Fitness First Launches Major Rebranding Effort

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January 24, 2014 – Fitness First, the UK-based gym chain with branches throughout Europe and Asia, announced a £225 million brand overhaul. With more than twenty years of business under its belt, the chain is looking to upgrade its look, clubs, and customer service. The first phase of rebranding has begun, with a £1.5 million marketing campaign designed to communicate the new corporate identity to customers.
Advertisements in the new campaign position the club as “rewriting the rules of fitness.” For example, part of the overhaul includes a shift in “fitness philosophy,” with the gym pushing a freestyle fitness regime based on natural movement. An ad titled “Rule #3” features the slogan “Focus on Movement, Not on Machines.” Other ads emphasize the chain’s new embracing of shorter classes (“More Burn, Less Time”), better customer service (“Go Further for Members”), and move toward outdoor training (“With You Outdoors, Not Just on Gym Floors”).
“Fitness First’s foray into a new corporate identity speaks to larger changes within the industry,” says Emily Wilensky, Marketing Manager, of EZFacility, a gym management software developer in Woodbury, New York. “In general, focus is shifting to upgraded customer service; body weight training; shorter, more intense workout sessions; and innovations like outdoor training and greater incorporation of technology. In the light of these changes, many fitness facilities are contemplating identity updates. It will be interesting to watch Fitness First’s unfold.”
Additional initiatives for the brand overhaul include a goal for all 2,200 UK staff, “from the chief executive to receptionists,” to attain a certified fitness qualification by 2015; the establishment of a fitness test that measures gym members’ biological ages; and the creation of a fitness app that lets customers track their daily progress. In addition, the gym’s logo will change from blue to red. “…Red is the colour of energy and strength,” said marketing director David Jones. “It is bold and confident and a statement of intent, and it better represents the direction we are taking.”