I’m taking a Masterclass on Personal Branding with Mark Schaefer. Faced with two deadlines and only time to meet one, I’ve decided to do the class homework, rather than blog.
Peloton’s New Fitness Challenge
In my perception, Peloton has built one of the most admired high-end consumer brands ever. Its users have been described as a “cult.” I’m a proud and concerned member.
Wall Street demands growth and to please investors, public company Peloton has been talking as much about how it can return to growth and profitability as it does about its customers. Peloton got tripped up during Covid –Peloton struggled to meet surging demand and keep market share, investing a fortune in ramping up capacity and logistics. It seems obvious now (and maybe should have then), that demand would ease when life as we knew it returned.
It’s the choice about the BRAND of Peloton that, as a member, concerns me. Peloton leadership is weakening my connection with the brand by talking about money over the mission. I know, I know: I’m naïve – but I want to keep loving Peloton. I want its leaders to tell Wall Street: “We made some expensive mistakes as we tried to serve everyone who needed us. Ultimately, we’re here for our members – to the extent members use and rely on our products to improve their lives, Peloton will be successful. That’s what we’re focused on.” Customer success before investors.
This is a big question.
It came to me after my interview with Johnny Le Coq, founder and CEO of Fishpond. Patagonia is a products company that supports the environment. Athleta is a products company that supports the advancement of women. Both companies are examples of authentic and effective support for a cause that aligns with customers. Fishpond seems to go further – Fishpond seems to be coming very close to using sales of its products as a mechanism to support river conservation.
Johnny: “Our brand has become a voice for the environment… It’s not what we sell that I’m most proud of – it’s what we stand for.” He means it.
That made me think about Colorado. Can Colorado have a CAUSE that ultimately becomes interwoven with our brand? That’s tough, but I think Colorado’s entrepreneurial community DOES – it STANDS FOR supporting opportunity for those who strive, collaborate, innovate, and mutually appreciate the rich lives that people wish to have in our great state.
This ad for a personal sauna just cracked me up.
I know, COVID has required us to stay home and a lot of us are investing in home–based self-care products. I bought a Peloton bike. It’s awesome, but I could have purchased TEN personal saunas and given them to friends and family. I don’t have a real point here. Sometimes I just have to shake my head at what is marketed to us and wonder, “Who buys that???”
A crazy fixation I have, and judge as negative, is when people attempt to shape the perceptions of others with denials. President-elect Biden got the coronavirus vaccine and said, “There’s nothing to worry about.” OK, that’s not so bad. Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, upon not getting votes needed for re-election as Speaker during a federal corruption probe said, “This isn’t a withdrawal.” Let’s use that as an example and come back to Biden. “This isn’t a withdrawal.” Really? What is it? Whatever – you didn’t win and you won’t. Why deny what everyone knows – you lost. Now people think that Madigan lost, AND he’s a liar. What should Madigan have said? He still got the most votes, even though not enough so maybe, “OK, my caucus is still considering its best path forward.”
My point: stating your view as a negative is reflexive. We want to deny – and that’s not as wise as stopping to think about how to reframe to a positive statement.
Back to the President-elect. With more thought was there something positive he could have said about getting the vaccine? How about, “This is great! I can focus on the business of the people knowing I and those around me will stay healthy.”
Avoid the easy negative statement and replace it with something that’s truthful, authentic and positive.