The fitness model of the future. Be part of it.

  • Business Model Innovation
  • Value Proposition Design

“I’m gonna lose those pounds.” “I’m gonna eat healthy.” “I’m gonna work out every day.” “I’m gonna run the New York City marathon.” Sound familiar? When it comes to the New Year (and new year’s resolutions), isn’t it pretty much the same every year?! We make our highly ambitioned resolutions, we banish all of the unhealthy food out of our homes and buy memberships at the gym next door, which is seemingly perfectly customized to our needs. We tell ourselves we’ll be strict, that this year we’ll finally make it happen. We’ll be in the shape of our lives!

Source: The Morning After – Happy New Year by Jerry Kiesewetter from Ocean City, United States

After maybe a month or two – or even with the first few weeks in January passing – we find ourselves falling back to our old habitual patterns; eating junk food again; and making up random excuses for not working out. For an individual, this simply means that the goals initially set won’t be achieved. However, from an entrepreneurial point of view, the question is rather how a company can create something unique for their customers such that they can continuously create and capture value and, in particular, stay in business in the long-term. How many people actually sign up for a club membership in early January and leave soon again or even worse never show up, hence taking their monthly fees with them? Most fitness clubs are not sustainable and the business model behind is far from scalable. So, how might you flex your muscles in the fitness industry? How might you create a sustainable and scalable business model? The fitness model of the future offers a journey and an experience making people followers to continuously want more.

When it comes to the vast variety of business opportunities across the fitness industry, a look into some of the customer segments is definitely worthwhile. How about Clara and Carlos Couchpotato, the stereotype persona who always fall back to their old habits? Once this persona got sufficiently motivated to leave the cozy couch, the biggest challenge is keeping the couch potato on track to make it fulfill the initially defined goals. It’s a totally different ball game for Jacky and Johnny Jock, who don’t even need a spark of motivation and can never get enough. Or consider Veronica and Victor Vain who seek to be outstanding, to be the outermost attractive amongst their friends, their families, their co-workers. Of course, there are plenty of other personas as well, like Diana and Derek Dumpling, or Erin and Eric Elderly, etc. etc. etc.

While the personas’ pains, gains and jobs-to-be-done (the right side of value proposition canvas ©) show a wide variety, it appears that there are quite a few commonalities in terms of products and services (that can be) offered to these different personas. As such, virtual on-demand classes can be identified as a valuable product or service to be offered to both the couch potato, the jock and the vain personas.

With a view to design a better business, hopefully a sustainable and scalable one, there is more to this than only looking at your customer segments. In this regard, the context map® canvas can help you identify the whole ecosystem around your business to better react to upcoming trends or rules and regulations and to steer your business into other interesting (perhaps profitable) directions. Keeping the example of the fitness industry in mind, some of the most notable trends in the near future most probably will be biohacking, genetic analytics and testing and advance integration of artificial intelligence into our future workout regimen. Also, the creation of businesses around smart and fast recovery or fitness design hotels with hyper-individualized programs can be considered the response to the increasing appreciation of fitness as a lifestyle and even a science. On the other hand, lifestyle diseases like diabetes and obesity are likely to increase among the population and, in particular, among the younger population already.

Coming back to the (potential) need of virtual on-demand classes, the tech fitness provider Peloton is definitely a one of a kind company that everybody is talking about these days. “Why Peloton?” you might ask. Most presumably the Peloton factor is the combination of the black logo-embossed, high tech indoor cycling bike and the thrilling scenic rides which are broadcasted from the Peloton cycling studio in New York City into your home.

Source:, ‘Peloton hires former Barnes & Noble CEO to take home-cycling platform global’ 

The cycling instructors are figureheads of Peloton, admired for their fitness and fame, and the Peloton riders even travel from far to attend physical cycling classes at least once in the NYC studio. In many ways Peloton is the ultimate fitness experience, the passion which Peloton offers to its consumers with the unique digital content and the ongoing motivation created by virtually cycling against competitors all around the globe. Without any doubt, Peloton is contagious, and certainly isn’t free. Peloton charges fees to be part of the community. Peloton is not only a brand; it’s a lifestyle.

So, what can you learn from the Peloton example? Design a business around some virtual content and easily become a lifestyle brand? Well, Peloton turns the tables. Instead of creating a widely spread network of brick-and-mortar fitness studios with ongoing investments in highly modern fitness equipment requiring continuous maintenance and refurbishment, Peloton sells a high tech indoor cycling bike alongside an optional, monthly subscription for indoor, virtual cycling classes. Above all, it’s scalability which is the key to success for the Peloton business model. It’s a long-term, sustainable business model which is still rapidly expanding due to its loyal and further growing customer base. Peloton actually hit the spot by directly responding to customers’ needs to be working out at home in familiar surroundings away from smelly fitness clubs with sticky air. And Peloton riders are continuously motivated by competing with riders anywhere in the world, seeking to be part of the fitness business models of the future – be part of the Peloton community.

When you put this all together, you get a winning combination of the right customer segments, a kick-butt value proposition, an awesome sustainable (and exponential) business model, an expanding context that may just help Peloton to continue to innovate and prosper. That begs the question: what might you do for the customer segments above and in this context?



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