The UK fitness industry has undergone quite the evolution in the last decade, from the emergence of athleisure wear, to the influx of hundreds of fitness apps, to the birth of a new age of connected fitness technologies.
With unrivalled options now available to consumers though, competition is arguably fiercer than ever, making it incredibly important to stand out from the crowd, communicating to your audience what makes you special and therefore why consumers should purchase your product.
Such is the developed nature of the UK fitness landscape that many of the new entrants looking to claim a slice of the UK fitness market hail from further afield, the likes of Peloton and Therabody headquartered in the US, and Lorna Jane out of Australia part of a wave of international brands looking to grow their market presence.
In doing so, PR is an important element of the marketing mix – that is, achieving exposure in the media which acts to raise awareness for brands, educating consumers and driving interest and demand in the process.
To elaborate on the education side of things, this is something that is imperative for any brand looking to establish a foothold in the UK fitness market; for example, working with tech wellness world leaders Therabody, as an extension of their business, we arrange one-on-one education sessions with journalists as an opportunity to deep dive into the science behind their industry leading products.
Similarly, for Australian infrared sauna blanket brand MiHIGH, we worked with them to create a research led document to clearly and in Lehman’s terms outline the science-backed, widespread benefits of their products when engaging with media.
Through this detail orientated approach of which more detail on is included within the tips below, PR can deliver tangible business impact when launching and growing product-centric fitness products, both from the UK and overseas.
5 tips to receive quality, regular media coverage for your fitness product
Understand your positioning in a competitive landscape
As a starting point it is fundamental to conduct an analysis of the competitive landscape, taking into account localised sensitivities and where the opportunities lie considering the full media landscape. Through a considered approach, this will set you up for long-term success, and will allow you to identify the areas which should be of greatest focus in order to establish and grow your brand.
As mentioned, education should be a constant in everything you do to effectively communicate what makes your product special and therefore why consumers should buy your product. A one size fits one approach should always be taken, understanding a publication’s audience and taking into account journalist interests, wants and needs. Alongside this, lean on research, science and utilise relevant experts where you can to nurture credibility and consumer trust.
Get creative to lead the news agenda
Media typically need a hook to be able to write about your product and so it’s important that your approaches are creative and take into account the constantly changing news agenda. Through forward planning, while at the same time being agile and reactive mindful of tapping into key trends, sales windows and gifting periods e.g. Black Friday, Christmas and January when many assess their fitness regimes, brands can engage journalists to create a regular stream of quality media coverage.
Be commercially savvy
An education led approach will naturally lend itself to delivering bigger pieces of media coverage which are therefore often more likely to drive sales, but it is increasingly important to also understand how the affiliate media landscape works. Brands signed up to affiliate programmes such as AWIN or Rakuten who offer the most competitive commission rates will further entice media to write about them, and affiliate-led pieces are often among the most positive from a sentiment standpoint; media want them to drive consumer purchase and so they can also be big drivers from a commercial standpoint for brands. It is also important to understand which product placement slots across the media landscape are strong drivers of consumer purchase.
Use experts and ambassadors effectively
Where media access is possible to experts and/or brand ambassadors this is a fantastic opportunity to build credibility, and to position your brand as an innovator, market leader and/or voice of authority in growing your market share. Brand advocation can also drive desirability and consumer purchase, particularly so when done authentically. It is important that media coverage working with experts and ambassadors is managed closely to ensure the strongest possible return from a product messaging standpoint, conscious of positioning and opportunities to maximise benefit e.g. always ensuring a back-link features to improve your brand’s SEO and domain authority ranking.
If you’d like to learn more as to how a robust, hard-working PR strategy could help you grow your fitness brand, please reach out to one of our experts today.