Sprinter, will it work out?
Register now! Become a member! We see and hear these phrases everyday. More and more companies seem to use memberships to get customer loyalty. We see a lot of retailers that display new collections on their mobile apps, provide special offers or interact with customers.
But Björn Borg is trying to out a different strategy. The sports fashion brand had not yet released an app but is now trying to build an entire platform. With their new app, Sprinter, they want to help people find a workout buddy (Fashion Insider, 2015). The application is compared with the dating-app Tinder, where daters are able to see nearby users and swipe to like or dislike them. Sprinter uses the same principle, liking nearby people that you want to work out with. Theory describes both these platforms as one-sided networks, as the users are homogenous, both the buyers and sellers on the network (Eisenmann et al., 2009).
However as we compare Tinder and Sprinter there are some differences. I want to highlight one of these differences. Tinder is owned by IAC, a holding that owns multiple dating sites (IAC, 2015). This means that Tinder and its platform are part of the core business of IAC. Bjorn Borg is a fashion company, specialised in sportswear (Björn Borg Corporate, 2015). By launching this app, Björn Borg is entering a new market. I think that the app will not directly support sales of the goods. Therefore I think that Björn Borg is taking a lot of risk to become the provider of this platform-mediated network. It takes more time to maintain a platform than it will to maintain an retailer app. It is also a lot harder to make changes to the platform later on. In my opinion this is a risky but interesting move, but I will leave it up to you to decide. Do you think Björn Borg’s Sprinter is a good move or should they have stayed within their core business?
- Björn Borg. (2015). Sprinter Campaign. [online] available at: http://www.bjornborg.com/se/campaigns/sprinter
- Björn Borg Corporate. (2015). About Bjorn Borg. [online] available at: http://corporate.bjornborg.com/en/about-bjorn-borg-0
- Eisenmann, T., Parker, G., and Van Alstyne, M.W. (2009). Opening Platforms: How, When and Why. Platforms, Markets and Innovation, Gawer, A. (ed.), Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, pp. 131-162.
- Fashion Insider. (2015). Björn Borg Launces Free Fitness “Sprinter” Application. [online] available at: http://thefashioninsider.com/2015/09/07/bjorn-borg-launches-free-fitness-sprinter-application/
- IAC. (2014). Our Brands. [online] available at: http://iac.com/brands