Gym branding in China

The sports and fitness market in China is showing an impressive growth. In 2001, there were only 500 gyms, in 2019 there were 49,860 of them. According to a report by the National Bureau of Statistics, in 2019, almost 400 million people regularly exercised. Therefore, the gym business has huge potential for overseas and local fitness companies. A gym branding in China is essential for the successful promotion, as it’s no secret that the competition in the fitness industry is now quite high.

Data source: Credit Suisse; Statista; Figures are in $US billions. A Credit Suisse study estimated that the sports industry in China will be worth $470.3 billion by 2025

Naming as a part of gym branding in China

It is very important to stand out from the competition. The name of the club should be recognizable, but not stereotyped. Components such as “fit” and “gym” have long been occupied by major competitors, so you should differentiate yourself with something unique.

The name of the club should stay into the client’s memory. In this case, not only the meaning is important, but also the image that a potential client can correlate with your fitness club. People tend to give preference to certain brands based on the images that they form in relation to these companies. Keep in mind that the name should be appropriate for Chinese visitors and also use Chinese characters. Doxaganda will help you find the right naming for your brand in China


Distinctive features for the gym branding in China

The availability of high-quality equipment in a fitness club can make potential customers to buy a club card. Now every club can offer clients special conditions and good equipment. Therefore, it is important for you to highlight (or introduce) certain distinctive features that will set the club apart from the general stream.

To make it easier to do, think about who the club is aimed at – professional athletes or ordinary visitors. Doxaganda will help you to select the most correct, suitable audience and implement those fitness services that are right for them.

Gym branding in China: increase awareness

The right branding can help to increase awareness about your gym. As soon as a person sees the logo of your fitness club on the street, on the Internet, he immediately remembers everything with which he associates the club, with the values ​​that you (already) presented to him. Brand awareness is also responsible for customer trust.

Choose core values for the gym branding in China

To create an image, it is not enough just to come up with a name and logo. It is important to convey the values that your club pursues. Instead of giving a ton of information about the size of the club, what equipment and what service you have, tell your clients the history of your club. Think about what core values you want to convey to your visitors and how they compare to those offered by your competitors.

Design – essential part of the gym branding in China

Your brand should be visible primarily on the premises of your club. For instance, if you chose green as your primary color, add elements to your gym that contain that color. Alternatively, you can paint the walls of the room green. This will help to convey your main message to the client, and when you see the logo of your club, emotional memory will immediately work.

Don’t forget about social networks while doing gym branding in China

Website or social networks – your brand should be in all spaces where your potential client can see it.

Online platforms are the key to increasing the popularity of the gym. For example, you can invite KOL on Weibo to share photos of the workouts at your gym. Douyin’s short videos can also help your brand. They can teach people how to exercise properly and draw attention to your gym. Chinese people spend on average over 60 minutes a day on short video apps. Therefore, it can attract many visitors to your gym. Douyin’s short videos can be used in a variety of promotional materials, especially to promote brand culture and brand value. You can also use short video apps like Kuaishou and Xiaohongshu to teach you how to exercise.

Data Source: Questmobile –  short video apps in China, MAU June 2019

It is a good idea to hire professional instructors or KOLs to record short videos. Chinese consumers trust them and they can encourage people to choose your gym.

Source: daxue consulting, Douyin – Keep’s Short video marketing strategy in China during the Coronavirus

Create an app to keep in touch with customers

Most young Chinese people tend to do fitness in their spare time. However, many young people in China are very busy with their work. Therefore, they need fitness with a flexible schedule. Since going to the gym can be costly and expensive, many young Chinese people tend to work out using the mobile apps.

Data source:  Baidu Data; Age distribution of fitness population in China

Create emotions

Emotions. Fitness, first of all, is emotions. No one will do fitness through force, or if they do not receive an emotional return from it. These emotions are a powerful tool for attracting customer attention. It would be a good idea to reflect it in a color scheme and logo.

Attributes for gym branding in China

The fitness club can provide customers with branded pens, T-shirts, baseball caps, etc. The main point is for the client to have such attributes at hand, even when he is out of the club. It is a good promotion element. The brand should also have flyers, booklets, posters of a fitness club although it is not a huge, but immediately striking trick.

How to do gym branding in China during the pandemic

Source: App Store, Pure App

In early April 2020, as the rest of the world adjusted to living in isolation, gyms across China gradually opened their doors, welcoming old customers plus new fans they were able to attract with their online activities. For Asian premium yoga club Pure International Group, which has seven clubs in Shanghai and two in Beijing, this meant mobilizing all staff to communicate with customers and send daily workouts through the client app. A top priority for clubs during isolation should be to provide workout solutions to keep clients engaged and in motion before they become interested in other online fitness offerings.

Whether this is organizing instructor-led online classes or using a customer-centric solution where clubs can generate income from each registration, ease of implementation is key. Moreover, do not forget to have a high-quality content and filming.  Poor quality distracts attendees and risks creating a negative perception of your brand in new audiences.

Digital adaptation is a key

The online offline (O2O) business model, in which companies create audiences through digital presence and then direct them to physical facilities (clubs), is very popular in China due to the ubiquity of WeChat, which facilitates most consumer transitions.

Clubs in China have quickly adapted the skills of their instructors to provide digital coaching for clients. Pure’s instructors created regular video content to motivate club members during lockdown, and shared that content daily through their app.

In China, a post-isolation study by Nielsen found that 75% of the population plan to spend more on sports and fitness in the future, while 80% try to eat healthier foods. This was reflected in spending on the Spring Festival, when sales of home fitness equipment surged 300%.

How Doxaganda will help you with gym branding in China

Our services for branding in China include a full set of branding activities, such as an advertising ecosystem, brand naming and a localization strategy.