Asics unveils mobile app for on-demand workouts
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the length of the Asics Studio app's free trial. The story has been updated to reflect the correct time period. We regret the error.
- Asics, the Japanese sportswear giant whose global sales have been flat this year, introduced a mobile app to provide consumers with on-demand workouts. The Asics Studio app, which features top-rated professional trainers who guide the mobile user through workout routines, offers a free 7-day trial and then costs $9.99 a month, the company said.
- The workouts are paired with a music playlist in an effort to replicate the energy and excitement of top boutique fitness classes, Asics said. The studio workouts include strength training, treadmill, fusion (strength and cardio), outdoor running, elliptical and indoor cycling.
- Separately, Asics America this week opened the company’s first U.S. flagship store at 579 Fifth Avenue along New York City’s famed shopping district. The store features two distinct brands: Asics shoes and apparel for athletic use, and Asics Tiger, a street-inspired lifestyle brand of footwear and clothing.
Asics has struggled with falling sales in the U.S., Europe and its home country, Japan, which has led the 60-year-old brand to reinvent itself with mobile campaigns and retail settings that it can control. The company can boast that 30% of runners in the New York City Marathon wear its shoes, but Asics needs to expand into other athletic activities and sportswear lines. The new fitness app could help the brand expand its audience with younger consumers who make their smartphones part of their workout experience. Earlier this year, Adidas similarly combined mobile with on-demand workout content.
Asics last month updated its mobile website to create an app-like shopping experience on smaller smartphone screens. The company has a catalog of thousands of products, but mobile users with increasingly short attention spans aren't willing to spend a lot of time browsing the digital racks. Smartphone users who visit the Asics mobile website see an icon that takes them to an integrated shopping environment similar to social networks. These interactions are collected, analyzed and used in real-time to create a more personalized experience for each Asics customer.
As part of its rebranding, Asics in October teamed up with start DJ Steve Aoki to create a wellness-focused brand identity. Their "I Move Me" integrated multichannel campaign — which the company described as it's "most significant" in two decades — was a key part of the effort that includes digital video spots, influencer partnerships for social media content and in-store and offline activations.