Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I Want To Pump You Up!
Getting Gold's to Stand By Their Brand

Gold's Gym emailed me their newsletter the other day. I think this was the first issue, because all I recall getting from them in the past are messages that their workoutwear and gym bags are 15% off. I was surprised. When I opened it, however, I was disappointed. The first article was about celebrity sightings at their gyms across the country. Bruce Springsteen seen hoisting in New Jersey. Lindsay Lohan seen treadmilling in Utah.

I know what they're trying to do here. I can hear someone saying in the head office: "Celebrity always sells. Let's go with celebrities in our gyms for the first item in the newsletter. That'll get us the eyeballs!"

How can Gold's improve their newsletter?

1. Go core.
Gold's, you're not a Hollywood nightclub, the E! channel or a red-carpet runway. You're a gym. People go to work out. Why else would they go? Certainly not to see stars. Just check out the noontime crowd at the facility I frequent, and tell me any of those guys (and girls) care about Al Pacino and Brad Pitt. If you want to feature celebrities, feature your staff and customers.

3. Go local.
You expect your managers and staff to deliver the monthly and quarterly figures to your bottom line - why not let them deliver the content to the customers? Give them more control over that. And if there's no one at a particular gym with the time or talent to create and maintain the newsletter, then contract with one of your customers to deliver the goods.

2. Get pumped.
Give us the best info you can find, and not the same old stretching, menus and bench-press diagrams that everyone else runs. I scrolled down the newsletter and found stuff I've seen everywhere else. Most gyms just pretend to be about fitness, when they're really selling 5 minute abs and thirty second step classes (all to a disco beat.) You've got a huge reputation, pun intended. Be bold. Be funny. Be obnoxious. Be friendly. Be the terminator. Just don't be Bally's.

And check out this post titled Microsoft repositions to kick ass, from Eric Karjaluoto at Ideas - "a blog that invites dialogue on issues relevant to communication designers and brand strategists." Sure, he's talking about a computer behemoth. But he's also talking about all large companies and organizations as he states "Focus on core competencies and articulate your offering plainly and honestly."

Besides, do you really want to brand yourself so close to Lindsay Lohan?

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