How SoulCycle’s Founders Built a Nationwide Movement Around Their Brand

How SoulCycle’s Founders Built a Nationwide Movement Around Their Brand

What do you get when you cross a high-intensity workout with a feel-good dance party? A new exercise craze that's spreading like wildfire.

In episode 8 of TGIM, we sat down with SoulCycle co-founders Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice to learn how they built a nationwide following around their new "spin" on spinning classes. 

In this TGIM short, you'll...

  • Find out the easiest way to learn what your customers want
  • Discover how to build turn customers into brand evangelists
  • Learn how to create a following and movement around your brand

Check out the full short below:

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Elizabeth: "In the beginning because we were in the rear lobby, and this was our first location, it was hard to find us. You had to come down a long hallway, and by the time you got to the front desk we were really excited to see you. That kind of ethos of getting to know the person because we were genuinely excited to see you walk in the front door is such a part of our customer service today. A piece of that is, "Do you like your water room temperature or do you like it cold? We haven't seen you for a while, what's been going on?" Inevitably people go through a lot of things and you start to develop relationships with people, and then additionally sometimes you forget your wallet. In the pre-Uber days we would give people ten bucks from the register to get home, and they never forgot those acts of kindness. To this day, we continue to foster that kind of relationship with our riders, that we want people to feel like in some way we've got them."

Julie : "Every person matters, so every customer that walks through your door, every person that crosses the threshold of your business matters. People would be surprised how much it means to a customer who walks through the door, if you remember their name the next time they come through or remember something about them. The world has become so run by devices and computers that personal connection, somebody feeling like they actually matter to a business, can really make a difference in terms of creating movement in the business."

Julie : "Listen to your customers. One thing that we have always found is that if one person comes forward and tells you that something's wrong or they want something new, there's usually a hundred more like that that just didn't have the guts to either write in or approach you and tell you. Listening to your customers, taking their comments, concerns, wants, needs seriously really keeps you in touch with the way that you should evolve or fix your business."

"I always tell the story about how in the early days of our business one person came up to the front desk that I was working behind one day to tell me that the towels did not smell good, that we had obviously switched laundry detergents and that they felt like the towels were terrible. Sure enough, I did some research on it and in fact our laundry service had switched detergents, and they really were not good. I switched out the towels and that person came up to me the next week and said, "Did you switch the towels because I told you that I didn't like the way they smelled?" I said, "Yeah, I did." I will tell you that fifty or sixty people must have come up to me within a few weeks afterward to say, "Thank goodness you switched the towels back, they were smelling so terrible." That small little thing really taught me a lot about listening to your customers and making small adjustments that ultimately lead to people feeling heard and affecting more people than you might have ever imagined thought that there was an issue."

Julie : "Don't create users, you want to create evangelists. It's one thing to have customers come and use your product and enjoy it. It's another thing to give people an experience that they have to tell their friends about."

Elizabeth: "People just want to feel something, and in the room you can't really help but feel something. You're moving your body in a way that you would never do on your own, you're listening to crazy amazing kick-ass music, and you're in the presence of people who are part of the rhythm of the tribe, and the instructor is saying things to you that are universal, that you need to hear or that you want to hear. It can be like, "Let go of useless rejections," or, "Why are you here?" Or, "We don't know what's going to happen in the future; that's the point, people." It's something that's sort of reflective of the human experience, which is really what we're all tapping into in the room."

Julie : "As you're thinking about how to build your customer service and your experience, that is what you want to think about. You want to think about, "How can I not just create a user, but how can I create an evangelist? Somebody that will walk around the world singing the praises of my brand or business?"


Show notes:

About TGIM: TGIM is a podcast for people who can’t wait for the week to start. In each episode we’ll be bringing you inspirational stories about entrepreneurs who have overcome obstacles, built incredible businesses, and are now living the life they want.