Successfully Managing Your Gym Assets: Brand
For Gym Operators
Successfully Managing Your Gym Assets: Brand
Your gym’s brand is (or should be) all around you. After all, it communicates your mission, reputation, and values for providing a safe and friendly environment through your staff, equipment, and facility. Read on for tips on how to help deliver your brand to your members.
What Is Your Brand?
Your brand is about your reputation and the promise you give to your members and stakeholders. It defines “who you are” and is a strong contributor to the value of your business. It’s based on your company culture and the core values that are important to your club.
Why Is Defining Your Brand So Valuable?
The importance of having a clearly defined brand within the hyper-competitive fitness industry cannot be overstated. A well-thought out, focused brand can turn an average facility into an outstanding one. It helps to shape the environment that your members are in, making them feel welcome and appreciated as customers.1
Your unique brand is what makes your members so passionate; that passion and motivation then inspires their peers. Chances are, your company already has some formal notion of the brand it is trying to convey. It’s important that you fine-tune your brand and consistently communicate it in everyday business.
How to Shape Your Brand
Positive and inspiring experiences within your gym can enhance your brand and affect how members feel about it. It can also nurture feelings of attachment and loyalty while increasing member retention rates.1 Culture has a direct impact on the success of your club – begin to shape your brand by identifying your culture and core values.
What Are Your Core Values?
Core values are the distinct traits and dedicated values of your club. Your gym’s core values define its beliefs and the fundamental decisions that drive it forward. Core values should be clearly defined and considered in each decision made. Without defined core values, who you are and what you offer as a fitness facility cannot be clearly demonstrated.1 Members should feel these core values radiating though interactions with staff and simply by being present in your club.
Things to Consider
The following questions are helpful in shaping your brand:
- Why are you personally invested in your company?
- What do you hope to help your members achieve?
- What is the reputation you desire your company to have, both within the fitness world and as part of your community?
- How do your offerings tie into your brand? What kind of culture best serves your brand and image?
Hire Staff Who Will Be Brand Ambassadors
Your brand’s core values and culture should play a part in your hiring process. Hire staff who will exude your brand values through their day-to-day attitude and personality at your facility. Train all your staff in what your brand represents so that they essentially become brand ambassadors. Ensure that your brand and your values are the compass that guides their everyday activities.
Design Your Facility with Your Brand in Mind
While franchise clubs have much of their design already decided for them, your brand should permeate each visible element of your facility.
A large part of your gym’s branding has to do with your logo. Is your logo present both inside and outside your gym? Do the colours and styles of your logo resonate in your staff uniforms, gym walls and marketing materials? Your gym space should match your unique brand identity and core values, whether it’s focusing on community and fun, or structure and focus. Your decor and signage, fitness equipment and programming, and design and physical structure of your building should be dependent on your brand.1
Ensure that your brand’s visual identity is present throughout your gym’s social media accounts, emails and marketing materials. Use logo-inspired styles and a consistent tone of voice when crafting messages for your members. Also consider offering branded merchandise available for sale at your gym. This gives your members a chance to show off their love of your gym, while promoting it outside your facility.
Deliver your brand constantly, throughout the lifecycle of each membership.1 Show your members why you do what you do – after all, that’s more important than what you do and how you do it. When you’re delivering your brand to its full potential, your members and staff will share in your passion, helping to build upon the strong culture you’ve embraced.
- Does the way your club looks and delivers its services represent your core/brand values well?
- Have you asked your members to define/describe what your brand is from their perspective? If so, does it align with your vision?
- Do the majority of members ‘love’ your brand and wear/talk about it proudly? Can you give examples?
Read about how to manage your other gym assets:
1 “IHRSA 2015 Education Summaries - Customer Service and Retention”