Customers first: Fitness First kicks off $5m brand overhaul

By Rosie Baker | 21 January 2014
Fitness First. Change for the better.

Fitness First is overhauling its brand and business with a $5m marketing campaign, led by MercerBell, and a $40m investment in its gyms, products and services in Australia. The aim is to shed its ’Finance First’ moniker after admitting the brand had lost its way and put profit before customers.

The blue branding will be replaced by a red ‘F’ logo and it will launch its first ever brand campaign in Australia. Using the concept ‘Change for the Better’ Fitness First wants to underline that it has changed and that if people switch and join the gym chain, they will be joining a better gym.

Ads will predominantly be outdoor and digital, in tandem with CRM activity targeting former members to invite them to reappraise the brand and change their opinion it its gyms.

The overhaul includes the introduction a new “fitness philosophy” that is about more than training in a gym, but encouraging members to see fitness as a way to improve their life, according to the chain's marketing director Anthony McDonough.

Fitness guru Jane Fonda is kicking off the launch today (21 January) with a promotional campaign in Sydney. Fonda was chosen, according to McDonough, because she demonstrates how fitness has helped people “go further in life” which is what Fitness First wants to do.

It is scrapping compulsory contracts and allowing members to pre-purchase sessions on a pay as you go basis to offer flexibility and offering group training sessions, a training app, and a Fitness Guarantee that allows members who train regularly and often the ability to cancel their contract at any time without penalty.

The overhaul comes after the gym chain was saved from administration by US firm Oaktree in 2012. McDonough admitted the chain had previously been too focussed on prices and making revenue from locking members into contracts than it has been about prividing a good service.

To read more about the business and brand strategy, pick up this week's issue of AdNews – out Friday 24 January.

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