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Is there a difference between how home workout brands talk vs their customers?

Coronavirus changed many things about our lives, and even the most ‘analogue’ of activities turned digital. Instead of going out to shows and gigs, we live-streamed, instead of seeing our friends in bars, we (for a short period anyway) started doing Friday night quizzes on Zoom, and instead of going to the gym, we bought our own equipment and products and started training virtually.

These products, usually a strength or cardio apparatus with virtual classes and training programs, are now more popular than ever. You’ve probably heard about Peloton, but what about Mirror, Tonal, Tempo and Hydrow?

We took all the brand messaging from each organization’s website and compared it to organic conversations on forums to extract customer insights determine if user perceptions align with marketing communications. Through analysis, our platform found the statistically significant linguistic differences and similarities between the two sets of data. Can you guess which product is favored by beginners or has the best playlists?


Peloton – the emerging leader in home workouts – is a stationary spin bike equipped with a screen, offering live classes to compete against fellow at-home athletes.

Half the battle of exercising is motivation. And at a minimum of $1,895, you don’t want this bike sitting unused in a dark corner of your bedroom. Peloton recognized this concern through its web copy and referred to the bike’s ‘addictive’ qualities, in order to ensure that if people buy this bike, they’ll actually use it and get value out of it.

Whether positive or negative, Peloton users on forums were likely to have extreme opinions. Using adverbs like ‘really’ to emphasize the statement that followed. Feedback ranged from ‘very happy’ to ‘very unhelpful.’ Addicted to their bikes or not, you can’t say that Peloton users aren’t passionate.


Hydrow – the rowing machine equivalent of Peloton – offers video classes that take place on the water with instructors in various locations across the world.

Hydrow users do their research first. Forum conversations were likely to mention words like ‘reviews,’ ‘research,’ ‘search,’ and ‘check.’ Before purchasing, customers are likely to check out similar products in order to make an educated decision. These buyers are not acting impulsively, and web copy could benefit from a comparison tool, featured reviews or more extensive product details.

Both Reddit users and Hydrow copy were likely to mention classes. All of the products analyzed offer some form of live or pre-recorded classes and training sessions, but Hydrow users were more likely to talk about it.


Mirror is a wall mounted reflective screen, allowing you to watch classes – ranging from yoga to strength to cardio – while also keeping an eye on your form.

The cheapest of the bunch, Mirror catered to a range of experience levels. From beginner to advanced, Mirror emphasized the scalability of workouts using their product.

Mirror customers on these fitness forums were a perceptive bunch. Using words like ‘feel’ to present their opinions on the product. We saw instances of users saying they ‘don’t feel limited’ and ‘it seems like you could easily virtually train’ through other means. This shows that Mirror users think with their heads and shy away from making definite statements through the use of qualifiers.

Both forum conversations and web copy from Mirror, emphasized the strength component of Mirror classes and workouts. While the other brands often mentioned strength and muscle building in their own web copy, those key words weren’t seen as much in customer conversations.


Speaking of strength, Tonal is a wall-mounted machine with adjustable arms and a digital weight system. Everything is included in the machine so no extra physical weights or dumbbells are needed.

Forum conversations often compared Tonal to Peloton. While the two brands promote different forms of exercise, potential customers often positioned them in competition with one another. No one likes a smear campaign, but prominently showing why Tonal is better than Peloton (or any other competitor) could persuade unsure buyers.

Both Tonal web copy and user conversations were likely to have positive comments on the home work out front. Words like ‘good’ and ‘awesome’ were seen in conversation threads as well as on the Tonal website. Tonal has an opportunity to highlight these happy customers in marketing campaigns.


The closest competitor to Tonal is Tempo which comprises a stand-alone piece of apparatus with a screen for viewing classes and then compartments held for physical weights and a barbell.

Tempo indeed lives up to its name, and users tended to rave about the music and playlists used during workout classes. Tempo should emphasize their killer music choices by creating public playlists to give listeners a taste of what they’re missing out on.

Forum users were also likely to be at the beginning of their fitness journey as they use the boards. Customers used words like ‘start’ and ‘starting’ when describing their experience with the product (ie. ‘starting to see results’ and ‘starting a new workout program’). Highlighting the beginner friendly aspects of Tempo in marketing materials could get the attention of aspirational athletes.

Compared to forum conversations, Tempo web copy was infinitely more likely to reference competition. Product descriptions and marketing materials emphasized the competitive aspects of the training programs and community leaderboards. As some forum users appear to be beginners, has this turned away prospects?

Relative Insight can analyze any data you throw our way – fitness related and otherwise. From social media to website copy to review data to survey results – we can do it all! The proof? Our customer insights examples for businesses. 

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