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What You Need to Know About Rebranding Your Gym

TL;DR
There are several good reasons to consider gym rebranding. When you're ready to move forward, here are seven steps to create a powerful and effective brand!

Gym rebranding can be an exciting adventure for a fitness business owner. Even though it can seem overwhelming at the start, it doesn’t have to be complex if you take the right steps. If executed correctly, it can bring new life to your brand. And this could lead to increases in everything from lead generation to gym member retention.

Before you begin the process, let’s talk about three of the more common reasons for gym rebranding.

  1. You want to expand the perception of what your business offers in order to include a larger demographic. For example, you want to rebrand from XYZ CrossFit to XYZ Fitness.
  2. You’re aiming to make your brand align more with your gym’s vision or mission.
  3. Another business has a name similar to yours.

These aren’t the only reasons a gym owner would choose rebranding. And it’s important to note that a rebrand isn’t guaranteed to bring in new business. Therefore, if you’re simply bored with your current logo or colors, it might be time to take a look at your overall strategy.

Elements of gym rebranding
Create a game plan for gym rebranding, for everything from interior walls to social media. (Photo credit: Saddle Up CrossFit)

In essence, a successful rebrand should have a clear purpose and goal. Whether that's appealing to a wider market, differentiating yourself from your competition or something else entirely, make sure you’re abundantly clear about what you’re trying to achieve.

Seven Steps to Successful Gym Rebranding.

1. Define Your Ideal Client.

The first step is to get crystal clear about who your ideal client avatar is. This will help you determine what kind of messaging and visuals will resonate with them. Your avatar should be as specific as possible. Take into account things like age, location, gender, interests, income level, etc.

Your ideal client avatar should be someone you can picture interacting with your brand on a daily basis. Creating gym buyer personas is also a great exercise to help you. Once you have a clear understanding of your ideal client, you can craft messaging and visuals specifically for them.

2. Define Your Core Values.

Your gym’s core values are the foundation of your company. They should guide everything you do. From the way you treat your staff to the way you interact with members. They set you apart from your competition and you should be passionate about them.

Core values should be timeless, meaning they won’t change, even as your company grows and evolves. Most importantly, they should be authentic. Don’t try to be something you’re not, just to appeal to a certain audience.

Take the necessary time to create your gym’s core values. And we get it. This part isn’t as fun as picking new colors and a new logo. But once you have a clear understanding of these values, it will be much easier to craft messaging and visuals that reflect them. For example, if you’re trying to appeal to soccer moms, a skull-and-crossbones logo may send the wrong idea.

3. Determine Your Brand’s Visibility.

Now that you’ve determined your ideal client and core values, it’s time to take inventory of your gym rebranding visibility. In other words, you’re aiming to determine all the places that your brand will be seen.

Gym logo placement in rebranding
Determine the list of places your new branding will exist, including gym walls. (Photo credit: CrossFit Arioch)

This list includes things like your gym’s walls, website, gym social media, marketing materials, etc. It could even include other local businesses that you’ve formed gym partnerships with. Basically, anywhere your brand elements are used.

Think of every place your logo or business name is currently listed or shown. Then, add every place you’d like your new brand to exist. Once you have this list, you can calculate what it will cost to update your presence everywhere on it.

4. Calculate Your Rebranding Budget.

Even though a complete gym rebranding can be a significant investment, there are ways to do it in phases. That way, you can make it align with any budget restrictions you may have.

For example, rebranding across your digital assets is usually the easiest - and least-expensive - place to start. You can update your gym’s new logo, colors and messaging on your website for free. The same goes for your social media and any other owned media you have.

Next, explore the lesser-expensive options for updating your brand, like flyers or table stands at local business partners. Finally, things like building signage might be last on your list. There’s little chance that a prospective customer will end up not joining because your signage isn’t updated. Add them to your list for when the budget allows.

5. Assess Your Preparedness.

Before you move on to creating a game plan for your gym rebranding, it’s important to assess your preparedness. This simply means ensuring that it’s doable. In other words, can you execute on the list of action items from a monetary, time and energy standpoint?

If the answer is no and you still feel strongly about rebranding, then it’s time to remove the roadblocks. Refine the action items until it’s possible to move forward, or until you decide to move on.

There’s one other thing to consider. Gym rebranding means more than just changing your logo. Your staff will also need to be on board with the change, as they’re your front line. Either include them in the planning process or walk them through the plan before you fully execute on it.

Hiring CrossFit coaches that support core values
Ensure that your staff is on board with the goals of your gym rebrand. (Photo credit: Stoked Athletics)

6. Create Your Game Plan.

The next step will be to create a master plan for the gym rebranding. Start by making a comprehensive list of everything you can think of that will be associated with the rebrand. A few things to think about:

  • Who will help with the rebranding efforts (gym owner, coaches, key members)?
  • What is the timeline?
  • Which digital assets will need to be updated?
  • Will there be any new equipment or remodeling to the physical space?
  • Are you adding any classes or new class formats?
  • Is there new technology being added to level-up the experience?

This is a critical-thinking exercise, so allocate the appropriate amount of time. Once you have the full list, put each item in chronological execution order. This is how you’ll create a solid, achievable and measurable game plan.

Pro Tip: Did you know PushPress offers a fully-built Branded App, showcasing your gym’s brand elements like colors, logo and featured images? Book a demo with our team today

7. Create Your Gym Rebranding Elements.

Finally, the fun begins! You’ve taken the time to determine if you’re fully prepared for a gym rebranding initiative. You know who you’re speaking to and the things that you’re trying to convey.

So it’s time to get to work brainstorming all the elements of your rebrand. This will include things like gym name, logo ideas, new colors, hashtags, fonts, brand voice and more. At this point, it’s never a bad idea to hire a branding expert who can help you navigate the process.

Once you’re 100 percent confident in the branding elements you’d like to move forward with, good news! You’ve already created the game plan (from step six) so you’re ready to roll. Start working your way through the list to create a powerful and high-performing gym brand.

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