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Mirror wants Peloton’s high-end fitness dollars. Here’s how far behind it really is

2 weeks ago by Julia Gray in Innovation

Have you ever looked into your mirror and thought, “If only this were also a gym?” Maybe you went to a pilates class and considered, “This whole experience would be improved if I could mount it on my wall.” Well, the folks at Mirror ($MIRROR) are here to help with their state-of-the-art.... mirror.

Now, the Mirror isn’t just a mirrored HD screen with a carbon steel frame and mineral bronze powder coat. The Mirror brings fitness into your home with personalized, interactive exercise classes led by the best trainers in the country. All this for a cool $1495, or $42 a month for the rest of your life (three years). On top of the price of the Mirror, you'll pay a monthly subscription of $39. 

Needless to say, this product isn’t for the average consumer. But it’s not hard to imagine the demographic, which the company’s ads depict with such a heavy hand it almost reads as parody. A toned twenty-something squats in her mid century modern living room. A buff guy practices kickboxing inside what looks like an Italian palazzo, complete with inlaid hardwood floors and one ficus. 

These are caricatures of Mirror’s target audience, or the people its target audience want to be. The early adopters when the Mirror launched in 2018 consisted of social media influencers and celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Alicia Keys, Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Lady Gaga. The tagged photos on Mirror’s Instagram page paint a more diverse picture of its users. But our data suggests its following isn’t growing much. It increased 3% this year, while Peloton’s ($NASDAQ:PTON) following went up 11%.

That said, Mirror plans to expand beyond exercise. Soon, it will offer FaceTime-like communication with teachers, therapists, and all kinds of “experts.” The company recently introduced meditation guides and kid-friendly “Family Fun” workout classes. There are currently 139 job openings in the engineering department. The marketing division is looking to hire 57 employees.

With these additional features, Mirror hopes to expand its reach. Perhaps the new marketing team will restrategize its ad campaign to reflect a more relatable consumer, less off-duty model and more 9-5 millennial. 

Mirror founder Brynn Putnam told The Atlantic that the company has already sold “tens of thousands of Mirrors” and finished out last year well above its sales targets. This puts the company in close competition with Peloton, which boasts over 1.4 million members and 577000 machines sold. Mirror and Peloton share strikingly similar products and one central goal: Convenient, on-demand fitness.  

At-home exercise equipment is nothing new. You might remember Jane Fonda’s Thighmaster or the BowFlex or the Shake Weight. People have always been trying to make fitness more convenient. But companies like Mirror and Peloton don’t just sell aspirational bodies, they sell aspirational lifestyles. They want your life to revolve around their products. Putnam said she wants the Mirror to be people’s “third screen,” following their computer and phone of course.

Sure, Mirror can make its ads appeal to moms with jobs instead of globe-trotting models, but can the company make its product attainable for the working class? 

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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Julia Gray

Julia is Thinknum's Innovation Editor. She also writes about music, art, and culture for the Washington Post, Playboy, Stereogum, Uproxx, and Paper Magazine.

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