Written by Tom Clarke • Published 22nd August 2019 • 5 minute read
Whether it’s the sheer amount of exercise classes readily available to consumers or the pressures from social media to look ‘fit’, working out has never been so fashionable.
The last few years have seen countless fitness startups decide to set up shop in the capital, some have been a hitt with customers (see what we did there…) whilst others haven’t been so successful. No matter their success, the stand out contender in the market and the business they could all stand to learn a thing or two from is global phenomenon, F45.
In a matter of years, F45 has gone from an unknown Australian fitness startup to a worldwide powerhouse. We’ve looked at some of the strategies that turned an idea into one of the most recognisable global fitness brands on the market.
When CEO Rob Deutsch decided to franchise the F45 business over five years ago, even the biggest supporters of F45 struggled to have believed the sheer growth and popularity it would generate around the globe.
In six years, over a whopping 1750 franchises have been sold across 45+ countries including studios in Afghanistan, South Korea and Russia.
Since 2017, 40 studios have opened in the UK which is just the start according to Deutsch. Whilst targeting North America has proven to be really fruitful and a major success story for the brand, with more than 500 studios expected to open in the coming year according to Forbes, which will surpass the number of studios in Australia in the process.
F45 are breaking new ground in their pursuit of world domination, with the franchise business looking to be the first to open locations inside American universities where the university is the franchisee. As an example, they’ve opened at the University of Texas, and have already got 12 operating campuses. Watch this space, as F45 could be coming to a university near you!
Thanks to tools such as social media and of course the power of recommendations, Deutsch realised that creating a franchise model, it would allow the brand to diversify across the world.
It offers a great deal for both parties, it allows the franchisees to run a business which can generate a turnover, whilst for F45 they receive a fixed monthly fee from every franchise and in the process the brand benefits from free brand awareness.
Deciding to make technology a major part of the F45 layout proved to be a masterstroke.
The half a million members which F45 currently boasts book themselves into classes via their app, there’s also tech embedded into the heart rate monitors, so consumers can check out real-time on the workout screens in the room, which helps to encourage users and keep them motivated.
As soon as the session finishes, users receive automated feedback, which shows all their stats from the session they have just completed. Results include their average heart rate, calories burnt and F45 ‘points’ achieved, 45 is the optimal workout result of course…
All this data allows users to easily track their workouts, see where they are making improvements and monitor their fitness progress.
Finally, F45 has managed to build into the app a dedicated section which talks through appropriate nutrition to fuel an F45 workout, it helps to create shopping lists, menus and food plans and helps to track your nutrition.
Whilst every franchise will be slightly different in one way or another, F45 has guidelines in how studios should operate. For example, trainers should ask users their names before the session begins to help instil a friendly and inviting atmosphere within the studio.
The classes are attended by a mixture of people of all ages, genders and fitness levels, which helps to dispel any awkwardness from attendees.
There are Facebook and Instagram accounts for most studios, which continuously produce stories, case studies and posts featuring users from the classes and their fitness journeys.
People like to be noticed and with the dominant effect; social media plays in today’s world, making a brand featuring and tagging individuals progress and stories online; is something which F45 users seem to like.
Eight-week transformation challenge
The eight-week transformation challenge has been a great success story for F45, it offers consumers something which offers tangible results which they can buy into.
As part of taking on the challenge, you receive daily meal plans, a comprehensive daily tracking system and a global community on hand to help you to achieve your goals.
There’s also the shout out you receive on Instagram for being the challenge winner where they feature your before and after shots! Make sure to check out the hashtags #8weekchallenge and #f45training.
View this post on Instagram
Here they are. The Challenge winners!!! Our jaws dropped seeing these chiseled physiques stand in front of us after just 8 weeks of training! Isn’t it unreal how our bodies can transform with such impactful results when we give them the exercise we need? And not just our physical appearance changes, but our mindset and energy does too! Our challenge winner @hanwildnz knows that feeling- “It’s hard to believe how low in energy I was before this. The improvements in my mood, energy and body made it easy to get out of bed for that early morning alarm. I’d miss the endorphin kick after a rest day. I’m really glad I did the challenge and looking forward to continue working out at F45” We are always so proud of our Fulham athletes, and can’t wait to kick start our next challenge in a few weeks! #f45 #f45training #8weekchallenge #f458weekchallengewinner #fitnesstransformation
In conclusion, with further expansion expected in Europe and Canada in the coming year, the F45 juggernaut shows no signs of slowing down.
Whilst the latest innovative gym startups are beginning to catch up with F45 in regard to placing technology at the heart of everything they do, F45 is still in a league of its own when it comes to building an empire.
Whereas most gym chains have to focus their attention and marketing resource in one concentrated area at a time due to either funds or logistics. The franchise model offers an alternative which requires a lot less maintenance, allowing F45 to spread and conquer the market at greater speed.
If you need help promoting your fitness brand, get in touch with our award-winning team today.