Gone are the days when getting fit probably meant joining your most convenient gym, perhaps going twice a week and trying to watch what you eat in between. Now, people take a holistic approach to fitness, and they expect real-life and tech solutions to span their entire lifestyles.
So, like many physical space brands, Blink wanted to increase the role of digital in its business. We knew that couldn’t mean just adding to the noise in the fitness space by creating more online content. Our challenge was to build a digital experience for Blink that would make the brand relevant beyond the gym and position it as an essential part of each customer’s wellness journey.
And to do it fast.
We launched an MVP app (the brand’s first) in less than six months, giving customers gym access, membership tools and tailored content for all their wellness needs. For Blink, it was a strategic transformation from typical no-frills gym membership to a complete health membership for inside and outside the gym, powered by real user behaviour.
To ensure credibility beyond Blink’s heartland and create a holistic experience, we partnered with well-loved brands across fitness, nutrition, sleep and wellness. Content from Aaptiv, Food52, Gaiam, Zumba and more fed a bespoke feed of classes, recipes and meditations, using APIs and third-party app integration. Within the gym, we installed a Tap and Learn experience, fitting Near Field Communication beacons to kit to provide workout tips on users’ mobiles – another first. We captured every interaction within the gym and app, from sign-up questionnaires to engagement with content and gym equipment.
The mobile app was built with Angular and the Ionic framework and we used Node.js lambda functions for the back-end. We leveraged AWS DynamoDB for high-performance data storage and served assets through AWS S3 and CloudFront. Content was managed using Contentful, a cloud CMS. In order to enable high-quality, full-text searching, we used AWS ElasticSearch.
For analytics, we leveraged AWS API Gateway and AWS Kinesis Firehose to continuously stream real-time events from the app to our AWS Redshift data warehouse. We also built a bespoke tool using the Electron framework that allowed the Blink marketing team to tag, search through and preview the hundreds of thousands of articles, videos and recipes from our content partners.
Phase one outperformed download expectations. Phase two came six months later, bringing major new updates and seeing significant increases in engagement. Within the first year, the app was firmly established as the focal point of the Blink membership experience.
Data analysis and modelling helped us unearth new opportunities. We learnt what members were actually interested in (not just what they told us) and tailored content to these needs. We discovered common behaviours, such as how people consumed content differently depending on time and place, and used this to make Blink’s services and app features as effective as possible.
The app generated new revenue for Blink by making it easier for people to sign up – now done through the app – and increasing membership upgrades and personal training bookings.