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Case Study

Ladder Overhauls Its Monetization Strategy with Reforge and Sees 10x Growth

Use cases: Growth through monetization strategy, upleveling leadership team

Greg Stewart

Greg Stewart

CEO, Ladder

Key Points:

  1. Greg and the Ladder team used Reforge to completely overhaul their monetization strategy.
  2. After following the playbook taught in the Monetization and Pricing course, Ladder relaunched and experienced 10x growth.


Ladder is a fitness app that caters to individuals who want to get stronger and exercise more without having to plan their workouts. The app focuses on strength training and offers a comprehensive experience that combines programming, coaching, and unique member-to-member social engagement.

Ladder faced challenges with their monetization strategy and sought the help of Reforge. This case study explores how Reforge assisted Ladder in revamping their pricing and packaging, paving the way for significant business growth. To get the full story, we chatted with Greg Stewart, CEO of Ladder.

The Monetization Challenge

Ladder initially launched its product in July 2020 with a subscription-based model priced at $60 per month, including one-on-one access to a coach.

However, when Ladder started investing in Facebook paid advertising as a growth channel, they encountered difficulties.

Greg said, “We got slaughtered. But we learned a lot about our product, our price point, our users, monetization, and activation — all these things that we hadn't really thought about that needed a lot of attention before we started investing in growth.”

One of the key tenants that Reforge teaches is that a growth model consists of Retention + Engagement, Acquisition, and Monetization, which is where Ladder decided to focus.

The team realized that their pricing and value proposition did not align with potential customers' expectations, leading to poor user acquisition and low conversions. Ladder needed to reevaluate their monetization strategy to improve growth prospects.

Reforge as a Solution

Recognizing the need for changes in their monetization approach, Ladder's CEO sought a structured solution that would allow the team to learn and implement effective strategies internally.

Hiring external consultants was not a preferred option, as Ladder aimed to maintain control and ownership of the decision-making process, customer feedback loops, and proprietary learnings. Reforge emerged as a viable alternative, offering comprehensive content and frameworks tailored to their specific needs.

Greg enrolled in Reforge's Monetization and Pricing program first, leveraging the content to address their monetization challenges. He focused on the lessons designed to help businesses determine optimal price points and understand customer preferences and willingness to pay through surveys and analytics.

As Greg started to digest the learnings, he knew he had to bring his team in to learn with him, so he purchased memberships for them and gave them an action plan of which content to consume.

He said, “We didn’t have the underlying knowledge on how to build a monetization and pricing strategy effectively. Reforge not only gave us the knowledge, but the frameworks where a Head of Engineering, Head of Product, and CEO could all speak the same language and work on the same project.”

The team started to apply the learnings almost immediately. They conducted extensive survey research, using frameworks suggested by Reforge, to gain a deep understanding of their target audience's needs, preferences, and willingness to pay.

The two main survey techniques they utilized were MaxDiff and Van Westendorp:

  • Van Westendorp: Designed to demonstrate customers’ willingness to pay for a specific good or service they value. These surveys are used in pricing research to help inform decisions about what to charge and how to package a specific offering.
  • MaxDiff: Designed to determine the highest and lowest value features or products based on customer input. The MaxDiff answers questions like:
    • What should go in each pricing tier?
    • How should we market these features to our customers?
    • And, should we create tiers or add-ons?

Greg explained, “We got around one thousand responses to this survey. And we asked the [pricing] questions across a couple of different parameters and sliced it a million different ways, and it became very clear that the price point across the cohorts we cared most about was in the $25 to $35 range.”

As a result, the most significant change resulting from Ladder's collaboration with Reforge was the adjustment of their pricing and subscription packaging. Previously set at $60 per month, the insights provided by Reforge's frameworks guided Ladder to lower their price point to $30 per month and revamp their subscription offerings to better align with customers' expectations and the value provided by the app.


The impact of Ladder's partnership with Reforge was substantial.

Following the pricing adjustment and other improvements influenced by Reforge's frameworks, Ladder experienced significant growth in their user base. In 2022, Ladder grew its paid subscriber base from around 2,000 to 10,000 members, and then to 30,000 as of mid-year 2023 — securing a thriving business.

Additionally, Greg and his team at Ladder now continuously use Reforge when they have a growth-oriented problem to tackle.

Greg said, “We go to Reforge any time we are going deep on something and we need help thinking about it.”

Reforge is a Resounding Yes from Ladder

Greg strongly recommends Reforge to other founders facing similar growth challenges, emphasizing its value for those seeking to learn and develop growth strategies internally.

Greg elaborated, “I recommend Reforge to a ton of founders. Especially if they don’t want to outsource their thinking about something, and want to learn it themselves. Other than hiring somebody, there isn’t a great option for certain types of questions, and I just point them to Reforge.”

Overall, Reforge's content, especially its modules on monetization, pricing, and growth, proved instrumental in guiding Ladder's team through their transformation process. The availability of comprehensive resources allowed the team to speak a unified language, align their efforts, and work on the project efficiently.

By utilizing Reforge, Ladder overcame their monetization hurdles, revitalized their pricing strategy, and achieved substantial business growth. Ladder's experience demonstrates the effectiveness of data-driven decision-making and the importance of understanding customer preferences when designing pricing and packaging strategies.

The collaboration between Ladder and Reforge exemplifies the power of continuous learning and strategic thinking in driving business success. If you’re interested in equipping your team with Reforge for continuous learning, you can learn more about our team offerings here.