At a recent conference, I heard a presenter predict that a trend of the future in the fitness industry is lifestyle branding. What does lifestyle branding mean, anyway? A lifestyle brand is when a business transcends being a commodity (just something you buy) and becomes more a part of your life. This means that you (your brand) needs to embrace and represent the things that are important to the lives of your clients.
Of course, you need to dig into your clients’ life to discover what it is that they love to do, how they like to think of themselves, and what else is meaningful to them. In example, Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) offers apparel and riding gear, organizes rallies of owners, have a Mileage Recognition Program where members add up the miles they ride on their bikes (because “The miles you ride show your dedication to freedom and the open road.”), share members’ stories, and more. It is how owners like to identify themselves.
One fitness brand that speaks to its tribe is Mark Fisher Fitness (MFF). It says it all on the home page of its website, “Serious fitness for ridiculous humans.” and “Yep. We don’t love gyms either. That’s why we created an Enchanted Ninja Clubhouse of Glory and Dreams. Why be a gym member, when you can be a Ninja?” MFF’s fun, light-hearted approach has created a following that includes the outrageous and unicorn wannabes with the permission to be as free as they want. Now, maybe you don’t relate to MFF, but that’s the point. They aren’t trying to be for everyone. They only want individuals that really connect to what they are all about.
How are you crossing over into your members’/clients’ lives? Are you taking a stand on the ideals important to them? Are you creating opportunities to connect with them and to connect them with other members of your community? Take a leap and be more than a product. Show them who you are and what you’re all about. They want to know that you’re one of them, a kindred spirit, and that they have found a home with you.