How Peloton Lost Its Cool Factor: A Case Study in Brand Mismanagement

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During their latest episode of the VALUE: After Hours Podcast, Taylor, Carlisle, and Brewster discussed How Peloton Lost Its Cool Factor: A Case Study in Brand Mismanagement. Here’s an excerpt from the episode:

Bill: I think Peloton would fundamentally be a good brand today, if the pandemic never happened. But once you go to Disney and you start seeing fat guys in Peloton gear, it’s no longer really a fitness thing anymore, right? It’s just something that everyone can have. I think when it was just a hardcore cycling network of people, there was something like club like about it. And once it got mainstream, it lost a little bit of what made it cool.

Tobias: I feel like it’s just like every other exercise– [crosstalk]

Bill: Yeah, just any other fucking bike, you know?

Tobias: Don’t you think it’s like every other fat– There’s both legs sitting in basements. [crosstalk]

Jake: I don’t think so. Look at Ferrari, for instance. They’ve been able to always undersell the demand in such a way– That discipline has kept them from just being another car.

Bill: Yeah. I think that Peloton could have maybe done something not– Yes, similar to that. If they had gone tried to sell n -1 bikes or n -100 to really err on that side of like– Because something that is consistently interesting to people, at least from what I’ve seen, is cycling classes and people that like cycling, that is a very serious group of people that enjoy that type of workout. I think they’re not the only business that happened to. It’s interesting to look back three years and be like, “Man, that may have been the worst thing that ever–” What was perceived to be the best thing that ever happened to that company was actually the worst.

Jake: Yeah, I think you’re probably right.

Bill: I don’t know. Zoom obviously benefited and kept it. We’re on Zoom right now. Whether or not the stock is a good buy is different, but it accelerated that company. But Peloton, I actually think the pandemic hurts.

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