AidStation is the brainchild of Francois and Marisha de la Rouviere who are both avid long distance runners.
The idea for a solution such as AidStation came to be when Marisha wanted to take part in the Surrey Cross Country league in South London. Having recently moved from Cape Town to London, it soon became apparent that the running surfaces are very different to those back home, where cross country running is often done barefoot.
Marisha wanted to know what the most popular cross country shoe was that everyone was using in and around London, so that she could look at getting a pair for the race.
Currently, most individuals rely on social media and online reviews for these types of recommendations. This is simply too complicated and takes too long to peruse. These reviews are often untrustworthy as they can be easily faked and/or paid for. Product recommendations on social media through influencers are also not authentic as these individuals are often 'paid' to tell you that they like a product.
The company with the biggest marketing budget will therefore have the furthest reach when it comes to influencer word of mouth.
We needed a better solution to find authentic, transparent advice in an online world. Reviews were old news and so were product recommendations through traditional referral programs. We needed something completely new, an angle that has not yet been explored. When someone recommends a product to me on a platform like Facebook or Instagram, or reviews a product on Amazon for example, what is the main common denominator? USAGE.
The individual must have USED the product in order to recommend, review or influence sincerely.
So we got to thinking, "How can simply using a product, be converted into recommending that product to others?"
We accumulate usage data by simply asking a runner to submit items they enjoyed using on an activity they completed.
If you use an item continuously isn’t it safe to say that you like it? You wouldn’t use it all the time if you weren’t satisfied, would you?
Submitting an item is completely anonymous to ensure that we’re getting the most authentic information possible. No-one will know what you use, except you, so there’s no reason to lie about it.
Each item on AidStation will have a USAGE COUNT (U-count). This is an aggregation of the number of times the same item has been used by runners on the platform.
When you go to AidStation to SEARCH for the best shoe (for example), we'll return a simple list of items, ordered by highest to lowest U-Count (most to least used item). Each item will have a set of TRAITS next to it, which are reasons why runners liked using an item.
You have the option to further filter this list to match your personal demographics (age, location, experience level etc.), which is stored on your profile.
Our goal is to help runners all over the world make better purchasing decisions. Everyday millions of runners are faced with a myriad of choices every time they want to buy a pair of shoes, a new watch or just go for a sports massage. These decisions can be even harder when just starting out.
Our dream is for AidStation to become the go-to place for all runners seeking order amongst the chaos. A place of solace, where finding the best running shoe or nutrition bar is an enlightening experience. We want to create a place where information flows freely from one like-minded runner to the next. No obstruction, no middle man, no ulterior motives.
Finding pure, unadulterated and transparent information that you can trust has never been easier.