Fitness First Changes It Up

There are common scenarios that raise the need for a company to re-approach their brand.

In my book “Build Great Brands” I label these as ‘The top ten signs that you have a brand problem’.

The Fitness First Re-Brand

Fitness First had a ‘misconception’ issue and a ‘negative referrals’ issue that in my opinion led them to re-brand early in 2014.

Writing a story

What I believe they have done very well is build a story around the re-brand.  What makes a brand powerful and what will likely win you more media attention is when you don’t just focus on the ‘what’ but the ‘why’. Fitness First have actually done this remarkably well in releasing a long list of media comments focusing on their shortcomings, their weaknesses and their failures as a launch pad for what the new fitness first will be like.  This refreshing rawness, transparency and honest is interesting and though completely orchestrated, I take my hat off to them because it’s a bold move and one that I think is certainly working, as they continue to earn media attention through the process.

Some media quotes from their marketing manager are below to illustrate my point on the story behind a re-brand as powerful:

“Fitness First found itself in a lot of trouble primarily because it had a reputation of being Finance First where it was always putting finance before members.”

“If you had been a member five years ago then you probably had an awful leaving experience, which is the thing that we’re known for. We’re fighting very hard to change that image.”

“We [now] have a philosophy that members join for a reason, a season or a lifetime. In the past we really only catered for members that wanted to join for a lifetime,”

About the new slogan “Change for the best” – “It’s not only us changing for the best, but also for other people to change to us for the best.”

The creative

What do you think? Is it working?  They are successfully making the conversation less about the logo and more about what the new logo represents in a complete company wide transformation. I’m expecting this to have a significant bottom line impact to the company over the coming 12 months.