Multi-million dollar overhaul for 'Finance' First

Multi-million dollar overhaul for 'Finance' First
SHARE
THIS



In an effort to shed its “Finance First” reputation global gym empire Fitness First is undergoing a brand overhaul, including a $5m marketing blitz and a local $20m upgrade.

To “reclaim their reputation” the business is launching a new logo and marketing campaign, the latter of which was created by MercerBell, and introducing new memberships, including pay-as-you-go and seasonal contracts.

The rebrand comes after a survey revealed some hard truths for the company, which was acquired by Oaktree Capital Management in 2012.

“We asked the classic question you know ‘what do you think of us’,” marketing director Anthony McDonough said, addressing the survey put forward to current and ex members. 

“Seventy-five percent were positive, 25% were either ‘didn’t care’ or were negative,” McDonough revealed.

But  5% did not like the brand at all.

While the local recognition rate for Fitness First as a fitness company is 86%, the company has some severe trust issues.

“When we asked, ‘who do you trust’, they said ‘everybody else’,” McDonough said.

 

‘Change for the best’:

The new giant red ‘F’ logo, created by UK-based design company The Clearing, is a signal to the public that Fitness First has changed, with the marketing campaign to run across outdoor, radio and digital media.

From the survey, the message was clear that the company could no longer be blue. “Because while you’re blue, you’re the old Fitness First,” McDonough told B&T.

With the re-brand launching today the company’s new philosophy to “go further” not only applies to members, but also symbolises the company’s complete 360 degree transformation from the inside out.

Heading the opening period of the campaign is the slogan “change for the best”, a double entendre for the members and the company. 

Today also marks the return of member recognition and reward program, New You, with Olympic swimmer medalist Libby Trickett as spokesperson and ambassador.

“We recognise that we need to change,” McDonough said. “Therefore if we can change, you can change.”

This complete relaunch is the first time Fitness First has marketed itself as a brand and is the biggest move the company has taken in its 20 year global history. The rebrand is also taking place in the UK where The Telegraph reports the overhaul comes with a price-tag of £270m. 

“This is really the first time we’ve ever gone above-the-line with something more than a sales message,” McDonough said.

“So this is really the first time we’re talking about building a Fitness First brand.”

Investing $20 million last year on touching up all 78 of its gyms across Australia, whether it be a dash of paint and new carpet or a complete transformation and update, Fitness First will spend another $20 million in 2014 across its gyms, staff training and new products.  

Using local creative agency, MercerBell, the campaign will target current and ex members through personalised messages to show them how the brand and company has changed.

 

Leaving behind ‘Finance First’:

Unveiling the rebranding in Sydney’s Market Street club today is fitness superstar Jane Fonda, where a myriad of new promises, structures and practices from Fitness First will also be launched.

One of those promises includes a complete overhaul and upgrade of the company’s customer service.

All Fitness First staff and externally hired personal trainers will undergo a rigorous three day customer service training.

Once a club has reached a certain level of customer service and satisfaction, they will be allowed to don the new red logo and shirts in honour of their achievement.

Introducing an Australian first system of pay-as-you-go, members can purchase packs of five, ten or fifty passes to use at your leisure where you only pay for what you use.

Fitness First has also developed a simple 28-day cancellation notice policy, meaning no confusing “two direct debit payment” rules, as well as the ability to cancel without warning and without charge if you’ve been breaking a sweat on average three days a week.

McDonough also recognises customers join for a “reason, a season or a lifetime”, and Fitness First will now offer contracts to members to meet these needs.

The entirety of the transformation is expected to take around three to four years, staggering the updates throughout Fitness First’s gyms across Australia.

Due to the fact that Fitness First is widely and globally recognised fitness company, it has a large amount of sway when it comes to the public.

“The thing is, because we’re the biggest, we tend to set the industry standard and so what people think of the industry is pretty much what people think of us and vice versa.”

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Q&A With Cannes Chairman Terry Savage
  • Advertising
  • Media

Q&A With Cannes Chairman Terry Savage

If you mistakenly thought this was an interview with Kojak's Telly Savalas, as it turns out, it's even better than that.

Optus To Phase Out Virgin Mobile Brand
  • Marketing

Optus To Phase Out Virgin Mobile Brand

Didn't much fancy that Telstra story above? Well, perhaps B&T could tempt you with this tasty Optus tickler instead.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
AKQA R&D Teams Up With Google For Semi Permanent 2018
  • Media

AKQA R&D Teams Up With Google For Semi Permanent 2018

AKQA R&D in collaboration with Google has developed a process called Somesthetic Transfer. It uses machine learning to take both the style and texture of an artwork and apply it to another image to be 3D printed with a UV printer. The works will be displayed at Semi Permanent 2018 in Sydney from Thursday 24 […]

WPP’s Health & Wellness To Unveil ‘How Design Can Save A Life” For Vivid
  • Marketing
  • Media

WPP’s Health & Wellness To Unveil ‘How Design Can Save A Life” For Vivid

Design students from Torrens University’s Billy Blue College of Design have partnered with WPP AUNZ’s Health & Wellness division to decode clinical data on ‘Medicinal Marijuana in the Treatment of Epilepsy’. Their creative solutions will be presented at a Vivid Ideas Exchange titled ‘Design can save your life: how can creativity improve comprehension of health data?’ […]

Diversity Case Study Series: The Royals
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Diversity Case Study Series: The Royals

If you read one diversity case study on B&T today, make it this one. Not that there's any others to choose from, really.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Cricket Australia Finds New Major Sponsor
  • Marketing

Cricket Australia Finds New Major Sponsor

B&T was going to insert a homage to Sherbert's classic "Howzat" here before realising it was naff and showed our age.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
PHD Wins HSBC Global Media Account
  • Media

PHD Wins HSBC Global Media Account

ICYMI, PHD has FTW the HSBC business IRL. It's not so much a LOL or NSFW, but a TL;DR. Ahh, forget the whole thing.

InMoment Accelerates APAC Expansion With Key Acquisition
  • Media

InMoment Accelerates APAC Expansion With Key Acquisition

Customer experience (CX) intelligence platform, InMoment, has expanded into Australia and New Zealand with the acquisition of customer experience agency, brandXP and appointment of Claire Fastier as its APAC business head.

Marketers Need To Focus On Voice Search Right Now
  • Opinion

Marketers Need To Focus On Voice Search Right Now

In this opinion piece, Performics Australia performance content account director Steve Robinson (pictured below) dives into the hazy relationship between marketers and voice-activated technology. From settling family disputes, (“Hey Google, are fossil fuels really made from dinosaur bones?”) to running a household, (“OK Google, add toothpaste to my shopping list”), voice-activated systems are becoming more […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
SpotX Launches Online Resource Library For Publishers Seeking GDPR Guidance
  • Advertising
  • Media

SpotX Launches Online Resource Library For Publishers Seeking GDPR Guidance

Video advertising and monetisation platform SpotX has announced the launch of an online resource library for the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The library can be found on the company’s website and is part of a wider educational initiative by SpotX – which is headquartered in the US and has an office in […]

Daylight Agency Opens Government Division, Hires Legal & Political Expert
  • Marketing

Daylight Agency Opens Government Division, Hires Legal & Political Expert

Integrated communications firm Daylight Agency has cemented its presence in the government and political arena with the appointment of industry veteran David Begg. A practising solicitor for over 28 years, Begg (pictured above) will head up the agency’s new government division. He has extensive experience working with large commercial clients on high-profile regulatory and legal […]

Frost Design Unveils New Look For John Holland
  • Marketing

Frost Design Unveils New Look For John Holland

Frost Design has shown off its comprehensive rebrand of iconic Australian infrastructure and property business John Holland, based around the brand idea of ‘Transforming Lives’. John Holland CEO Joe Barr said Frost was the only branding business who understood that the impact of the rebrand was just as important internally as it would be externally, […]

Women In Media Profile: Jill Johnston
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Jill Johnston

We've got an absolute cracking Women in Media profile today. Not to say it's approved by the Chiropractors' Association.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama Dance Together at the Presidents Ball
  • Media

Netflix Secures Producer Deal With The Obamas

It seems former US president Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama aren’t quite done with the international spotlight just yet. The Obamas have officially signed a multiyear deal with Netflix, which will see the power couple producing films and series with the streaming giant. According to Netflix, “The Obamas will produce a diverse […]

How To Spot A Trend Versus A Fad
  • Opinion

How To Spot A Trend Versus A Fad

One need only view our editor's hot pink leg warmers today to realise he's neither fad nor trend.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Why Engagement Is The New Rule Of Content
  • Opinion

Why Engagement Is The New Rule Of Content

And why is B&T running a photo of an engaged couple for this content engagement article? It was either that or a carrot.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Fairfax Media Recruits 20 Trainee Journalists Across All Its Titles
  • Media

Fairfax Media Recruits 20 Trainee Journalists Across All Its Titles

Fairfax Media has today announced the recruitment of 20 trainee journalists to join the newsrooms of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Canberra Times, The Australian Financial Review, Brisbane Times and WAtoday. This represents one of Metro’s largest trainee intakes in years and underlines the commitment of the mastheads to fostering a new generation […]

Sydney Australia - November 7, 2011. An extreme close up of an American express card issued by the Australian bank Westpac.
  • Media

AMEX Launches Global Media Review

Are there not enough hours in the day? Are you cheek-by-jowl with your co-workers? Well, hopefully you won't win this.

Sydney Water & Republic of Everyone Create Vinyl Records Made Of Recycled Marine Plastic
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Sydney Water & Republic of Everyone Create Vinyl Records Made Of Recycled Marine Plastic

Sydney Water has pioneered a way to create records from marine plastics and, in doing so, encourage more people to join the movement of local clean-up groups rolling up their sleeves every weekend to clean plastics, litter and other pollutants from the city’s beaches and waterways. Plastics are collected by volunteers, then cut in pieces […]

Credit Card Compare Names Its First Head Of Marketing
  • Marketing

Credit Card Compare Names Its First Head Of Marketing

Aussie credit card comparison site Credit Card Compare has announced the appointment of Caroline Raffan as its inaugural head of marketing. Raffan (pictured above) has over 10 years’ experience in brand strategy, campaign development, digital marketing, events, public relations, content creation, market research, advertising, stakeholder management, social media marketing, and project management. She joins Credit […]

Why Programmatic Needs To Become A Branding Machine
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Opinion
  • Technology

Why Programmatic Needs To Become A Branding Machine

In this opinion piece, Phil Murrell (pictured below), country manager for Australia and New Zealand at Sizmek, argues that programmatic ad spend needs to move up the branding funnel. When I started in digital advertising way back in 2004, we got our media insertion orders via the fax machine. We relied on that machine to […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
An Apology To Salmat’s Karen Lewis
  • Media

An Apology To Salmat’s Karen Lewis

Whoops! B&T's stuffed up and this certainly comes with our sincerest apologies for any offence caused.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Adland Execs To Be Locked Up
  • Media

Adland Execs To Be Locked Up

Continuing adland's fascination with prison when it comes to charitable causes comes this latest trip to the slammer.

Australian Directors’ Guild Announces Mentorship Winners
  • Campaigns
  • Media

Australian Directors’ Guild Announces Mentorship Winners

Now in its second year, the Australian Directors’ Guild’s (ADG) Commercial & Content Directing Mentorship program announced its next round of eight mentoree recipients. The winners were announced at a special event held last night at FINCH, Sydney and attended by members of the screen and advertising industries. Acclaimed director, and ADG President, Samantha Lang, […]