The last few months have forced the entire world to change their daily habits and comforting routines in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines and mandated lockdowns to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Every industry has felt the impact, and the fitness industry is no different.
But when life handed fitness-tech startup MIRROR lemons, they made lemonade (or rather, got acquired by a “lemon”).
Hyper-luxe fitness brand Lululemon dumped a cool $500 million to acquire MIRROR, taking a bet that consumers will continue to exercise from home even as lockdowns are lifted and gyms begin to reopen.
The concept of MIRROR is simple. For a $1495 one-time purchase and $40 monthly membership, you’ll have access to hundreds of online fitness classes, ranging from yoga to barre to HIIT workouts and everything in between. The classes display in real-time on the mirror, where you can follow along and ensure you’re maintaining proper form by watching yourself in action.
Many are calling for MIRROR to become the next Peloton, but in areas of convenience that allowed Peloton to thrive – MIRROR lacks. Consumers love Peloton due to the ability to get an effective workout during a short amount of time, and in a small space. Also, Peloton’s concept is easy: You sit on the rather compact bike and ride along to the screen directly in front of you. MIRROR requires you to have enough space to perform various workouts while being in full view of the mirror and replicate – sometimes complicated – moves without a live instructor able to assist. (Read more about why brands need to prioritize human-led, personal service and authentic experiences in PR Daily from March EVP Jodi Petrie.)
However, MIRROR might be just the experience consumers have been looking to add to their home gyms. Oftentimes, new gym goers experience anxiety of being uneducated on proper form, number of repetitions or other seemingly insider knowledge. This unease can lead to discouragement, and eventually giving up. MIRROR allows consumers to get the hang of certain workouts and figure out what works best for them all while in the comfort of their own homes. Being able to watch yourself perform the exercises is extremely beneficial as well and maybe second best to an in-person trainer.
MIRROR is one of the many examples of technology finding a new stride with consumers during the pandemic, paying off the findings of an earlier survey conducted by March reporting that 89% of consumers believe tech plays an important role in wellness. While the idea of watching yourself work out might not appeal to everyone, there’s no denying that it’s been a hot commodity amongst fitness junkies looking to get involved in the next big thing. Any piece of fitness tech that gets people up and moving is a good thing, and for new owner Lululemon it flexes a fresh standard in what is the innovative, interactive omnichannel brand experience.