Every business has a brand. Put simply, your brand is the idea or image that your members connect with when they think about your club. As competition in the fitness industry increases, it’s more important than ever to have a recognizable brand that members (and potential members) identify with and relate to. To get started, we need to answer the question, “What does a brand do for my club?"
Telling a story
While a brand might just seem like your club’s logo and colors, it is actually much more about telling a story. People relate to stories and are driven to purchase from certain businesses because of their story. Consider the Whole Foods brand; it represents much more than a grocery store. For loyal customers, Whole Foods’ story represents being healthy, natural and doing good. These feelings are what drive consumers back to Whole Foods, not just their fresh (and often expensive) food.What is your club’s story? What makes it different than your competitors? Is it relatable to the type of person you want to attract as a member?
Consider the following questions in crafting your story:
- Why did your club get started?
- Who is your ideal member and why?
- What is unique about your club?
- What experience will members have by joining your club?
All of these items will help craft your brand. Once you define them, they can be written about on your website, in your collateral, your club mobile app and even on the walls of your club.
Differentiating Your Club
To quote long-time fitness industry consultant, Michael Scott Scudder:“The old days of filling a club with equipment, keeping it clean and expecting members to come are long gone.”
Indeed, competition is more intense than ever and technology has given savvy operators a major advantage as they are integrating apps and wearables into their club’s experience. Therefore, having a differentiated brand is more important than ever.
For example: Does your club appeal to body builders, athletes or perhaps just regular Joes? Is your club best for beginners or more advanced exercisers?
These questions are important because if we understand the answers, we can use them to attract the right members that are most likely to be retained and purchase additional services like PT.
Creating a feeling amongst members
Brands create feelings, which is what makes them such a powerful tool for you to use. A brand can give off feelings of empowerment, energy or calm. From the logo and the colors to how you describe the club online, the brand’s feelings emanate throughout.
Finally, brands create recognition. When someone is driving and sees your club logo on a building, they should immediately think of you and everything you’ve chosen to associate with your brand (i.e. your story). Brand recognition fuels consumer trust. The more that prospects trust you, the more likely they are to become members.
Want to learn more about how to build your brand? Download The Ultimate Guide to Club Branding.