From the editor: Kayla Itsines App “Sweat with Kayla” – marketing launch and product review
For the last few months Kayla Itsines (of instagram Bikini Body Guide, BBG fame) has been hinting at something coming soon. Her 4 million followers were kept on the edges of their seats until Friday when she let the news drop that she had launched an app, “Sweat with Kayla“.
Istines’ appp is the latest to join the slew of fitness and health apps available for apple and android phones, the fitness app market is predicted to worth more than $26 billion by 2017. It’s clear that Itsines is keen to jump on this bandwagon and push new fans to purchase her app rather than her traditional e-books.
Currently Kayla’s Bikini Body Guides and Meal plans are available for download on her website as an e-book. There are two workout guides (week 1-12) and (13-24), and one meal plan. All retail for $69.97 each, if you were to buy just BBG 1 and the meal plan it will set you back $119.97 (AUD). However, the Itsines app “Sweat with Kayla” is a subscription based app which charges users $4.61 per week.
Itsines explains her app is aimed at bringing the community together (social media integration), along with giving easy access to both her BBG program and healthy recipes and meal plans. It also allowers users to track their progress and receive ongoing ‘motivation and support’ via a lifestyle coaching platform.
While Itsines success has been unprecedented; with a cult-like following on social media, BBG community meet-ups happening around the globe and her world tour this year alone; you can’t help but delve a little deeper into the new app the Itsines has just released….
On the launch
Itsines of course launched her new App via Instagram, her most popular social media platform on Friday. At the time of writing this post, that instagram post received as many as just under 5,000 comments on it. Some celebrating the launch, others complaining that paying a subscription service for something they’ve already paid up-to (and sometimes beyond) $120 for.
While the App includes more features than an e-book alone, its intriguing why Itsines decided to go for a subscription based service. When you calculate it out, if you purchase two guides (1-24 weeks) and the meal plan, it equates to $189.94; which you can use over and over again. If you decide to buy the app (subscription) for 24 weeks it’s $110, which is actually a lot cheaper. However, you’re limited to using it for just that time. If you unsubscribe your access stops there.
Another thing I’ve noticed, is many of Itsines’ existing fans, and purchasers of her e-books to date – still have to pay $4.61 a week for the app. [It wasn’t until Itsines received feeback after the launch, when she sent an email to existing customers offering them a discount on the 12 week subscription]. Perhaps Itsines’ App focus is more on creating a larger community, not fostering the community she currently has.
It’s a “Free” App, however once I downloaded the app to trial it the height and weight were in ft and pounds (not native cm’s and kg’s), and I was asked if I wanted a 7 Day free trial (1 month $19.99), or $4.61 a week (1 month $19.99), and the fine print stipulating a minimum three month term…. Therefore unfortunately the editor wasn’t able to actually try the app without paying up front, which I didn’t want to do for this article alone.
The editors recommendation
After reading many reviews on the Apple app store and feedback on Itsines accounts online, I can only assume, from a professional marketer’s point of view and someone who has solid marketing/community engagement/social media experience, that Itsines may have been better positioned to create a free (or low paying app $2 – $10) app that everyone can access for a couple of free workouts and access the wider BBG community, and have the opportunity to “unlock” (pay extra) guides, meal plans etc.
With over 5,000 comments on her instagram launch post alone, there also seemed to be a lot of confusion among existing and new BBG community ‘members’ not knowing how to access the app, if they could receive a discount and more. After reviewing Itsines website, there didn’t seem to be FAQs for participants/members – which in communication 101, would’ve been my first recommendation. (Itsines could be redeemed if there was something in an email sent to existing customers at the time of the launch, but it would been strange to not have this uploaded to the website too).
From the editor: Is an opinion piece/blog post written by North of Here’s editor, Alison. All opinions are the editors own and do not reflect other contributors for North of Here, or other parties associated with North of Here.