Fitness Studios: How to Build a Brand Experience


Fitness Studios: How to Build a Brand Experience

You see gyms all the time advertising that they’re the cheapest around. You can join a national brand for $20 per month, sometimes cheaper.

On the other hand, it’s not unusual for a fitness studio to charge $75 per hour and higher. And these studios are getting business.

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Does Reality Match Your Brand Promise?

What do members and clients expect from each of the examples above? Which facility do you think is cleaner? Which one has fewer inoperative machines? Where do you think you’ll find the better trainers?

As a studio, your brand promise must match (exceed would be even better) the reality of your space. Clean is not clean enough. You want it to be immaculate. If a machine is broken, put the right message on it and get it fixed as soon as possible.

Nothing will destroy your brand quicker than your brand promise not matching reality.

Personalization and the client experience absolutely must match your brand promise. If it doesn’t, you’ll be hard pressed to generate the membership or client visits you need.

Four Ways to Enhance Your Brand Promise

Your brand promise need not be over the top. Here are five examples of simple, concise, deliverable means of enhancing your brand promise:

  • Surround your clients with extras: healthy snacks and drinks, more class options than they’ll get anywhere else, and complimentary gifts.
  • Embrace technology through wearables, scheduling, apps, and marketing.
  • Select equipment that enhances the member experience through interactive consoles, workout tracking, and intuitive design.
  • Involve your clients and build your community through social media.

AFS Can Help: AFS’ library of business assistance can go a long way toward helping you ensure your brand promise and brand experience match up.

Does Your Equipment Deliver on your Brand Promise?

When selecting equipment for your studio, you have to take into consideration the answers to several questions:

What is the image and culture of your studio?

You want your equipment and facilities to align with the overall culture of your business. For example, if you present your studio as a warm, beginner-friendly weight-loss community, you probably don’t want to purchase the most intense-looking, intimidating strength racks on the market. On the other hand, if your studio caters to serious bodybuilders, you may not want to take up precious floor space and budget with tons of cardio equipment. Choose equipment that fits the culture and purpose of your studio.

What do customers expect from your studio?

If you present your studio as a premium boutique that delivers a high-end experience, your customers are going to expect top-quality equipment. The equipment should fit with the look and feel of your studio and have features that exceed what customers would get from a lower-tier facility. High-end features might include things like video consoles, networked equipment, and highly customizable workouts.

If you’re a budget studio, you have a bit more leeway when it comes to the bells and whistles of your equipment, but your customers are still going to expect safe, comfortable, and operational (not often out-of-order) equipment.

What are you explicitly promising your customers?

Think about what you’re promising your customers and be sure that your equipment allows you to deliver. For example, if your brand slogan promises to deliver a killer workout in 30 minutes or less, you’d better be sure that customers aren’t left waiting around because you don’t have enough equipment. Likewise in this example, you wouldn’t want to purchase equipment that requires extensive setup in between each use. Make sure your equipment choices work for you, not against you, and always deliver on your brand promises.

Download the full guide and learn what every studio owner needs to know about fitness equipment, including acquiring your equipment, cleaning and maintenance, utilizing your studio's space, building a brand experience, and insuring your studio.

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The Association of Fitness Studios (AFS) is the only trade association dedicated to providing the education, tools, and resources for fitness studios to enhance their profitability, while providing the platform for entrepreneurial fitness professionals to start their own businesses. Learn more at

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