The Ultimate Guide To Building A Fitness Brand
Building a fitness brand is a lucrative business idea. Statista says that the total market size of the industry globally is more than $87 billion. And all around the world there are more than 200,000 fitness and health clubs. Of these the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom have the highest amount of memberships.
During the pandemic fitness is a term that has become even more ubiquitous. People all over the world want to stay fit and healthy and the industry is rapidly evolving. While the pandemic made most gyms and fitness classes come to a grinding halt last year, it also forced innovation. It was not too long before instructors all around the world started providing their members with virtual solutions. Staying fit and fight off the blues that set in with isolation is a top priority.
In recent years there have been quite a few new trends in fitness. They have included fitness trackers, HIIT workouts, fitness programs for senior citizens, group training sessions and bodyweight training. From the point of view of revenue, prior to the pandemic, fitness and health industries have been steadily growing. This was annually at a rate of 8.7% each year.
Why is building a fitness brand worth your time and effort?
Given the size of the market, investing your time, energy and capital in building a fitness brand is worth your efforts. Not only do you get to be your own boss, but you also get to enjoy a versatile career. With a fitness brand, your days will involve experimenting with different strategies to help better the lives of others.
That said, there is a lot of strong competition in the industry. There are tons of different types of workout regimes. And every day more and more qualified professionals are getting into creating and marketing their own brands.
So, if you want to make 2021 the year that you become a fitness entrepreneur, here are some tips to help you get started.
How to build your fitness brand
Building a fitness brand is all about coming up with the right branding and marketing strategies. People want to know that they are paying money for something that will give them results. They also want to know that they’re working with experts. So in establishing a brand that feels credible and trustworthy, you can set yourself up for success.
Building a fitness brand: What is your fitness brand about?
Each fitness brand has their own unique goals. For you to make your business a success, you need to decide what your goals will be. Think about who you are and what you would like for your customers to feel when they interact with you, whether that is online or offline.
What is it that you want to achieve through your branding efforts? The answer to this is the foundation on which you can build your branding strategy. Because branding needs very clear direction, you should always start the process by identifying your goals in clear, concise ways.
A great method that can help you streamline this process would be the S.M.A.R.T system. This stands for;
- S: Specific. Be clear on the outcome you want and how you want to get there.
- M: Measurable. How will you measure your results to keep track of your progress?
- A: Attainable. Your business plan must always be realistic, so start small. Don’t go all out at the very beginning.
- R: Relevant. Do your goals make sense in the current market and the state of the world?
- T: Time-specific. Your attainable goals need to have a timeline. Make sure you map these out as well.
Building a fitness brand: Figure out your target audience
Once you have completed the first step, your next is to figure out who your audience is. It is not realistic to appeal to everybody and if you do try that, you may end up not reaching anyone at all.
Diluting your brand by having a bit of everything and not specializing will make your brand easy to forget. So now, try to think about who you want to cater to and what that niche expects from you. In terms of branding, knowing your niche can really help you work out the strategies that will work best for you. The fitness industry is pretty saturated so being very specific about who you are as a brand, and who you serve will go a long way.
For example, maybe you want to cater to powerlifters and bodybuilders. Or, you could be focusing on women who want to stay active and fit. You could even cater to new moms who want to shed their baby weight and feel more energized. Whatever it may be, figure out your niche and you’ll be well on your way to figuring out your customer personas.
If you are trying to appeal to more than one niche, then just make sure that you develop personas for each one. Once you are very clear on who you want to be able to serve, you can focus on the messaging and the imagery that will help you connect with them.
A customer persona will help you build a fictionalized representation of the people in each of these niches. Your personas should include as many different details as possible. Some of the details that you want to take into account are:
- Age of the customer
- Their fitness habits
- What their preferred equipment is
- What fitness goals they have
- Their education level
- Their income level
- What kind of spending habits they have
Knowing all these details will help you understand how best you can invest the money that you have allocated towards all of your brand building and marketing efforts.
Building a fitness brand: Analyze your competition
As a business owner especially in an industry as competitive as fitness, it can feel like the competition you face is overwhelming. And yes, the competition can be strong, but that does not mean that you do not have any leverage.
Engaging in competitive research is a great way to know about your positioning and who you are in competition with. It will allow you to see what strategies are being used by your competitors and it will also let you gain insight into the chinks in their armor.
For instance, one of your competitors may have an amazing website, but their social media presence may not be up to the mark. This is then a great opportunity for you to explore to target their customers on your social media.
Trying creating a document – a spreadsheet would be ideal – to help you monitor your competitors. Include as many details as you can about each competitor such as the number of marketing channels they are active on, who their customer groups are, and how they are different from your own brand. This information can be really helpful when you’re building a fitness brand. But it’s also something you do on an ongoing basis to help guide your marketing efforts. While it may seem like a lot of time consuming work, if you can do it every so often, it can really help you make gains in establishing a strong brand presence.
Building a fitness brand: Figure out your brand voice
After you know the target groups that you are reaching out to, your niche and have some intel on your competitors, it’s time to figure out your brand voice. When we say brand voice, this is something that includes all of the language in your marketing materials. Like your slogans, your advertising campaigns and taglines.
If you have any physical signage around your gym or fitness center, the same voice has to be consistently reflected on these too. If you want to target potential yogis, you wouldn’t want to be using the same language that you would use to target endurance athletes or an older age group.
The more consistent that you are with your brand voice, the better chances you will have of communicating your messages to your clients, and in turn achieving your goals. To be strong in your niche, your brand voice has to be powerful, clear and inspiring. This will also make your brand become a reputed and recognizable one.
Building a fitness brand: Determine your mission
Before you get started with your marketing materials, you also need to figure out the mission statement of your brand. Your mission statement tells your clients about the passion that you have towards what you do and what you have to offer your clients.
In simpler terms, your mission statement tells people why your brand exists. With your mission statement in mind, it will make creating your logo and tagline that much easier. It will also help you in marketing the different training programs that you’ll be offering.
Through your mission statement, aim to show your clients that you genuinely care about them, and the challenges that they experience. This will encourage your customers to pick you over any of your competition that has failed to express this. They say that birds of a feather flock together. And right on cue, your mission statement will connect you to the people who care about the same things as you.
Building a fitness brand: Pick a strong name for your business
When you pick your brand’s name, it needs to align with all of the steps we’ve discussed so far. And chances are you’ve been mulling over ideas from early on in your branding process. But a word to the wise, do not get attached to an idea too early on in the process.
Keep your options open and write down a list with the top ideas that you think of for brand names. Next, look at each of the listed options objectively and take out anything that does not communicate what your business is about.
After you have shortlisted a few names, put yourself out there and ask for feedback from your colleagues and family, friends and anyone you would consider a trusted advisor. When choosing family or friends, try to aim for those who would be a part of your target audience and niche, or have experience with your target audience and niche.
Beyond those you know, connect with others in the fitness industry through online forums and groups. This will help you get even more insight and feedback on potential names. When you are the only person looking at the names you have finalized, there’s a big chance that you will be missing out on valuable insight that others can give you.
Building a fitness brand: Get in on the logo design
Slogans and logos are very important parts of your branding strategy. And similar to coming up with your brand’s name, you should make sure you’ve taken the time to establish your niche, audience, and competitors before going full steam ahead.
Flexing your creative muscles to work with a designer on your logo may sound fun. But if you skip doing research on what resonates with your audience, the logo that you finalize could miss the mark.
Every aspect of your brand needs to work in complete tandem with each other. They need to be complementary and not competing. The logo that accurately describes your brand can only be designed when you have all the other bits and pieces of the puzzle sorted.
And all this said, you don’t necessarily need to go and reinvent something or come up with something completely abstract to get a meaningful logo. You can work with a designer to put a creative twist on icons, imagery, symbols or even lettering that has powerful associations and meanings in the fitness industry.
And when you pick colors for your logo, always refer to color psychology. Read about the different energies and emotions that each color represents and find the ones that would apply to your gym or fitness business. For instance yellow, orange and red are colors that are often associated with energy and strength as well as intensity. Blues and greens speak of calmness and peace which are ideal for yoga classes.
Building a fitness brand: Highlight your value propositions
What is it that you are offering your clients that nobody else is? When you are building a fitness brand, your value proposition and benefits need to be highlighted. And your brand’s tagline or marketing campaign slogans are a great way to feature them. Your ads and different types of designs are also powerful tools to help deliver these messages.
When it comes to figuring out your value propositions, consider what you can offer. And then using your competitor analysis, look at how you can position your offering or offerings uniquely. For example, maybe your packages and payment options are more flexible and affordable or perhaps your workout regimes have unique perks. You could also be the only brand in your niche that is professionally qualified to provide certain services. Including this information in your marketing can really help you make your own mark.
Building a fitness brand: Harnessing the power of social media
Now on to generating brand awareness through your marketing materials and your advertising strategies. Most fitness businesses take to social media in addition to having a good website set up for this purpose.
Instagram and Facebook are the two most important platforms that you can work with to create a great follower base and increase engagement while also driving traffic to your landing pages or website.
Start by maintaining consistency across all your marketing channels. The color palette, fonts and style that you use should be the same across all your profiles so that people can identify your brand easily.
You can have your logo as the profile picture on your social media pages. The cover images can be something that gets your services across clearly. This could be an image of a class in session, the interior of the gym or fitness center and the likes. The “about us” and “bio” sections of your profiles should have the same brand voice and style.
And when it comes to posting, keep up with regular posts, share information that is valuable to your clients and potential clients, and follow other businesses and people of interest. The more active you are on social media, the better results your campaigns will have.
Building a fitness brand: Optimize your website
Your website needs to be consistent in terms of your branding. It should also be optimized for mobile so that your audience has a great experience when they try to learn more about you. Whatever device they use, they should be able to access your site without an issue and the pages should load fast for there to be minimal bounce rates.
Consider having offers in your website sliders aka hero images. Or if you’ll be setting up landing pages, make sure your offers are prominent to grab your audience’s attention. And be sure to provide a great introduction to your brand with high quality content. One way to do this would be to maintain a highly informative blog that allows people to learn more about staying fit and healthy.
Building a fitness brand: Try email marketing campaigns
When it comes to email marketing, you can hype up your initial launch, or any new programs by sending out emails to potential customers. If you already have a customer base, you can offer them attractive discounts, informative content, and offers that will help increase loyalty. Sending out emails that provide health hacks, tailored to your audiences’ interests can also increase click-through-rates and engagement overall.
Building a fitness brand: Give influencer marketing a try
Another great component to have in your marketing strategy is to spread the word about your brand through influencers in your niche. Do some research on Instagram to see who you can target.
Some of the very high end influencers may ask for substantial payments. And as a business that is just getting started, if you do not have money to allocate for this don’t be discouraged. There are tons of medium level influencers who can still help you with your PR.
Many of them simply ask for discounts and/or the chance to try out your services. If they like what you have to offer, they will promote your brand to their following and so, you will have access to a broader market in your niche. As you grow as a business, another tactic that you can try is to pay influencers to actually create content for your brand. This will help you move beyond brand awareness to engagement as well.
Building a fitness brand: Get some word of mouth
Building a fitness brand is all about building trust and loyalty. Reviews and testimonials are crucial to this process. And so is user generated content. They all have roles to play in helping you get the word out about your brand.
Encourage people who are members or subscribers in your fitness center, program or gym to post and share about you. In turn, you can promote their content on your page too with a shoutout and a thank you. The more clients talk about you, the better your chances of getting new clients as well. You can also try adding more fuel to this fire, with a referral program incentivizing your existing client base to be your brand ambassadors.
Build your fitness brand this year with confidence
2021 will be a challenging year, no doubt, for fitness brands. It may be a massive industry, with tons of opportunities, but we’re all in uncharted waters. At the same time, there’s lots of potential to innovate and new niches to explore. From introducing online classes, to virtual personal training, webinars, and the likes, you can really make an impact and a positive impression on your clients. So we encourage you to think outside the box and assure clients that regardless of pandemic, they can rely on your services.