The apparel giant has two big advantages over its digital fitness rivals: a massive product catalog and access to the world’s best athletes

The Nike Training Club (NTC) app screen is displayed on a phone, held up against the Nike swoosh logo.
The Nike Training Club (NTC) app screen is displayed on a phone, held up against the Nike swoosh logo.
Photo: Yu Chun Christopher Wong/S3studio/Getty Images

From my first pair of Jordans to my favorite golf shirts, I’ve always worn Nike. While I know the gear doesn’t actually make me a better athlete, it always makes me feel like a better athlete.

Nike has a legion of devout customers just like me: professional and amateur athletes who draw inspiration from its ads to go back outside and get another hundred shots up, stalk the aisles of Niketown for the perfect training ensemble, and religiously sport its gear on the court.

In 2006, Nike created a membership program to reward and encourage this brand loyalty. Membership in the NikePlus program, which now has more than 170 million members, is free and includes personalized product recommendations, free shipping, and other perks. While rewarding loyalty is one side of the membership, the other side is cultivating it. To increase customer loyalty, Nike’s overarching goal is to deliver personalization at scale. Simply put, Nike may have a legion of loyal customers, but if the company knows nothing about them and can’t offer better experiences than traditional competitors and DTC upstarts, how long will those customers remain loyal? …

While Apple was busy duking it out with Spotify, Amazon snuck up closer to the #2 spot in music streaming

The app logos of Amazon Music and Spotify on the screen of a smartphone.
The app logos of Amazon Music and Spotify on the screen of a smartphone.
Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek/Getty Images

In their 1993 classic, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, Al Ries and Jack Trout introduced readers to the Law of Duality, which states that every market eventually becomes a two-horse race at the top. There are a lot of classic examples of this law in practice — Coke vs. Pepsi or Crest vs. Colgate, for instance — but a more recent example is music streaming, where Spotify and Apple Music have been duking it out for years. …

Although its name is synonymous with expensive workout equipment, Peloton’s real future lies in apps and on-demand classes

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Photo: Roberto Machado Noa/Getty Images

When you hear the name Peloton, you probably think of a bike. In particular, you probably think of the company’s iconic stationary bike that streams fitness classes. Peloton’s physical products (which, besides the bike, includes a treadmill, yoga accessories, and a heart rate monitor) have been the primary focus of the company’s branding and marketing efforts to date. Its value proposition of “connected fitness” (access to fitness made more easily available to consumers at home via technology) is built on the foundation of selling high-performance equipment.

However, I believe that’s going to change. Years from now, when Peloton has fulfilled its destiny atop the fitness throne, I believe its sustained success will largely be traced back to a series of pivotal announcements made in early December 2019. Though not seen as earth-shattering at the time, these announcements signaled Peloton’s transition from a hardware company to a content company — a move that I believe is its key to fitness world-domination. …


Rob Litterst

Strategist @ ProfitWell. Analyst @

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