As a gym owner, one of your biggest challenges beyond selling memberships, is getting your name out into the community. From day one you’ve probably gotten the word out through marketing strategies such as social media posts, billboard marketing, and other forms of advertising and PR. Once your name becomes well-known it can seem pretty silly to change it. But, companies large and small rebrand all the time. In light of Weight Watchers and Dunkin’ Donuts’ recent name changes, we are sharing a few tips on how to rebrand successfully.
What is a rebrand?
Knowing how to rebrand successfully starts with knowing what a rebrand actually means. It is so much more than changing a name or logo. It should be a strategic and necessary endeavor. It should cover every facet from mission and values to vision and voice. Your rebranding should start with non-visual elements first and then the tangible touch points. Simply put, if you don’t know why you’re rebranding, don’t do it. Wait until you’ve come up with a strategic plan so you can confidently and aptly make the change.
One popular reason for a fitness club to rebrand is once they break free from their franchise obligations. For example, if a gym was once a Big Box name, an owner may decide to turn their franchise into a locally owned and operated entity with a new name, vision, mission, and logo.
Stop, look, and listen before you do anything.
Sometimes a major overhaul is necessary because of a franchise change, other times, you have more time to do market research to determine what your current members and potential members want. Your market research, both quantitative and qualitative will help you answer some vital questions.
Be ready for questions.
Your members are going to ask hundreds of questions. They will want to know about their previous contracts, dues, membership features, class schedules, and so much more. It is imperative that you are ready at every level when you make the decision to rebrand. Be courteous and let your members know what’s coming. Be sure to help them understand that change is good and show them that you will answer any questions they may have about the process.
Be quick about it.
There’s nothing worse than having things in limbo during a rebranding. Do your best to act immediately and make all the changes as quickly and seamlessly as possible. If you liked certain aspects of your gym prior to the change, remember that they may no longer work for your new club.
You may go a lifetime and never have to rebrand or, you may need to do a rebrand after just a few years, every fitness club is different. The most important thing to do when deciding is to make sure your company name and mission align with your vision. Once you get that straight, everything else should fall in to place.