In late 2019, Peloton had a problem.
They created a marketing campaign that garnered a tremendous amount of commotion and negative attention for seemingly promoting some sort of “exercise shaming” with their Christmas ad. Conventional wisdom should dictate that this sort of “organic” groundswell of negativity would cause problems for a brand that is focused on creating positive, communal experiences for their customers. But that’s not exactly what happened.
Peloton had a hedge over the holidays that may have helped prop up its sales, brand reputation, and stock price. That’s right, in November of 2019, Peloton went public. As someone who doesn’t believe in coincidence, I started to develop a theory as to what was happening. I think Peloton has a distinct grip on the zeitgeist and a top-notch marketing team that knows how to harness social currents.
Let’s talk about their hedge. Imagine; you have a friend who you listen to every day. This person’s opinion and perspective are not really all that unique, but they are very entertaining and, in the context in which you hear it, riveting. You have spent an inordinate amount of time listening to this person’s opinion to the point where (sometime in 2006) you began paying a monthly fee to hear this person (genius, it was free for decades…).
Now, imagine this person will occasionally share with you services or products that they claim to use. They do this in a way that makes you feel like you are learning something deeply personal about this person. You may even think that maybe, just maybe, your engagement with the product will connect you to this person even more.
Check in next week for more fun and free opinions!