Fitness First aims to be ‘authority on fitness’ with rebrand

Fitness First has repositioned to focus on the premium end of the market in the face of growing competition from budget rivals in the crowded gym sector.

Video: Gym chain Fitness First is launching a new marketing campaign to support its rebrand


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Launching today (13 January) the rebrand sees Fitness First launch a new logo and marketing campaign aimed at drawing attention to the changes and positioning the gym chain as a “national authority” on fitness and exercise. The new logo and signage is appearing in 20 Fitness First clubs in London before a national then global rollout.

The marketing campaign kicks off with outdoor, print, digital and social media ads aimed at communicating the rebrand. Fitness First also aims to engage its members in debate on further improvements through the hashtag #RewriteFitness, which asks for suggestions on how else it can make the gym experience better.

The second stage will be a revamped website and mobile app, set to launch in the Spring. The company says it wants to transition its website from being a sales portal to a much more engaging experience, letting members sign in and track their fitness.

The app will offer features including food plans and work out regimes and integrate with other fitness apps so users can link their gym activity with other exercise they may do. It also has plans for a “Bioage” service that will show members the difference between their chronological age and their fitness age and build an appropriate exercise programme to help people improve their fitness.

Fitness First says the Bioage app is aimed at demonstrating how going to the gym can help improve the health of the nation. It wants to bring the brand to life by becoming an authority on fitness and a champion for exercise, proving that regular activity can help add years to people’s lives.

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Gym chain Fitness First wants to improve the gym experience for its members

The changes come after Fitness First embarked on a research programme aimed at understanding people’s perceptions of the gym industry and how it can improve. It found that gyms have lost touch with members, providing customers with access to gym equipment, rather than an experience that can help motivate them and provide new ways of training.

The company says it has made a “significant” investment in its clubs, introducing improved training and changing areas. It is also training frontline staff on the repositioning and ensuring that all staff have gym qualifications so that members get the most out of their training.

The rebrand is also in response to rising competition in the gym market following the launch of budget rivals such as easyGym and Fitness4less. Fitness First says the mid-market is becoming saturated but that there is room for “sustainable growth” at the top end, citing Deloitte research.

Fitness First hasn’t ruled out increasing its prices in line with the rebrand, saying that a more premium environment could lead to a more premium price. However, it says its priority at the moment is to engage with members, with the opportunity to look at membership prices only coming if feedback is good and it can offer value for money.

Fitness First operates 82 gyms in the UK and 377 globally in markets. Its main competitors including Virgin Active, which is also running a new year marketing campaign based around the strapline “Live happily ever active”, and LA Fitness.

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