Good Morning McCann with SoulCycle
As a part of Wellness Month, our monthly “Good Morning McCann” session featured SoulCycle.
SoulCycle was the brainchild of Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice who, after moving to New York, were disappointed with the fitness scene. They had come from towns were you could go out for a jog without having to stop at every block, and where the fitness communities were tight-knit. They dreamed up SoulCycle to provide cities like New York a studio experience that thrived on community. The first location was on the UWS and 10 years later, there are 85 studios across the U.S.
The most incredible part of SoulCycle’s success is that they rely completely on word of mouth, PR and grassroots marketing. To have achieved this level of success without traditional advertising is truly amazing, but what really makes it possible is their dedication to their brand, the service, the employees and the experience.
SoulCycle stands out from the crowd with their “pay-per-class” model. They feel this model takes service up a notch and holds them accountable. They never discount classes because they know they offer a premium experience. SoulCycle instructors must audition, and of the audition groups, only around 10% make it. They are then placed in 6-8 week trainings. SoulCycle has changed the fitness industry by making these instructors full-time employees -- with benefits and 401ks -- making it a career rather than a side hustle or part-time gig. This drives the dedication and the quality of their instructors tremendously.
The front desk associates keep the studios up to par, learning about the customers and their preferences and maintaining the studio itself. Consistent branding is key. For example, every studio has the same scent and the same towel fold on the bikes. Many corporate employees are required to go through front desk training to experience the studio first-hand.
For customers, SoulCycle is a culture of “yes,” always adhering to their needs and requests. But for brands, they use the word “no” a bit more. SoulCycle is very selective about their partnerships. Recently, they partnered with Spotify to make curated playlists and with Target for pop-up classes. For partnerships to work, there must be brand alignment and similar core values - dedication to service and experience.
McCanners took away some great learnings from SoulCycle, a fitness phenomenon with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.