Health & fitness marketing in the wake of the gym selfie-room

As soon as we heard about the custom-built selfie room at New Zealand gym Anytime Fitness, we knew times had changed in the world of health & fitness. The news sparked a heated debated at CP HQ.

There’s certainly an argument for ‘selfie-culture-gone-mad’ and the negative impacts that can have on a person’s self-esteem. But equally we can see some encouraging trends. In this article we share what we like about some of the new health & fitness trends and and how small businesses should be adjusting their marketing to suit the current landscape.

Trend #1: Embracing wellness

Although it has its downsides, it feels like social media has contributed to a positive change in mindsets. Instead of being about simply looking good, it’s about feeling good, strong and healthy (both physically and mentally). As part of this movement we’re seeing niche sports and practises rise in popularity, inspiring many new people to make healthy decisions.

Trend #2: Inclusive diets

Imagine a time where if you were allergic to dairy or if you had a wheat intolerance, you could pretty much assume you weren’t getting a birthday cake. No cake. On a birthday. Sacrilege. Today, thanks to the likes of @feed_me_momma and @healthylivingjames no one goes without celebratory cake. And that is something we can all appreciate.

Trend #3: Body positivity

Cue the judgmental eye-roll. Yes, as Jameela Jamil quite rightly states in her recent Marie Claire interview, too many brands have jumped on the bandwagon and diluted what body positivity is all about. However that shouldn’t take away from the good that has been done as a result of the movement so far. Diversity in advertising is increasing in popularity and breakthrough brands are seeing huge success after meeting the demands of new-age consumers, with their ‘hyper-real’ campaigns and honest approach to marketing.

What does this mean for health & fitness brands?

Clearly what consumers expect from brands is different now. So we’ve put together some practical tips for small health & fitness business navigating their way in the wake of the selfie-room.

Tip #1: Treat every customer as a VIP

Try to imagine how you’d run your business if all of your customers were influencers. Because today, every customer has a platform and therefore has the ability to get the attention of their network following a good or bad experience.

Tip #2: Think in ‘social-moments’

Google’s top suggestions after the word ‘instagrammable’ are:

  • ‘Instagrammable places near me’
  • ‘Instagrammable food’
  • ‘Instagrammable cafes in London’
  • ‘Instagrammable places in Manchester’

If you don’t know what instagrammable means, fear not. ‘Instagrammable meaning’ was also in there.

If you can feed to need for people to document their lives, you’ll be giving your customers the tools to create content and increase brand awareness on your behalf. With a physical space, things like custom wall art and decoration is often deemed photo-worthy We recently designed a bold, energetic interior for Absolutley Fitness, featuring motivational quotes throughout which are often featured in gym-selfies (as seen below). But remember to make sure your lighting is bright and suitable for photography.

Custom wall art commissioned by us in Absolutley Fitness.

Main gym area designed by us for Absolutley Fitness.

Tip #3: Embrace collaborations

Being able to offer products/services covering all aspects wellness is a great but of course as a small business you may not have the resources/funds to do so. But by collaborating with other small businesses, you may be able to offer pop-up services or ‘limited edition’ products. Doing something on a temporary basis means you get to test run ideas before fully investing and it gives you an angle to spin for PR and social media.

If you’d like to chat to us about Fitness marketing, please do get in touch (make sure you clear your diary, we could go on a while).

Cover image: Psycle london