There is no single strategy that will guarantee survival for 15 years of an independent gym that starts from scratch in a low-income economically depressed community. It takes a wide-range of strategies that blend together forming Branches of Brand.
‘Branching Your Brand’ refers to building a multi-dimension business personality in mind, body, and soul that achieves the number one objective of a Branched Brand – separate from the rest. You have to be instantly recognizable to new and current customers. Instant recognition is the key element in customer recruitment and retention. You can’t recruit and retain those who can’t instantly recognize you. Without the capacity for instant recognition, you face the risk of blending into the crowd and never getting picked first or picked at all.
One branch of our X Fitness brand that strongly contributed to 15 years of survival has been Athletic Volunteering. A main branch of the X Fitness Brand from the moment the gym opened was volunteer football coaching that formed the heart and soul of the X Fitness ideology, philosophy, and beliefs. The different between sponsoring athletics and athletic volunteering is what is donated. Sponsorship refers to donating money. Financial contribution can be effective but it doesn’t make nearly the impact of donating your heart and soul by coaching a sport for the singular purpose of developing the potential of student-athletes. Volunteer coaching has been our strongest Branch Brand at X Fitness. Building that branch of our brand started long before we opened X Fitness. It was fully developed before we started. Then it grew. We made it stronger with additional strategies.
Even those who don’t directly benefit from your volunteer coaching will positively identify your gym. Nothing builds a more meaningful network than volunteer coaching. Nothing spreads more positive word-of-mouth faster than volunteer coaching. Nothing solidifies reputation and builds a stronger business personality than genuine, authentic soul-lifting through volunteer coaching.
There are myriad strategies and best practices that build branches to your brand. Volunteer coaching has been our best practice. Making a difference in the lives of student-athletes has made the biggest tangible and intangible difference in our gym.
Blessings & all good things.
Mill Pond Publishing Inc.
30 Mill Pond Drive
Georgetown, ON L7G 4S6