22 05 2008

Few businesses can survive very long without new customers. Then there’s the businesses that cycle through customers, like health clubs. Call them what you like – health clubs, fitness clubs, gyms – in essence they’re all the same unless they’re keenly defined and they’re only as strong as the will of the customer. They’re all in the business of providing you the opportunity to improve your health… but is improving your “look” a promise that’s mutually exclusive

One might say that if I dropped 25lbs I would “look” better, healthier. That 25lbs is representative of MY hard work, simply facilitated by the health club. So, I’ve used the club for what I need and I resign, thus bringing me to the question: what’s a health club to do for advertising? Sex appeal? Cost appeal? Time-of-day appeal?

This ad for Equinox clearly positions the brand as “not about fitness”. I could replace the logo at the bottom right with two things: a plastic surgeon and/or a bottle of fat burner.

The answer is simple. Health is a lifestyle – appeal to the lifestyle, don’t be polarizing and discretely show (and prove) results. Be careful with your advertising message and consider public relations as a key storytelling component of the lifestyle marketing plan.

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