Diversifying — and digitalizing — a product portfolio, a case study

  • Access to gyms and studios: access to more than 50,000 gyms and studios in 14 countries;
  • Live classes: for those who like to train in groups or want to relive the feeling of class with colleagues at the gym;
  • Personal trainers: for those who prefer a more personalized approach and like to exercise in their own time;
  • Gympass Wellness: application package with more than 60 apps for those looking for options to improve physical and mental well-being (from nutrition to the therapy session).

Product Vision

When I joined Gympass, in mid-2018, one of the first things I did was to build o product vision. We had a very compelling purpose, to defeat inactivity. However, in order to build a digital product, we need more than a purpose.

New venture

In October 2019 we got to a point where our product development team was well structured and working properly to address our challenges in our core product, so we decided to focus on expanding our marketplace.

  • willingness to partner from app providers. App providers, like gyms, are used to the recurring monthly revenue model. Are they ok to be paid by the day of use?
  • willingness to pay from our user base. Is our user base interested in paying a monthly fee to have access the apps?

COVID-19

As I already explained in a previous article, when a business is hit by a crisis, it needs to look into these two perspectives:

  • preserve cash;
  • identify and adapt to changes in customer problems and needs.
  • gyms in many cities were closed to help in physical distancing measures applied in many cities to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and consequently are losing recurring revenues from users who are not visiting the gym;
  • users, the employees of our clients, cannot go to gyms anymore and have to stay at home, but also have to somehow stay active, but their first reaction is to cancel or pause their Gympass membership since they won’t have access to gyms for a while;
  • corporate clients, whose employees are at home and don’t go anymore to gyms, while HRs are concerned about how to keep these employees engaged and productive.

Gympass Wellness, the first digital product

We were able to adapt our Gympass Wellness pilot in record time to be offered to our entire user base so they can not only remain active but also take care of their nutrition and their minds during these very challenging times. With Gympass Wellness we were able to address both users and our corporate clients’ changing problems and needs during the crisis.

Live Classes, the second digital product

With Gympass Wellness, we were able to address the needs of our corporate clients and their employees. What about the gyms? By being closed, they were losing revenue. Their customers were not visiting them anymore so the regular gym users were prone to cancel their subscription while those who used to visit gyms using Gympass wouldn’t visit the gym during the crisis what would cause a loss of revenue for the gyms as well. To help our partner gyms we decided and implemented in record time 2 solutions:

  • Provide gyms a white label app they could offer to all their members so they can deliver value to their clients helping them stay active while at home;
  • Provide a platform for gyms to schedule and stream live classes to all Gympass users so they can keep their instructors employed while providing Gympass users with exclusive content. This platform is called Live Classes.

Personal Trainers, the third digital product

Live Classes provided a platform 1:N, meaning one instructor could provide physical activity guidance to N users. We soon realized we could create another product on top of Live Classes, 1:1 physical activity guidance, which could be made available in Gympass’ higher-tier plans. We then created our third digital product, Personal Trainers.

Summary

  • Even though we had the vision of expanding our supply offer beyond physical gyms and studios quite early in our journey, we needed to have our core product stable in order to invest in this expansion.
  • Back in November 2019, we started to create our first digital product, Gympass Wellness, in a regular pace, creating controlled tests to validate or invalidate hypotheses.
  • COVID-19 dramatically increased the need for speed in developing new digital products. We went from 1 offline product (access to physical gyms and studios) to 4 products adding Gympass Wellness, Live Classes, and Personal Trainer to our product portfolio in 2 months. Prior to the crisis, this diversification and digitalization would probably have taken 2 to 3 years.

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Joca Torres

Joca Torres

2.5K Followers

Digital product development advisor, coach, and board member. Also an open water swimmer and ukulelist.