Building Her Brand: An Interview with Robin Arzón
If you see it, it’s because she wants you to. The Omnipod Robin Arzón wears on her arm might go unnoticed in the photos she posts on her website and on Instagram — unless you’re familiar with Type 1 diabetes. It’s all up to Robin. “I am my brand,” she says.
What, exactly, goes into building her brand? The Beyond Type Run New York City Marathon captain and Vice President of Fitness Programming at Peloton Cycle recently shared a few key thoughts with Beyond Type 1 about upcoming competitions, her social media presence and how Robin does what she does so well.
If you follow @robinnyc on Instagram or Twitter, you may already know that before writing Shut Up and Run (a New York Times best-seller) and being named one of Resource magazine’s 16 Fitness Innovators Who Will Transform You Creatively, Robin was a lawyer in New York City. Social media played a role in her decision to make a career change and enter the fitness and wellness space.
“I really love the community that can be leveraged on [social media]. I think that social media is a great opportunity to amplify existing conversations in the space, and a way for people to train virtually with each other and connect,” Robin says.
“I don’t really wait for people to ask me things — if I want to talk about it, I talk about it!”
Robin quickly took on the new challenges that came with a diabetes diagnosis in adulthood, and she’s been open to “life in the public eye” as someone with Type 1.
“I ran a half marathon ten days after my diagnosis. It’s always been part of my journey. As an endurance athlete, I deal with all kinds of shit. So [it was] one other thing I had to deal with.”
This part of her journey requires managing her blood sugar well throughout the day, not just when Robin is coaching a fitness class. “For a 45-minute class, I’m on stage teaching Peloton to thousands of people in any given class, so it would be very disruptive to stop the class to [check my blood sugar].”
Whether it’s choosing which running route to take (“The Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn and back over into Manhattan” is a favorite short run of Robin’s), training for multiple marathons (this fall’s New York City Marathon will be her 25th), or keeping adventures like a trans-America run in the back of her mind — Robin’s choices are her own.
She knows what the Robin Arzón brand represents, and she associates with other brands that align with her message. “The messaging is ‘That’s the way I live my live; that’s what this is about,’” she says.
This helps Robin decide which sponsors to work with (like Adidas) or which projects in the fitness and wellness space to pursue (keep an eye out for new collaborations coming up!): “I am my brand, so it’s kind of all-or-nothing: either you’re about me and what I do, or it’s not a good collaboration.”
“Sweating with Swagger”
“Don’t let the illusion of an Instagram filter fool you: I work no less than 90 hours a week,” Robin says. “I can certainly say that I’m happier now and I feel more in line with my passions, but I don’t think I could have arrived where I am if I hadn’t been where I’ve been.”
“[One common] question I get asked is, ‘How do I do this? How do I do what you did?’ And I think, oftentimes, it’s coming from the point of view of someone who’s looking for a shortcut or an easy answer.
There is no shortcut. You’re consistent. You’re authentic. You tell a story that matters to you and you find a community in which that resonates.”
To learn more about the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon Beyond Type Run team click here.