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How a core competency in programming allowed Xponential to take the boutique fitness experience online


The latest edition of The Wexer Podcast is a thought-provoking chat with Garrett Marshall, President – Fitness Streaming for Xponential Fitness.

As the owner of multiple boutique brands – Club Pilates, CycleBar, StretchLab, Row House, AKT, YogaSix, Pure Barre, STRIDE, Rumble and Body Fit Training – Xponential is on a mission to make boutique fitness more accessible, firstly through franchising (2,000+ studio locations and counting) and now also through a series of digital products.

As Marshall explains in this insight-packed podcast, Xponential Fitness set out in 2019 to build a direct-to-consumer arm alongside its well-established franchise business. Digital was the cornerstone of those D2C plans.

Quite aside from the advent of COVID, the journey of digital transformation has been a fascinating one for the Xponential team – one with major learnings for other operators looking to go down the same path.

Tune in as Marshall explains:

  • How Xponential immediately understood the need to incorporate digital as part of the brand identity, weaving it in as part of a portfolio of Xponential experiences.
  • Why the starting point of digital transformation has to be understanding the core competencies of your business.
  • How Xponential’s core competency in programming – 15,000+ payrolled instructors + new choreography weekly for in-studio use – allowed it to harness a giant, pre-existing content-creating engine.
  • Why Xponential’s focus on content as a core competency means it wants to own the content but is happy not to own the platform – i.e. the delivery technology.
  • Why content volume is a pre-requisite, with the real secret being curation: delivering value to members by showing them something different each time.
  • Why super-high production values are actually a disadvantage, not only due to the volume of content you have to create, but because Millennials + Gen Z see it as less authentic.
  • Why content creation isn’t a path every operator should go down.
  • How partnership approach can often be the best solution; even with its large content engine, Xponential still licenses content to plug the gaps.
  • The importance of selling the right product to the right people in the right way, understanding the consumer value of the different facets of the brand experience – aka why it’s OK to acknowledge that the in-studio experience remains the pinnacle and still sell digital.
  • How digital is a huge lead generator for Xponential Fitness, with 90% of its (fee-paying) digital customers never having experienced any of its brands physically.
  • How customers using both digital and physical services are the most engaged.
  • Why anyone venturing into content production has to commit for the long term.

The Wexer Podcast sees Wexer CEO Paul Bowman speak to digital pioneers and experts from around the world, offering listeners insights and advice to support their own digital journeys. Follow the podcast, browse all episodes and listen right here.






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