arrow-right cart chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up close menu minus play plus search share user email pinterest facebook instagram snapchat tumblr twitter vimeo youtube subscribe dogecoin dwolla forbrugsforeningen litecoin amazon_payments american_express bitcoin cirrus discover fancy interac jcb master paypal stripe visa diners_club dankort maestro trash

eCommerce Case Studies

eCommerce Case Study: How Strava Built the Ultimate Brand Community

eCommerce Case Study: How Strava Built the Ultimate Brand Community

by John Larkin

John runs the blog here at eCommerceLift and is a verified Shopify Expert. Interested in an initial growth consultation? Click here

7 years ago

eCommerce Case Study: How Strava Built the Ultimate Brand Community

Brand communities are coveted as one of the most precious assets a brand can build. However, they are often not utilized or prioritized for so many eCommerce stores. One eCommerce store that has bucked the trend and integrated a community into all aspects of its brand is the fitness store, Strava. They have built their brand on the basis of fostering a community that is loyal, connected and view the brand as a one stop shop for all things fitness.  

Strava: About the Brand

Strava is a business that aims to cater to all of the needs of athletes. The store is centred on an app that tracks and analyses a cyclists or runners performance. The app runs through your phone and gives precise a measurement of numerous aspects of an athlete’s work out such as comparisons to previous workouts, pacing analysis and goals met. The brand also sells fitness equipment, apparel and accessories for athletes making it a valuable place for fitness enthusiasts to shop.

However, what sets Strava apart from its competitors is its focus on building a community. The brand doesn’t describe themselves in terms of a business instead they declare:

“Strava is a community of athletes from all over the world. We are a tribe. Alone or together, we strive.”
This focus on community has meant that they have built a brand from the ground up that is all about customers connecting with the brand and with each other. Strava has developed a loyal following by providing customers with the ability to connect and communicate with each other over their shared interest in cycling, running and fitness. 
The Community Rules

Strava are a brand so incorporated with their community that they have developed a set of rules for their fans and customers to stand by. These rules act as a guideline to live by while also being a method of spreading a positive brand message. There are five rules in total that give an impression of what the brand is all about, what they want from their customers and what they provide as a company.

According to the brand they encourage members to take these rules to heart in order to be part of the community. This makes it an exclusive yet earnest group that thoroughly love the brand and understand what it takes to be involved with Strava. 

Building Social Media
The most ubiquitous and easily attainable place to form and nurture brand communities is on social media and Strava has used it perfectly. They are currently on numerous platforms providing valuable content and facilitating a place for their customers to socialize and communicate. All of their social media has been massively successful at building an audience which can be seen in the number of followers, likes and shares they receive. 

The brand have garnered quite a following with:

Through all of these platforms they are providing content that their customers love to see. Their social media posts include asking their followers where they like to ride, motivational sayings and images and encouraging followers to post pictures themselves such as their race face. These posts get hundreds, if not thousands of likes and help foster the community the brand is built on. 

Strava has also managed to get their community to motivate each other through social media. They encourage the use of the hashtag #stravaproveit with their customers posting images of themselves biking and running that “prove your story”.

These images act as a motivator and a connection between the communities the brand has built. They show who is a member, what they are doing and provide stories for the fans and the brand. 
Living the Brand

It’s not only the brands fans that embrace the lifestyle and community of Strava. They also promote an active work environment so that their employees live the brand. Their website contains images and information about their workers, shows them being active and participating in running or cycling. Each employee also tells of their favourite trails and paths to venture on, showing that they truly live the brand too. 

This also adds an element of reliability and authenticity to the brand as customers know the brand is owned, managed and run by people who are truly connected to their interests, using the brands offerings and part of the community.

Strava Challenges
To further foster a community and encourage motivation between its members, the eCommerce store holds “Strava Challenges”. These are both running and cycling challenges that each has a specific goal and set of rules. Challenges include the Strava Races 10k which has the description of: “Strava is challenging you to run 10k as fast as you can.”

Each competitor is placed on a leader board with the fastest average runner being placed first. Ingeniously the challenges can be done at any location and whenever the participant wants within a certain time period meaning thousands can compete all over the world. Participants can also compare and contrast their times with anyone who participates while also receiving rewards from the brand for competing and finishing.

These challenges are immensely popular with tens of thousands of people taking part. It is a brilliant ploy by the brand to gain promotion and add value for their customers while also staying true to being all about “social fitness”.

Pros Using Strava

The clout that Strava have can be seen in one of their must impressive advertising tools. They have a number of professional athletes that use and endorse the brand from around the world. Each professional athlete has their own statistics that customers can follow, analyse and compare themselves to, providing a valuable draw for customers to the store. Stats such as average distance cycled, biggest climb and average time can all be seen and compared so customers can gauge their own level against the professionals.

The brand also makes videos with some of the athletes that show behind the scenes footage, interviews and recordings of them doing challenging events. This acts as a great marketing tool as customers identify the athletes with the brand and whilst giving them interesting content about people they admire. 

Strava is a brand that saw an opportunity to build a brand around a community that enjoys being socially fit and has done it successfully. They help nurture their community effectively and keep customers engaged. By continuously bringing value and thinking about what their audience enjoys from fitness, it has made them one of the most niche eCommerce players out there. 


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published