Tag Archives: Fitness

Google Acquires Fitbit

Acquisitions can be tricky. Companies need to assess what markets to enter, and which products and services are needed for those markets. While it is common for food and beverage companies to use acquisitions to gain market share, it can be a tad trickier when combining technology companies. A key consideration is that companies find synergies that can be capitalized on when combining organizations.

A recent acquisition of interest is the purchase of fitness tracker pioneer Fitbit by search engine giant Google for an estimated $2.1 billion. The acquisition moves Google into a better position in the wearable technology market and gives Fitbit access to more resources, technology, and marketing. (However, there are still some outstanding issues with government regulators; use by Google of Fitbit data for advertising purposes is a concerns to regulators.)

Fitbit is a familiar company to most college students. Founded in 2007, the company makes watches and bracelets to track health information; it has an estimated 20 million active users. New Fitbit products include Fitbit Stress, featuring stress management tools and an ECG app to assess heart rhythm. Fitbit’s products are carried in 39,000 retail stores in 100 countries. Annual revenue in 2009 was $1.4 billion.

Fitbit’s overall market share has decreased dramatically since the introduction of Apple Smartwatch. Its market share of 4.7% is significantly lower than the market leader Apple at 31.7%, followed by Xiaomi and Huawei.

How do you track your fitness?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the four key marketing strategies: product development, market development, market penetration, and diversification.
  2. Discuss diversifications/acquisitions as a marketing strategy. When is this effective? When is it not effective?
  3. Show Fitbit’s Web site and products: https://www.fitbit.com/global/us/home
  4. Show Google’s products’ Web site: https://about.google/intl/en_us/products/
  5. Do these two companies complement each other? If so, now?
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a promotional plan that the companies can use to promote their combined value to customers.

Source: Associated Press; CNN News; Wall Street Journal; other sources

 

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Rent and return these shoes

Let’s start with a quiz: How many running or athletic pairs of shoes do you own? How long do they last? How much do you spend?

If your closet is like mine, you probably have at least six pairs, of which five pairs are very used and dirty. It would be nice if we could wear running shoes until they are worn or dirty, and then just trade it them in for a new pair. Well, as luck would have it, Swiss footwear company On Running is now offering a new running shoe called “Cyclon.” But Cyclon is not for sale – only for rent. Yes, rent. Use, wear, and return them for a new pair.

Cyclon is available for a monthly fee of $29.95. It is a subscription service for not only a performance running shoe, but a fully recyclable plant-based shoe. Castor beans are used as the base, and the shoe upper is sewn from a single piece of fabric to help reduce waste. On Running focused on the challenges of not only creating a fully recyclable shoe, but also making sure that the shoes were returned to be recycled. Thus, the subscription model of ‘rent and return’ gives On control of the recycling process.

It seems to have resonated with the market – in the first 48 hours after launching Cyclon On signed 2,000 subscribers! On needs 5,000 people to sign up per region in order to ship the shoes at reduced carbon footprint of the transportation.

Let’s go for a run!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss a subscription business model. Poll students: What subscription services do they use? Other services they can name? (Ex: meal kits, shave clubs, entertainment, etc.).
  2. Poll students: On average, how much do they pay for a running shoe and how long does it last? How many pairs of athletic shoes do they have currently?
  3. Show On Running website: https://www.on-running.com/en-us/cyclon
  4. Show video of founders discussing Cyclon: https://youtu.be/VtosSdRZcsA
  5. What is the target market for Cyclon?
  6. What elements should be in the marketing program for this shoe?

Sources: Outside Online; other news sources

 

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Peloton Adds New Products and Cuts (Some) Prices

The pandemic has been tough on most companies. Consumer demand for products has shifted, as well as buying behavior. Some companies won’t make it successfully through this period. However, unlike other companies, Peloton seems to have weathered the Covid-19 pandemic very well. Sales for home fitness equipment have been strong as gyms and fitness centers have closed or limited the number of patrons in their facilities.

Recently, Peloton expanded its product line with new versions, and has cut prices on older equipment by roughly 16%. Peloton currently sells two primary types of exercise equipment: a stationary bike priced at $2,245 and a treadmill priced at $4,295. When the new products launch, the new Peloton Bike+ will be $2, 495, but the older bike will be reduced to $1,895. The new bike will accommodate more than just biking and includes upgraded cycling, a better sound system, and a 24-inch touchscreen that swivels for yoga or weight training in a different area.

The new treadmill will be cheaper at $2,495 compared to the existing treadmill at $4,295. The new prices are intended to extend the customer base while still offering high-margin products.

Peloton continues to offer “connected fitness” to its subscribers, linking them to instructors and other workout fans so that even when working out alone at home, customers can connect with a community of other riders and instructors. Monthly subscription memberships are $39/month and the company currently has roughly 866,000 subscribers. In addition to cycling classes, the company streams yoga instruction, strength training, running, and more workout programs.

Ready to ride?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss industries impacted by Covid-19. Which companies are winners? Losers?
  2. How has the pandemic impacted Peloton?
  3. Show Peloton’s Web site: https://www.onepeloton.com/
  4. What is the impact of the new products and price reductions for older products?
  5. Compare a Peloton bike and subscription to the average gym membership. What are advantages and disadvantages?
  6. Divide students into teams and have each team research and compare Peloton’s products and services to its competitors:
    1. NordicTrack: https://www.nordictrack.com/
    2. Echelon Fitness: https://echelonfit.com/
    3. Mirror: https://www.mirror.co/
    4. Tonal: https://www.tonal.com/
  7. What pricing strategies is Peloton using? Will this be an advantage or a disadvantage compared to the competition?

Sources: Associated Press; New York Times; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

 

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