Fitness First Rebrands to Rewrite the Rules of Fitness

Fitness First new branding

Fitness First embarks on a rebrand claiming it is rewriting the rules of fitness to revolutionise the fitness industry and its offering.

We spotted the new branding for Fitness First on Under Consideration, being a bit of a fitness enthusiast I thought I’d dig a little deeper and find out what is behind the rebrand of one of the worlds leading fitness brands.

The global brand has launched a new brand identity, strategy and repositioning that is set to rewrite the rules of fitness and the gym industry. Fitness First will inspire people to work on their fitness wherever they are, and not just in the gym — giving people “fitness-rich” moments and interactions that form long-lasting habits. The significant change is that people will no longer join a gym, but will enter a world of accredited fitness professionals, market leading innovations and all the inspiration they need to keep their workouts fresh and exciting. 

This week, 20 of the 80 gyms in the UK were introduced to a new identity designed by London-based The Clearing. The UK website is also the first to feature the new look. This is the initial phase of a £225-million investment globally to upgrade the company, from logo to training to facilities. The new identity will be rolled out to the rest of the locations at a later date.

“Our brief was clear and incredibly ambitious: redefine the category and help return the business to profit. Our strategy aims to deliver a new approach to fitness that won’t get you into fitness for a matter of weeks but naturally introduces fitness into your life. We’ve created a number of brand signatures that affect every customer touch point — from gym floor activity and service experience to employee engagement and fitness apps. We’ve also redefined the look and feel of the brand to reflect that of a contemporary apparel lifestyle brand whilst the new symbol is designed to make sense of the brand name.” , The Clearing.

They have rebranded with strategic intent and with clear objectives and goals in mind. By taking this approach they are on the right track to achieving success and ensuring the new brand delivers all that it promises.

Fitness First re-brand

“We need to redefine ourselves and lead the way once more as the fitness leader. But this doesn’t mean simply putting a different logo above our door and carrying on as before. It means asking some fundamental questions of ourselves and our members and be willing to bring radical new changes to the fitness industry,” said Pete Manuel, Managing Director of Fitness First Australia.

Fitness First has taken an integrated approach to the new branding making changes at every touch point of the organisation include the look of the clubs, the training of their staff and improving their service standards. People often have the misconception that branding is simply a logo this reinforces that brand is so much more than a logo or as we like to refer to it, a brandmark.

“The logo, was just a small thing in the scheme of things. If the product and service isn’t right nobody cares about a logo – although we think this one’s pretty damn good. At the end of the day a logo is just another tool available to you to deliver your brand strategy”. Richard Buchanan, The Clearning.

There has been comment that the new brand looks a little bit like F1 but I think you quickly move past the connotation. What I like about this new brand is that it is strong, dynamic and full of energy and power. To reinforce this they have established a range of brand gestures which they claim break the rules of fitness:


Fitness First New Brand

Fitness First New Brand

Fitness First New Brand

Fitness First New Brand

Fitness First New Brand

Fitness First New Brand

I think the new positioning is brilliant and I’ve been waiting for one of the leading gym chains to step out and do something different. Let’s see how they go on delivering on the new strategy and brand promises.

Gemma Dittmar
Director of Brand Projects


1 Comment

  1. An interesting approach Gemma. For me the hyperbole is greater than the outcomes, falling short in their desire to really lead with a fresh vision for fitness – #6 Transparent Terms with no Hidden Surprises is what we expect as a minimum, not something to build a brand upon.
    The other challenge they’re evidently facing is one of branding differentiation across multiple geographic markets. In the UK no-doubt they are able to own their primary red brand colour. In the Australian market this colour is owned by Jets, which will undoubtedly create brand confusion.

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