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How to make your fitness app stand out from the crowd


Daria Kantor, founder and CEO of TruBe, a personal training app shares what she learnt throughout the process of launching her business.

Entering the app space is like volunteering as tribute for the Hunger Games.

The landscape is changing all the time, and if you don’t adapt to the twists and turns of the course, you die.

Data released last year stated that Apple’s App Store received over 1,000 app submissions per day.

This, coupled with the terrifying statistic that 90% of all startups fail within the first year, leaves any app founder with the distinct feeling that the cards are stacked against them.

As the founder of the personal trainer app TruBe, I learned that adaptability was key to our survival.

We had to be able to respond dynamically to the ever-changing app and business environment to survive and in order to thrive, we had to tackle the challenges in a way that was unique to our business model.

Surviving in-market

In working out our niche offering, and what the market was looking for, we adapted to survive in this competitive space.

For instance, there are an endless number of on-demand service apps available to us. We can travel when we want, order any type of food to our doorstep and request skilled locals to come to our doorstep and help with the housework.

This style of app is convenient and instantaneous and we thought the on-demand business model was a perfect fit.

We began by offering one-off training sessions, booked at leisure, but soon learned that this didn’t provide our customers with the ongoing support they needed to truly commit to their exercise regime, and therefore didn’t drive consistent business.

Improving the product

Listening to our customers was essential to improving our product. Our on-demand Uber-like model wasn’t working since it failed to capture all of our customers’ needs.

The on-demand app structure is great for spontaneous journeys or if you fancy a curry, but when it comes to fitness and lifestyle customers want structure.

The lesson learned from our research and clients made us adapt our business model to focus on repeat sessions through a multi-session monthly package offer.

Our strategic shift meant we had to have the confidence to go against the fashionable ‘on-demand’ model. It definitely works for Uber, but it’s not quite right for us.

What we discovered is that smart and easy to use technology can make fitness and well-being achievable for all.

However the wealth of impersonal on-demand fitness apps available do not physically commit you to achieving your exercise and lifestyle goals.

Our ability to recognise when we needed to change and to humanise fitness technology helped us achieve cut through in a crowded app space which empowers our customers to breach the fitness gap for themselves.