Sophie Chen
Jan 21, 2014

Fitness First to flex new branding muscle across Asia

SYDNEY - Fitness First, a London-based health club group, is rolling out new branding in Australia and Asia-Pacific as it eyes regional expansion.

The use of red, favoured by Asian countries, indicates Fitness First's ambition
The use of red, favoured by Asian countries, indicates Fitness First's ambition

Fitness First kicks off what it calls a transformation of its fitness philosophy, customer service, and clubs in Australia today.

The group has replaced its blue logo with a new red ‘F’ logo, which was first introduced in the UK earlier this month. The logo symbolizes passion, energy and strength, while its 360-degree look connects with the aim of helping members achieve their aspirations not only in the gym but also in life, according to the company.

Anthony McDonough, marketing director at Fitness First Australia, told Campaign Asia-Pacific that Fitness First, once an industry leader, had become “lazy and arrogant” over the years, focusing on price and location rather than its members and service.

“The rebranding is to change positioning and revalue the business,” he said.

Simon Flint, Fitness First Asia-Pacific CEO, told Campaign Asia-Pacific that the rebranding, including physical design, logo and new programmes, will also launch in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines during April and May.

In Australia, Fitness First invested more than US$17.6 million in the past 12 months, and will continue the transformation by doubling that investment during 2014 across equipment, staff training, new fitness initiatives, and innovative new products.

McDonough said the company will spend US$4.4 million building the brand, including a new campaign titled ‘Change for the best’, which launches in Australia today, spanning outdoor and digital. Another digital radio campaign is also in the pipeline.

“We are developing the social-media team in Australia to strengthen our social presence,” he said. “We will gradually bring new technology in the next three to six months, including mobile apps, to create an interactive and sharable experience for the Fitness First community.”

Digital signature, a new website, mobile apps and a new member dashboard will also roll out in the other six markets during September and October, Flint said.

He added that Fitness First will release a reality-TV show, titled ‘Fit for Fashion’, across Asia in September to anchor the new brand positioning. The company is currently working with Naga DDB Malaysia on a campaign to promote the show.

Fitness First will also focus on sponsorship for community and sporting events, such as the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras and the Fitness First Corporate Triathlon National Series, according to the company.

Apart from opening new clubs in the existing markets, Flint said Fitness First is currently considering and reviewing new Asian markets for expansion, but he declined to reveal more details.

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