Healthy Marketing Lessons from the Elite Fitness World

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Group Training is super trendy and getting trendier. People love it. And it’s not just SoulCycle. Innovators like Pure Barre, Orangetheory and CrossFit have added to the already Irresistible community class category. These brands turn consumers into “Groupies.” They turn marketing into full-on lifestyle inspiration.

Marketers, if you want lessons that can help your brand experience the unparalleled consumer loyalty, get ready to learn.

Here’s what the health and wellness elite are doing right now.

 SoulCycle took a spin class and turned it into an uplifting experience with great music and a passionate instructors. Students in the class work harder than they normally would to keep up with the person next to them, and at the end it’s a sweaty and proud community. SoulCycle recently ran a campaign initiative Army of Love,” encouraging community and acceptance. They let riders know that even in the current political climate, could have a judgement-free place to decompress.

Lesson #1: What’s happening in the world is relevant to consumers in a big way, if brands can connect what’s happening to something that they authentically offer (the key word being “authentic”), the connection can be very deep. In this case, the connection between stress relief and exercise was a natural.

CrossFit is another example of workout class turned into supportive, tight-knit community.

The classes are a seemingly punishing combination  of “functional movements” completed at a high intensity. The CEO, Greg Glassman, credits CrossFit success to the community that comes through when “CrossFitters” work out together. This “natural camaraderie” has become a global network with over 13,000 affiliates and countless fanatical members.

Lesson #2: This article from CrossFit experts encourages a combination of Branding and Direct Response marketing tactics. Makes perfect sense for brands talking to the highly engaged health and wellness consumer. Communities that are this connected make personalization easy and effective. And brands like this get the added bonus of getting shared over and over again by their consumers.

Pure Barre is a place where  “women can find community and empower each other.”  Here they use the ballet barre to perform movements that “burn fat and sculpt muscles.” It’s more akin to the yoga community than the over-the-top intensity of CrossFit and SoulCycle, but it does have a very devoted following.

Lesson #3: Pure Barre is the ultimate in getting consumers to embrace the brand and support each other’s journey. It has even “turned students into business owners.”  Their franchises have sprung up all over the country, mostly because students started becoming teachers and some  even saw it as a career opportunity and now have franchises of their own.

The Group Fitness Class explosion seems to feed our need to be part of something bigger. They are not just gyms where people go to get fit, they are collections of like-minded people who share a common goal. And when consumers get engaged behind something like that, they’re bound to share and do some of the heavy lifting (no pun intended) for the brands that they love so much. Is there a way for your brand to bring consumers together around a need or value that they share?

Making brands Irresistible isn’t easy, but I know a thing or 10 about making the consumers come to you. Let’s talk.

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