3 Steps to Build a Strong Brand Strategy for Your Fitness Business

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3 Steps to Build a Strong Brand Strategy for Your Fitness Business

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If you’ve been reading the new studio articles so far, then by now, you’ve laid the foundation for your fitness business and should have a general idea of your ideal client, location, and niche. Now it’s time for branding! Brand strategy is an exciting step many studio owners want to rush into, so here is your roadmap to ensure your branding supports your fitness business for years to come. 

First: What is a brand strategy?

One of the definitions for brand strategy is “the way a product, company, or individual is perceived by those who experience it.” Often, new business owners will picture their colors, fonts, or tagline, but a true brand strategy goes deeper than aesthetics. As you build your brand, try to identify the feeling you’re attempting to convey- not just the individual components.

Why is Branding Important?

A cohesive brand strategy is for more than signage. When done effectively, branding should:

  1. Save marketing dollars. Your brand was specifically designed to be well-received by your target audience. Couple that with a solid brand awareness campaign, and your marketing budget will go further.
  2. Sell more long-term packages. If your branding tells a story and connects with your ideal client, it’s significantly easier to sell a membership.
  3. Attract better prospects. A strong brand strategy should “attract and repel,” meaning it speaks directly to the kind of client you want in your studio while purposely not connecting with others. 

Before you pull up your favorite color palettes, let’s break your approach into manageable pieces:

Part 1: Strategy

Sixty-four percent of consumers stated that shared values helped them trust a brand before interacting with them for the first time. Considering that consistent branding can increase revenue by 23 percent, it’s worth your effort. Your first step is to outline the overall roadmap behind your brand approach.

Start here by identifying your:

  • Brand purpose- summarize why your company exists and what it does.
  • Brand audience- helps identify who your brand is designed to reach and how they will perceive it. You started this work in our last article.
  • Positioning- What is your unique role in your industry, and how do you stand out from the crowd?
  • What are you hoping to communicate to your client?
  • What are your brand’s values and cornerstones?

Before you leave this step, ask yourself, “does the messaging reflect what my business is/wants to be?”

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Part 2: Message

For the next step, consider yourself and your studio as a guide on your client’s journey. What solution are they searching for? What problems stand in their way? To communicate your brand effectively, you’ll need to speak directly to your client in a way that resonates with them.

Ask yourself: 

  • Where and how will your customers be the most receptive to your messaging?
  • What is the key message you need to communicate to start a conversation?
  • What kind of story will resonate with your target client the most?
  • What is the customer/client’s:
  • Desires
  • Problems to be solved
  • Intended solution provided by your studio
  • What are the brand values you want to communicate? 

These questions will create the foundation of your studio’s culture for years to come. 

Part 3: Creative Direction

This might be the part you’ve been waiting for. We’ll tie in the first two steps with the specific colors, phrasing, and design that communicates everything you’re trying to say. 

Think about:

  • What tone of voice will you be using to share your message? I.e., friendly, supportive, encouraging, etc.
  • Brand keywords: Before you dive into your entire brand message, it can be helpful to list the keywords you want to be associated with your brand. This is slightly different from the tone of voice. Your tone may be friendly and supportive, while your keywords describing the brand itself are “authentic,” “clean,” or “timeless.” 
  • What colors, imagery, and fonts convey the feel of your brand? e.g., a warm gray palette may evoke a comforting, supportive experience. If you choose a keyword descriptor like “modern,” you may envision a stark palette with contrasting colors and a sans-serif font.
  • How does your brand vision impact your logo? 
  • How will you communicate your value using photos, colors, and fonts? 

Logo Creation

Choosing your colors goes far beyond which ones you like best. The color you choose to represent your brand can strongly influence how your studio is perceived. For help, use a tool like this one which can help you experiment with your color palette and see everything all together. Canva also has logo creation tools, and you can use a chart like the one below for color guidance as well.

Putting it all Together

Branding is a considerable undertaking far beyond choosing a catchphrase and a color palette, so if you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, slow it down and move through the process step by step. Take care to answer each bullet point before moving on to the next one, and you’ll be set up for success.

To Outsource or Not?

You know by now that your brand is vital to your business’s marketing and recognition efforts. If you’re not a graphic designer or the steps above don’t make you excited about the prospect of brand creation, you may want to consider outsourcing your logo (if not the entire brand strategy) to a professional. You don’t have to do it all yourself. Sometimes the best choice is to hire a professional while you focus on what you do best, like teaching or selling memberships.

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About the author:

Niki Riga
Industry Expert
Limitless Studio

Niki has been a client, a studio owner, and a coach in boutique fitness for over a decade, and she can’t think of an industry she'd rather be in. Her favorite part about coaching and studio ownership are the same: she loves supporting clients as they push past their limits and achieve their goals. Niki became a coach because she was regularly asked, “how did you do that!?” by other studio owners who were drowning in the day-to-day responsibilities of business ownership but didn’t have the support to grow their studio to its potential. She created Limitless Studio to partner with owners who have a vision for their business and are ready to implement systems to build the studio of their dreams.