Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Planet Fitness Aims To Make Canada Judgment Free

“Painted on the wall of each Planet Fitness health club is a branded message to everyone who enters: Judgment Free Zone. This is the philosophy behind the no-frills fitness brand, which has grown from just four locations to over 280 gyms in the U.S. over the last six years and now has its sights set on Canada. Planet Fitness plans to open as many as 70 clubs this year and an additional 80 to 100 clubs in 2010, said brand manager John Craig. While the Canadian fitness club market may seem crowded already, Craig believes Planet Fitness has an unique selling proposition, targeting people who haven’t tried out fitness clubs before—not the typical gym rat. The club focuses on cardio fitness instead of free weights, aiming to create an inclusive atmosphere of its ‘Judgment Free Zone.’ The brand believes so much in this philosophy that it has trademarked the phase and written it next to the Planet Fitness logo on almost all of its communication materials. ‘We’ve brought a lot of people into health clubs that wouldn’t ordinarily go in,’ said Craig. Planet Fitness has also cut out many of the extras some clubs provide to offer a lower membership fee—memberships start at just $10 a month and the club’s top price-point is $19.99. Planet Fitness clubs don’t have pools, racquetball courts, juice bars, or child-care facilities, said Craig. Nor do they employ salespeople or up-sell members on services like personal training. One of the few frills the club provides are tanning beds. Craig said the chain will do local advertising through direct mail, on radio and TV in each market where the gyms open. He said there aren’t yet any plans to advertise the concept nation-wide.”


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