolved into all of this,” said Berland. “It’s time for the brand and the marketing to represent all of that and all of its vibrancy.”

Research contact: @CNBCnow

Peloton subpoenaed by DOJ, DHS for documents, information related to treadmill injuries

August 30, 2021

Peloton has been subpoenaed by the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, which are asking for documents and information regarding injuries experienced on its fitness equipment, the company said on Friday, August 27.

The New York City-based fitness company said it was being investigated for injuries associated with its Tread+ treadmill in papers filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. The SEC said it’s also investigating Peloton’s public disclosures of injuries associated with its products, Fox Business reports.

Peloton issued a voluntary recall of its Tread and Tread+ treadmill products in May after the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued an “urgent warning” after one child was killed and citing multiple incidents of “small children and a pet being injured beneath the machines.”

Peloton initially pushed back at the consumer watchdog agency’s warning. Peloton said Friday it was also named in several lawsuits related to the recalls.  Peloton did not immediately return Fox Business’ request for comment.

The news comes after the connected fitness company announced on Thursday, August 26, that it would cut the price of its original spin bike by hundreds of dollars from $1,895 to $1,495.

Research contact: @FoxBusiness

A new ‘spin’ on benefits: A free Peloton membership could be the latest work perk

June 23, 2021

Paid time off, retirement benefits and … a Peloton membership? That could be your newest work perk, as the fitness company rolls out a corporate program that offers free app memberships that normally cost $12.99 per month, CNN reports.

Peloton Corporate Wellness is aimed at “providing employees access to innovative mental and physical health resources” the company announced on June 22. The program gives participants access to the Peloton app, which features thousands of instructor-led fitness classes—among them, meditation, strength training, and cardio. Discounts on Peloton hardware, including its popular bikes, are also included.

Peloton Corprate Wellness is launching after “several years” of interest from companies looking to include it as a work benefit, said Peloton President William Lynch. In an interview with CNN Business, he said that the goal is to “extend the Peloton universe to more communities” by growing beyond its current direct-to-consumer business.

Lynch declined to disclose pricing specifics, but said it’s a “really good value” for companies.

The program will be available to employers in five countries including the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Peloton says it already has signed up big name firms for the launch, including Wayfair, Samsung, and SAP .

In its release, Peloton emphasized the mental and physical benefits its members experience using the app. According to a survey commissioned by the company, 77% of users said the classes made them happier and 65% said their mental health improved.

These types of benefits have become increasingly important for employers, especially in light of the pandemic, with some offering workers days off to bolster mental health or providing free subscriptions to mental-health focused apps.

And some companies are coming up with novel ways to keep their remote workers engaged with gifts, like picnic boxes and laundry service.

Peloton is a nine-year-old, New York City-based company founded with help from Kickstarter. This  program also is aimed at expanding its app user base, which currently totals around 900,000 subscribers, and therebyappeasing investors looking for growth.

The company recently announced new pricing tiers for the app, with students paying as low as $6.99 per month and teachers, healthcare workers and first responders being charged $9.99 per month.

The once high-flying stock has seen its fortunes dwindle, with shares down 25% for the year. However, the stock has rebounded following a May 5 treadmill recall, soaring 30% since then. About 125,000 treadmills were included in the recall, which the company said cost it $165 million in lost sales.

Research contact: @CNN

Pedal pusher: ‘Peloton husband’ gives real-life girlfriend an exercise bike for Christmas

December 30, 2019

Some people just love “feeling the burn”—even if that extends beyond muscles to public opinion. In fact, the much-maligned Peloton Husband featured in the company’s polarizing holiday commercial isn’t back-pedaling on his choice of gift, according to a report by The Chicago Tribune/TNS.

After he was skewered for inflicting the Peloton bike on his reluctant-seeming “wife” in the viral ad—which attracted widespread criticism for being sexist and culturally insensitive—on Christmas Day, he gave his real-life girlfriend one of the exercise bikes.

“Here’s hoping this goes over better the second time. … Merry Christmas to my actual girlfriend (pls don’t leave me),” actor Sean Hunter, a.k.a. @pelotonhusband, wrote Wednesdaym, December 25, on Instagram—sharing a picture of himself and his girlfriend posing with the pricey bike.

The Vancouver, Canada-based elementary school teacher defended himself in Psychology Today when the ad went viral and he and his costar, Monica Ruiz, were roasted on social media.

“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. My five seconds of air time created an array of malicious feedback that is all associated with my face. My friend texted me today declaring that I’m ‘a symbol of the patriarchy,'” Hunter said. “As my face continues to be screen shot online, I wonder what repercussions will come back to me.”

Only some of that criticism cycled back after his Christmas Day reveal, with feedback calling out the real-life gift as a Peloton-backed publicity stunt and others praising his levity for bringing the narrative full circle.

Although Peloton defended the “The Gift That Gives Back” spot as a way “to celebrate that fitness and wellness journey,” the company said it was “disappointed in how some have misinterpreted this commercial.”

On Thursday, however, it endorsed Hunter’s gifting idea, commenting on his post, “Looks like a successful Christmas gift to us! We hope you love it, and we’re so glad you’re a part of the Peloton family!”

Meanwhile, Ruiz blamed her brief but nervous smile in the ad for kick-starting the controversy earlier this month. “I think it was my fault. My eyebrows looked worried, I guess?” Ruiz said on the “Today” show.  “People were like, ‘She looks scared!'” she said, laughing. “I’m telling you, it was my face. That was the problem. And it just exploded from there.”

Ruiz fared a little better than her costar did amid the backlash. The actress was commissioned by Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation Gin company for a follow-up ad spoofing her Peloton appearance and has landed a gig on CBS’ daytime drama  The Bold and the Beautiful.

Research contact: @chicagotribune

Equinox to go up against Peleton and Mirror for streaming fitness supremacy

August 16, 2019

Earlier this month, Stephen Ross, the billionaire owner of the popular fitness brands, Equinox, SoulCycle, Precision Run, and Blink Fitness, sparked outrage and calls for a boycott of his businesses when he hosted a fundraiser for President Donald Trump in the fashionable Hamptons area of Long Island, New York.

But that hasn’t slowed down his push into the fitness category. In fact, Ross now has announced his intentions to take on Peloton, the New York City-based exercise equipment and media company that has revolutionized the home biking experience—connecting users to live and on-demand streaming on-screen classes across a variety of devices for $39 per month.

According to a report by Fast Company, Ross’s new digital venture will include two separate pieces of hardware and personalized content representing Ross’s portfolio of brands.

Slated for launch this fall, the platform will pair with a new stationary bike identical to the one found in SoulCycle studios—with the addition of an attached screen. Equinox also will sell its proprietary Woodway treadmill, which can already be found at its Precision Run studios.

The new digital venture (which has not yet been named, Fast Company says) will include all the brands’ signature workouts—led by top instructors—in one network. It is not meant to replace the live studio experience, rather to serve as an addition for dedicated members who want an at-home offering.

The new digital venture puts Equinox in direct competition with Peloton, which also boasts both treadmill and stationary bikes along with a broad range of fitness content. Last year, Peloton opened a new production studio dedicated to yoga and meditation in New York City. The streaming giant is now valued at more than $4 billion.

Peloton stands out in the $14 billion home fitness equipment market, but it’s becoming an increasingly crowded space: Fast Company notes the long list of competitive startups—among them,  Mirror (personal training, yoga), Crew (rowing), and Tonal (weight lifting) ; all of which are attempting to do what Peloton did for the indoor bike.

While approximately 16% of the U.S. population holds a gym membership card, a recent survey found that 54% of Americans who work out at least once a month are interested in buying an at-home fitness system.

Over the last few years, Equinox members increasingly have demanded more ways to interact with the brand on their own schedule. Around 86% of them would like to spend more time with the brand than they get to, according to a recent survey of SoulCycle riders.

The new platform will integrate live and recorded original video and audio content–and will start with an invitation-only launch in the fall, with the at-home equipment available for purchase by the winter. A more public rollout is set for early 2020.

Research contact: @Equinox_Service