Why fitness brands matter - Core H&F
Running a fitness facility can be a complicated endeavour. There are countless subjective decisions to be made every day, whether you’re opening, redesigning, or expanding your business. It can be difficult to make the right choices for your facility in every category, from flooring to hiring. By the time you’re ready to pick out equipment, a treadmill is a treadmill. A stepper looks like any other stepper. You may be over budget, in need of a vacation, or just ready to get this place moving. Your members won’t know the difference anyway. Any brand will be fine.
But that isn’t true. Members do know the difference, and they have opinions! The belief that a treadmill is a treadmill is only true if nothing else matters beyond pricing and specs – the ‘table-stakes’. There are additional elements of value, however, that make a difference to both business owners and members. Brands add functional value to a facility, driving economic and performance value. In a study of gym members by Life Decisions AAU in February 2018, StairMaster, known for its gruelling stepper and complete line of HIIT products, was rated the #1 Name in Cardio. Members attributed StairMaster with reliability, quick results, reputability, and high quality products. When compared with other top-name fitness brands, StairMaster had been used more than 15% more than its competitors, with more than 60% having ever used a StairMaster product – 40% within the last three months. Members know the value of a good brand, and it matters to them which brands their facility has.
Supplying members with a brand they know and trust makes doing business easier. The right brands bring relationships, deliver information, and create connection. Buyers must consider the productivity, ease of access, and the relationship that a brand offers, as these qualities interface with members more often than one may realize. Star Trac, with its OpenHub Console, offers members the ability to connect with any app, any way they choose, and makes accessing their workout data simple and convenient. In a study of nearly 7,000 gym members, Star Trac was rated the top brand for tracking, and #1 known among cardio enthusiasts. When your members trust that you’re providing them with the best brands on the market, doing business becomes easier.
Beyond the business level, fitness facilities create individual value. Members are often on a fitness journey, not simply putting in minimal effort for minimal results. The fitness industry is growing exponentially, with former beginners now ready to take on a career and network with other fitness professionals. They want to grow, develop, and have fun. They want to use aesthetically pleasing products that make them feel good about themselves and reduce their anxiety. Schwinn Indoor Cycling, with its 2018 release of the new AC and SC Power bikes and world class Education Program, epitomizes these values. Members know the Schwinn name 43% more than any other indoor cycling brand – 71% overall. Nearly half of all gym members have used Schwinn branded products, double half of its nearest competitor. Schwinn’s close knit community, stylish bike designs, and reputable instructor certification training make it the #1 brand that members are proud to use, the top brand for high quality, reliable products, and the brand that makes products most fun to use. This kind of member experience cannot be duplicated. Schwinn’s market dominance is undeniable, and members know that when they ride a Schwinn Indoor Cycling bike, they are part of something special.
Brands have inspirational value. They create emotion, elicit nostalgia, and offer hope. Just as facility owners have vision for their business, members have vision for their future. Whether training for a powerlifting competition to be the strongest they’ve ever been, or working to replace fat with muscle in order to lose enough weight to become healthy and see their children grow up, the inspirational value that fitness brands add cannot be ignored. Nautilus, the First Name in Strength, allows members to reach these goals and countless others. Nautilus continues to be the most well-known brand in strength and the #3 brand in overall consumer awareness, behind only StairMaster and Schwinn. Nearly 50% of those who regularly strength train have used Nautilus, further contributing to the Nautilus dynasty.
Members searching for more from their fitness facility don’t care about specs. They care about innovation, commitment, reputational assurance, and vision, and they need facility owners to care about these things in order to make their fitness experience valuable. In order to add value to the bottom line of the business, it’s necessary to rise above table-stakes and invest in brands that will create value in your members’ lives.