Total Gym: GRAVITY Franchise
Total Gym is an innovator and leader in the space of fitness equipment and innovation in the world of exercise development. Mr. Tom Campanaro came from the true golden age of bodybuilding and when the fitness world truly took shape in the 1970s. In 1974, with the background, expertise and vision for where fitness was headed, Total Gym was born and revolutionized the entire fitness world. Tom’s vision incorporated a combination of both weight training and cardiovascular fitness into one piece of equipment. Total Gym over time became a world-renowned brand and organization. Part of the organization’s success and rise to fame included infomercial marketing with Christie Brinkley and Chuck Norris who now famously helped Total Gym equipment gain global distribution and sell in excess of $1 billion worth of equipment.
In 2013, the Total Gym management team identified an opportunity in the studio fitness market space where Total Gym equipment could be leveraged to offer a studio fitness model and capture some of the rapidly expanding health and fitness market segment. GRAVITY: A Total Gym Studio® was born in early 2014 and the concept began to be developed. In early 2014, Total Gym hired Franchise Marketing Systems to support the development of the GRAVITY model and support scaled growth through a franchise model. The Franchise Marketing Systems management team worked with Total Gym leadership to develop a business plan, and strategy, conduct franchise market research and build the franchise development plan. The Studio Fitness market was expanding and key market players such as Orange Theory, Pure Barre, and CKO Kickboxing were taking shape on a national landscape and a recent IPO of SoulCycle made it clear that this market was in a high growth phase. Through market research, fee structures were identified, territory analytics were conducted and market research was developed to create KPIs and go-to-market strategies that were the most efficient in taking the brand to market as a franchise.
The concept started with a target demographic of fitness customers 30-65 years of age who enjoyed and benefited from a group training with individual attention and we’re looking for an environment they could embrace and feel comfortable within. By developing a series of small group classes, individual and multi-client sessions, and a wide range of training programs utilizing the Total Gym® in incline bodyweight trainers, the customer experience would be exceptional. At the center of the growth model, Total Gym’s interest was to add sales volume of the equipment and require that franchisees would invest in the company’s equipment as part of the franchise expansion model. Once customers experienced the value of the equipment in the GRAVITY model, they were offered the opportunity to purchase the equipment for use in their home gym. Franchise Marketing Systems worked with the management team to create a franchise prototype that would fit well in the category of studio fitness with a small fitness concept at 1800-2500 square feet in size and a customer experience that was meant to be under one hour in length. This model allowed the franchise investment to be less than $250k and provide an exceptional financial model for the franchisee. Once the model was in place and an agreed-upon franchise expansion strategy was in place, the marketing and sales model was developed to recruit and located qualified franchisees for the brand.
Franchise Marketing Systems worked with the Total Gym management team then to develop a franchise marketing and sales strategy. Franchisees were identified as either Area Developers or Unit Operators. Area Developers were recruited globally while unit operators were focused in the U.S. and ideally on the West Coast of the United States in order to minimize support and management expenses associated with the franchise expansion model. Franchise Marketing Systems developed the advertisements, sales copy and franchise ad placement and a plan for sales execution were put into place. In the first year of recruitment, the GRAVITY model was able to close almost dozen unit franchises and four Area Developer franchise units. The franchise platform allowed the Total Gym brand to expand the distribution network and leverage franchising to sell more products and increase distribution.
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