In the previous discussion board, I chose an exercise fitness application platform called “FitOn” for my 10x paper. It is not like every other fitness application out there on the market; FitOn has the widest range of classes including yoga, strengthening, stretching, and conditioning. This platform also features an online live streaming class delivery option. There are a variety of ways that this app can be used since all the classes are available for users to take on their own time, they can follow their custom workout plan, or they can choose live classes to take.
FitOn shares one of the most innovative ideas to combine both social media and fitness exercises. On FitOn, users can connect with their friends from their email groups, contact list, and Facebook friends. The app encourages people to connect with their friends and share a post after every workout to achieve users’ mental satisfaction. This is a great way for them to advertise their own platform without actually spending assets on buying ads. It uses human nature and psychology to incentivize people to use and spread its application.
FitOn has a signature feature that gives themselves an advantage over other platforms on the internet. FitOn has resources to consult each individual user on their daily diet meal plan. Users can fill out a special survey that contains questions about their individual goals, body type, number of meals per day, and things they struggle with. The app provides great dietician recommendations to people who are in need.
The class system is also well-designed and organized compared to other options. Users are asked to answer a set of questions regarding their workout goals, and body status, and how much time they can dedicate to their workout program. According to the answers, the system will select workouts that meet the needs of each individual. The number of selected workouts is also depending on the user’s preference. Users can pick their favorite fitness coach and only take classes from that specific trainer if they would like.
FitOn uses a similar revenue model as most of the other online software programs. Freemium is a business model that provides all users with a basic model and functions, and premium services for paid customers. Nowadays, cloud computing and storage is becoming more popular; the cost of running an online business has reduced drastically. Being able to rent cloud services from big carriers helped to reduce the business operational cost and infrastructure. The company operates on a small crowd of premium users to support all the services it provides for the larger group of people.
One of the many premium features is the meal-planning program that can help people eat more efficiently and nutritiously. They hire professional dietitians to create a personalized meal plan for individual users based on foods they struggle with, foods they enjoy, and their final goals according to the survey. The annual subscription fee is very much cheaper compared to professional dietitians and fitness trainers. It is one of the most money efficient ways to get access to fitness education and dietician advice.
Social Media Presence
From my research, they have two main online advertising platforms: Instagram and Facebook. On both of the social media platforms, FitOn Marketing team posts upcoming new events, new workouts, all-star fitness coaches, and healthy dishes. This is a great way to attract new customers by showing their unique features that differentiate them from the rest of the market.
After a reasonable amount of research and a focus group study, most of the FitOn audience consists of females in the age range from 18 to 35. FitOn is designed for people that don’t have access to a regular gym. Due to the COVID -19 and stay home policies, this is a great opportunity for FitOn to expand their market share. More and more people are stuck at home with no gym equipment; they are the best target audience for FitOn. This coronavirus is creating the biggest opportunity in the online fitness application industry. With a variety of their offerings from conditioning classes, stretching, and yoga to strengthening and dances, they perfectly target all body types and fitness goals.
Once FitOn has discovered its best/active customers’ demographic is from the 18 to 35 age range. They can spend more resources on marketing to specifically target new customers that will most likely pay for the premium services from social media and video advertisements.
There are many competitors in the industry that offer a similar product line. 8fit, Blogilates, Fitbit Coach, and Fit radio are all very similar to FitOn to some degree. FitOn needs to stand out in the competition by implementing something its competitors are not doing. FitOn already reduced the subscription price to increase its competitiveness. Reducing the price is never a good marketing strategy for any organization. FitOn will have to find a solution either to upsell its product to more customers or work out its product development to increase customer retention.
It is very hard for a business like FitOn to survive in the long term with no core competencies and advantages to help them stay in the market. The biggest weakness for FitOn is being mediocre; they have all the essential features of most of their competitors but nothing more. Innovation is needed to increase the longevity of this business. What FitOn needs to do is to differentiate themselves from the rest by implementing new classes, feature meal plans, workout music playlists, and audio podcasts. Anyone of the items listed above has the potential to become the brand product for FitOn.
On top of a variety of classes offering in FitOn, I think they can come in with a specific workout each week. For example, FitOn can start a poll to ask their customer to pick one out of three special themes they should do for next week. Most of their customers could vote for a specific workout session for free, possibly including options like powerlifting, Crossfit, climbing, and warrior workouts. More specific workouts could target a totally new market of audiences; that is one of the best ways to expand the market share to fight the rest of its competitors.
Customized diet plans are good for most people. Some people couldn’t be satisfied with general meal plans. To target those people with a more specific need will require FitOn to design more purpose-focused diet plans such as the keto diet, 5:2 diet, body for life diet, stillman diet, and South Beach diet. Offering these specific diets for a small price (e.g. $4 per month) to non-premium customers would be a way for them to differentiate themselves from the typical meal planning services offered by competitors. In this situation, premium users would get access to the specific diet service for a discounted price (e.g. $2 per month). This could both increase the number of premium users, because they would be interested in purchasing the full diet plan down the road, and non premium customers who only purchase the specific diet plans.
Creating multiple workout playlists could potentially increase the retention rate of existing customers. After a quick focus group with my friends and family, over 95% of the end-users are accessing the application through their smartphone. For most platform devices (iPhone), the system wouldn’t allow users to run both audios at the same time. So that means if a user is watching the workout video, they will have no access to their own music. That is one of the features FitOn can build on to maximize user satisfaction.
The audio podcast is another great way to expand FitOn’s existing market by selling the application to more radio users. By expanding the current market and growing the customer base, the sales of premium subscription and specific meal plans will increase eventually. This move will be considered as a vertical integration to expand the potential market. It will be one of the most efficient moves to reduce the risk in the existing market due to the overwhelming number of competitors.
It is very beneficial for any business to do a SWOT analysis. The SWOT analysis is a strategic planning process to help the upper management to make necessary changes to an organization. In the SWOT analysis, FitOn will take a closer look at its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. In SWOT analysis, strengths and weaknesses are internal variables and opportunities, and threats are external variables. This is the first step to identify the organizations’ core competency.
In this case, FitOn has a few advantages compared to traditional mainstream fitness organizations. It is portable so that users could take it on a trip; the only device that is required is a phone or computer and internet access. It is price friendly and user-convenient compared to a physical gym, especially after FitOn has reduced its subscription price by 50%. Compared to a physical location, users can utilize the application anywhere and anytime. It also provides more features compared to a traditional gym in terms of dietitian advice, free classes, and flexibility.
Although FitOn has many advantages compared to a physical gym in various aspects, it is not so different compared to all the similar applications that are also on the market right now. There are at least ten other applications that do the same thing or something similar. FitOn must figure out their core competency which could help them differentiate themselves from the rest.
COVID-19 provides an amazing opportunity for all online fitness application firms. This opportunity is created during this unique circumstance by people staying at their house for extended periods of time. Many people are into fitness training and physical conditioning and with COVID-19 impacting our daily life, there aren’t very many resources for people to get access to fitness equipment and personal trainers. Many reports indicate that the usage of online applications went through the roof; FitOn should seize this opportunity to expand its market share.
FitOn has a lot of rivals in the industry; it is considered a potential threat to them. In the online fitness industry, there aren’t very many boundaries to stop new competitors to enter the market. As my report mentioned previously, there are hundreds of other fitness applications on the market. There are some that have very similar functions just like FitOn, which puts them at a disadvantage at competing for more customer shares.
It is important for all organizations to establish their core competencies to improve their longevity and customer traction. This is not an easy task for FitOn to identify its core competency when there are over 10 other applications that do exactly the same thing. In my option, I think the most unique asset is their human resources. FitOn has one of the best quality trainers who live stream some of their best workouts; this gives users the opportunity to follow their favorite instructor step by step. I think it is necessary to pivot their marketing from random posts to organized event schedules and celebrity trainers.
Strategic DNA is a concept of decision making that will help managers make every step of their business decisions according to the general organizational goal. There are five main components of it: 1) operational effectiveness, 2) positioning, 3) trade offs, 4) unique activities, 5) fit. Following the strategic DNA pathway will help a business to better identify their strengths and weaknesses.
FitOn uses the same operational method as Spotify and many other more well-known organizations. Cloud computing and 5G technology are more available to us compared to the early 2000s. Operational overheads are reduced by a significant amount. With many providers in the market, there is no monopoly to spike up the price. More and more services are being offered by various organizations to customize the services for smaller businesses. It will reduce the overhead cost by moving entirely from the stationary mainframe to the cloud. Many service providers are offering cloud storage on-demand so businesses can rent as much data storage as they need. It will reduce the waste of operating costs and maintenance costs for a server locally. It will reduce the server idle time, server downtime, and the risk of a cyber breach.
Positioning is one of the most important steps in strategic DNA. Different positioning focuses will attract different customer groups. There are three main positionings in theory: variety-based, needs-based, and access-based. I think FitOn is doing a great job of being the most variety-based online fitness app on the market. It provides a wide range of classes such as cardio, HIIT, strength, dance, yoga, and postnatal. A wide variety of classes can meet more customer’s needs. They can generate more potential customers from that perspective. It also has premium services to customize meal plans for individual users.
FitOn has its own unique variety-based positioning and certainly has many trade-offs. Once an organization decides to position itself as more variety-based, they will lack other aspects such as more specific/detailed training sessions for athletes. Choosing to satisfy the general public will reduce traction on customers with more specific needs. For example, a basketball player who wants to increase its vertical jumping ability will find no luck on FitOn.
A unique feature that is only being offered on FitOn is it’s live streaming coaching sessions. This feature gives people extra motivation to get on the app and start working out. I noticed that FitOn hires a very professional filming group for streaming their classes. It brings top quality video and details for users to better follow their instructors.
There are three steps to take towards a better fit of the organization. The first step is to keep consistency with what features FitOn has to offer right now,so they will not lose any existing customers by changing its core concept. The next step is to implement reinforcing activities to improve the useability of this application based on the feedback received from customers. The last step FitOn needs to take is to optimize on efforts.
I would consider FitOn to have a cost leadership generic strategy. FitOn has one of the most price-friendly programs on the entire internet. It offers an annual subscription service for only $19.99 (currently on sale), which is the cheapest out of all its competitors in my research. This will give them an upper hand in the competition to attract more new customers that are brand new and don’t want to spend a lot of money in their first attempt.
The market competition is extremely high for FitOn to stay alive and growing. There are some necessary steps to take in order to keep this business in the game. I think it is most important to define its core competency, as that will help FitOn stand out in the market for target audiences. There is a need for FitOn to be more innovative and creative with their resources; having something that their competitors don’t will really help them to take an upper hand in the match.
BMKT 440 Marketing Analytics
Dr. Mario Schulzke