Mobile App Adoption Case Study: SWEAT by Kayla Itsines Fitness

December 14, 2017

Kayla Itsines is an Australian personal trainer who started her career training women in 2008. She has since become a social media sensation, who has an app, a variety of books, a range of workout merchandise and over 6.7m Instagram followers.

The trainer, who is best known for her “Bikini Body Guide” (BBG) workouts, made $17m last year off of her ‘Sweat with Kayla’ app alone.

This year has seen Kayla join forces with personal trainer Kelsey Wells and yoga teacher Sjana Earp to present SWEAT, a video-based app featuring strength exercises, yoga classes and post-pregnancy training. The app also offers a workout and meal planner feature, shopping list function and recipe database. Since its release in May, it has garnered huge success.


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The app operates on a ‘try-before-you-buy’ system. Users are able to download the app and take advantage of what it offers for a week without incurring any costs, which allows them to gauge whether or not the service will work for them. If their experience is positive, users will be enticed to commence a paid subscription to prevent their premium features being revoked.

SWEAT’s high adoption rate is backed up by the fact that Itsines and her colleagues have understood and captured their target market to a tee. The app caters to women across an enormous variety of demographics. Broadly speaking, the app is designed for women interested in weight loss as well as general health, fitness and wellbeing.

It also appeals to women of all ages and fitness levels while simultaneously narrowing down the market to engage mothers and time-poor women. One of Itsines’ renowned selling points is that her workouts only take 28 minutes daily and can be done at home or at the gym. Customers want apps that are easy, accessible and provide solutions to their life: when they realise that they don’t have to spend hours at the gym to lose weight, they are incentivised to subscribe to the app.


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A particularly effective adoption strategy used by Itsines and her marketing team is community-building. Users created the hashtag #BBG to share their fitness journey online, inspired by Itsines’ own down to earth, accessible Instagram presence. Upon subscribing to the SWEAT app, customers are provided with a list of local #BBG Facebook groups, where they are able to connect with other people using the app. This builds brand loyalty, reduces subscription cancellations, collects testimonials and before-and-after photos, and drives sales when a new product is launched.

Paired with a strong network of influencers and her presence across a variety of social media platforms, Itsines has devised a bulletproof marketing strategy that promotes app adoption at every turn.