Speedo's new swimming app serves as a training partner
By Alex Samuely
September 19, 2014
Speedo has introduced its new interactive fitness application for iPhone, Speedo Fit, designed to help swimming enthusiasts set and reach fitness goals.
The app enables users to track and log swim sessions, find local swimming facilities and learn new techniques, among other features. It was developed in accordance with Speedos mission to motivate and empower customers to partake in fitness activities.
" The app is designed for fitness swimmers of all abilities, and that includes loyal customers as well as new customers," said David Lai, CEO and creative director of Hello Design, Speedo's digital agency. "There are more people swimming for fitness than ever before, so our objective is to provide new and existing swimmers a tool that can help them swim more and become better swimmers."
Speedo Fit is aimed to swimmers of all levels and promotes Speedos belief that swimming is a first-rate way of getting fit. The app functions as a training partner by offering guidance both in and out of fitness sessions.
The dashboard function allows users to log their swims and track distance and duration, while the Map Goals feature helps users visualize distances with exotic swim destinations as motivation for swim workouts.
The app also provides lists of nearby pools and displays where other users are currently at, in case a guest would prefer more company. It is affiliated with Team Speedo USA.
"Swimming can be a very solitary sport, but everyone can benefit from motivation, encouragement, and healthy competition from others," said Mr. Lai. Community components are integrated throughout the app, such as being able to invite people to join you on map goals, see and connect with people who swim at your pool, compare yourself against your friends on the leaderboard, comment and favorite other people's swims, and share your swim on social media."
The tips and techniques section of the app features videos from Team Speedo USA and Olympic stars such as Natalie Coughlin and Ryan Lochte. Speedo is focusing on providing a branded experience that it hopes will drive traffic to its partner Web site, speedousa.com/speedofit.
"The partner website is a key component of Speedo Fit ecosystem, and its a great way to further engage swimmers and consumers with our brand, however what we set out to do is create an app that allows swimmers of all levels the ability to be on the move with every tool the needed to get into the water -- and this app does that," said Alyssa Igawa, director of marketing for Speedo USA.
For prominent apparel brands like Speedo, incorporating features that suit the active lifestyle of its consumers both via the mobile app and partner Web site can be a fitting way to promote the brand, grow its community, encourage customer loyalty and attract consumers, said Li-at Karpel Gurwicz, vice president of marketing at Como.
Como is not affiliated with Speedo, but agreed to comment as an expert on apps.
Both the app and Web site can complement each other, and could offer an engaging and interactive experience for swimmers and users that could serve to boost the brand and business, said Ms. Gurwicz. This can be a good approach, and one that largely depends on the needs and nature of the business.
Speedos cross-channel approach of introducing Speedo Fit is an example of omnichannel marketing aimed at directing higher user engagement. Fans can use Speedo Fit on the go, and can later access the partner site to delve further into the hub of content it displays.
The site features introductory videos for the app, swim tips, and Speedo workout wear. The swim tips sections offers a multitude of clips for each style of swimming, including freestyle, backstroke, and turns.
Speedo Fit also claims it is the first global swim fitness app on the market, highlighting Speedos desire to pioneer an untouched digital platform. Speedo Fit comes on the heels of Speedos Pace Club, another swim training application.
"This is a platform that will evolve in the future with additional content and resourceswe're working with Speedo's elite coaches and athletes like Summer Sanders and Natalie Coughlin to provide more education and guidance that swimmers want," said Hello Design's Mr. Lai. "In social media, Speedo will be providing ongoing tips, education, and inspiration to get people to swim more and become better swimmers."
The app is planned to go live on Android in the near future.
Apps such as this one enable businesses to engage with consumers in innovative ways that offer an experience for both existing and new customers, said Como's Ms. Gurwicz. This experience and the features in the app have the capacity to both assist in creating relationships with potential customers, as well as cultivate lasting loyalty.
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York
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