Blink Fitness Zigs, While Others Zag
Fitness for Everybody - A Different Approach to Fitness
Bulging biceps, six-pack abs,and muscular calves – do these images bring to mind every fitness ad you’ve ever seen? Of course, they do. That’s because the fitness industry has been using the same images for decades – the hair, make-up, and clothing have changed, but that’s about it.
Fitness advertising clearly implies that gyms are for fit, beautiful people; yet the average American doesn’t have a perfectly sculpted body and is most likely self-conscious about how he/she looks.
As a result, walking into a gym can make you feel like you’re walking into a lion’s den.
- 71% of Americans don’t relate to fitness ads or magazine covers because the people in those images don’t have their body type
- 84% of Americans who exercise say they don’t always exercise at the gym, and each of the below prevents them doing so:
- 37% prefer to exercise on their own/in private
- 18% are too self-conscious
- 12% find it too daunting (i.e., intimidating)
Blink launched its first three clubs in 2011 with a lofty vision – to create a gym whose culture and environment is accepting of all adults, not just for those who are fit enough for a gym. We put the words, Fitness for Everybody – Everybody Blinks, front and center on our gym walls – and we were off and running.
Who could have known at that time that we created a revolutionary gym concept that is now changing the high volume, low priced segment of the industry? Our Mood Above Muscle™ philosophy is completely new and fresh to the fitness world; it celebrates the positive feelings derived from exercise, not just the physical benefits.
The physical benefits of exercise take time and patience, which is why so many people give up on exercise or never even start. But the Mood Above Muscle™ philosophy resonates with a much broader audience because it showcases the immediate benefits of exercise. We bring this philosophy to life in five tangible ways:
- We staff our gyms with "Mood Lifters" who greet members with enthusiasm and treat them with respect
- We design our gyms to be colorful, open and bright so that they are inspiring & uplifting
- We specifically select energizing music with a minimum number of beats per minute to help keep members motivated
- We offer training programs designed for new gym goers that boost confidence by teaching them how to work out on their own
- We have an "everyone cleans" philosophy that have eliminated the stereotypical “yuck” factor found at most gyms
Five years, 42 locations and 230,000 members later, we think we are onto something. And our latest marketing campaign – Every Body Happy – brings the Mood Above Muscle™ idea to life in a fun, yet the emotionally powerful way that is striking a chord with millions of people who never thought the gym was for them.
As you can see from our campaign video, we are doing something no gym has ever done before – showing real people of all shapes and sizes. There are some naysayers who only find inspiration from aspirational bodies and have neglected other body types. For those who have rock solid bodies, this is probably true; but for the rest of America we say, “au contraire!” Real people – who look like you and me – are what inspire the average person to go to a gym.
After four years of noodling the concept and lots of trial and error, we felt that we were ready to franchise with like-minded partners who wanted to bring the Blink idea to more communities. But, because the competition is fierce,we felt we needed to develop a franchise system that is unique. We assembled the most diverse and accomplished leadership in the business, with members from world-class companies in and out of the fitness space, such as Equinox, Starbucks, Whole Foods Market, Foot Locker, Ann Taylor and Pepsi.
One of the biggest challenges of franchising is ensuring that the experience or product is consistent from location to location. But we all know this is easier said than done. Many franchisors are happy collecting fees and don’t invest in what it takes to maintain consistency across their business. The Blink franchise system was developed to ensure that franchised locations deliver exactly the same member experience as our company-owned locations. We give 150 hours of training, significantly more than others in our segment, and we provide support from the same Blink leaders who operate our company-owned locations.
While others may just say it, we will absolutely not accept franchise partners who cannot or will not deliver the Blink proposition in its entirety. This probably means that we won’t be the biggest, but it gives us confidence that we will continue to be the best.
We launched our franchise system at the International Franchise Expo in the summer of 2015 and shortly after signed our first franchisees, The Bairrada Group and Amp Capital. Both groups are passionate about the Blink concept and believe it is something very special. We can’t wait until their locations open, which is slated for early 2017.
I am so very proud of our 1,000+ passionate "Blinkers" who are lifting moods each and every day, and I can’t wait until 2020 when we expect to have more than 300 locations and more than a million members. At that point, we will be a lot closer to fulfilling our vision – Fitness for Everybody – Everybody Blinks.
The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Blink Fitness from February 18-22, 2016 among 2,115 adults ages 18 and older, among which 1,844 exercise. This online survey is not based on a probability sample, and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.