Survival of the ‘Fitness’ brands

The Business Show
The fitness sector has seen many knock-backs throughout the pandemic. Lockdowns and forced closures have pushed many companies into rethinking their business model. We’ve seen an influx of online workouts, dance classes and fitness sessions, with many fitness instructors offering one-to-one personal training courses across platforms such as Zoom, Teams and Google Meet.

Technology has played a huge role in supporting the success of businesses, who, without it may not have survived the pressures of the past year. It’s been humbling to see so many fitness brands and communities come together in support, offering free workouts, actioning temporary freezes on membership accounts, and sharing tips and advice on workouts at home. Social media has played a vital role of engaging and enabling communities to discover home workouts. The hashtag ‘#homeworkout’ has been trending with more than 3.5M posts in the past year alone

Barry’s (a HIIT workout business, popular in the United States) has leveraged the power of Instagram to promote free home workouts during the start of the pandemic. Since then, Barry’s has gone on to create a digital platform with the assistance of Zoom to allow its members and the community to continue their HIIT workouts at home. Speaking to fast company Joey Gonzalez, CEO of Barry’s says:

 

“We’re investing heavily in digital and it will be a permanent part of our business going forward. We’re going to stop using Zoom and there will be a fully integrated social component, so you can see which classes your friends are taking. Our instructors will be able to call people out and help with their form: We don’t just want to stream; we want to be able to teach”

 

The success of their social media platform has encouraged the business to look at alternative offers to adjust such as, ‘Barry’s outdoors’ and ‘Open gym’, which both allow the business to operate in line with COVID regulations. 

Whilst many businesses will have had success in adapting and pivoting their offering, a lot of health and fitness brands may not have the time, money or resources to do so. A local Bristol based yoga company ‘Pacific Yoga’, has suffered the effects of the year-long COVID restrictions and lockdowns, forcing them to cease virtual sessions due to fall in attendance. 

There’s no denying that digital offerings and virtual business has accelerated in the past year, and the adoption of new technologies has opened a world of possibilities for companies. A balance of digital reliance has now become a permanent anchor in the portfolio many companies have to offer. Digital may not be the answer for your business but it’s certainly a part of business which is here to stay, and a sensible decision to uptake in order to survive and grow. Striking that balance is the key to survival.

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