Amidst a fitness craze, many Melbournians are looking for ways to get into shape – and with the number of gyms operating across the city, they aren’t short on options. But it all looks a bit monotonous, from a brand standpoint. There really isn’t much imagination in this industry. The wildly successful Fitness First have left behind a glossy, pearly-white smiles blueprint that has been appropriated to the point of genericness. One notable exception however, has taken its own approach in differentiating itself from the rest of its industry – and for that it has enjoyed quite a bit of success since its humble beginnings.
Head eighteen kilometres west of Melbourne’s CBD and you’ll find the suburb of Derrimut, still well in its infancy and where many of the archetypal fitness fanatics reside. In this suburb, the first Derrimut 24:7 Gym opened a little over three years ago. It has since gone on to open up another three outlets across Victoria – including its flagship in Caroline Springs. The flagship gym is less than a year old and already widely regarded as one of the best in Australia. It is held in such high esteem that it has attracted the attention of bodybuilding royalty, Dorian Yates, and eight time former Mr Olympia, Ronnie Coleman.
What sets these guys apart from the rest of the industry? They are unapologetically hardcore. Not too concerned about the New Years Resolution-ers who barely make it till February; the folks at Derrimut 24:7 would rather cater to the real enthusiasts. They are hardcore in spirit, and not afraid to show it in more tangible ways. These stunning art murals that adorn the walls of their facilities – created by local artist Mark ‘Meataxe’ Taylor – are definitely not something that you see everyday.
A noteworthy factor in trying to understand the reasons behind their success, is the stigma that exists in “cater-to-all” gyms, where bodybuilding enthusiasts are at times subject to derision. Bodybuilding is a lifestyle that many people are ignorant towards. Derrimut 24:7 in this regard, has assumed the role of a welcome refuge. By recognizing opportunity – and by not trying to be everyone’s cup of tea – they’ve been able to carve out their own niche in what is a very crowded market. This lesson is one all brands should learn from. If you try and please everyone, you could end up pleasing no-one. If you need help defining, or refining, your target market, why not give Truly Deeply a call?
Design Intern at Truly Deeply.