Craft Your Brand, Then Bank on It

Good news: You’ve survived the first few years of business, you’re establishing a good foundation of members and people are starting to talk about your CrossFit Box. Now what? How do you keep the momentum going and stay competitive in the ever-growing Affiliate marketplace?

Let’s face it, most of you are previous athletes who decided to kick your nine-to-five jobs and do CrossFit full time by opening up shop. And, with little to no background in business or marketing, you probably cringe at the thought of having to sit down at the end of the month to bang out ideas on how to strengthen your brand.

In the modern world, an organization’s brand image can be as important as the goods and services it provides. A recognized and trusted brand identity makes people confident that the organization is dependable. This is why successful businesses work hard at building their brand and present them in a clear and consistent way. In the face of tons of competition, your strong brand identity drives members to choose you over the competitor.


Enter the Pro Shop

For some reason, even though CrossFit Affiliates are popping up like wildfire compared to local gyms and fitness depots, it’s the local gyms and fitness depots that get why pro shops drive additional cash flow, in addition to building a strong brand for owners. We have to step out of the “Box” idea for a moment. Garage gyms, urban edge, warehouses — these terms reflect the cool ambiance Affiliates have worked so hard to infuse into CrossFit. So where do you start?

Having t-shirts, hoodies, water bottles and gym bags that adorn your logo, plus fuel sources such as health food snacks and supplements that reflect your beliefs in nutrition, creates a positive message about your company and its brand. A strong brand starts with a good plan and a steady beat on delivering it to members on a daily basis. It’s not about printing t-shirts a few times a year. It’s about consistency.

So, I’m just going to say it: If you’re allowing your members to spend their hard-earned money on health, fitness and weight loss products outside your Box, you’re being foolish. Make your members ambassadors of your brand. Your members trust you. That’s why they became a customer. So, why would you ever let that trust go to waste?

Here’s how you make your members ambassadors of your brand while becoming their “Home Depot” for fitness and wellness. The best place to start is to ask yourself, “What are other Affiliates selling in their pro shops?” Apparel with logos, bottled water, supplements and vitamins, gym bags and sports drinks are just some examples.


Thinking Outside the Box

If you want to be profitable in the CrossFit industry, you need to begin to expand your thinking from just being a “Box” to being a wellness center. Your members come to CrossFit to be healthy. In that category you have weight loss, strengthening, longevity and more.

In short, people are buying your products and services because they want to be “well.” And they want to have gear and clothing that lets their peers know how they’re achieving this wellness. We already know that CrossFit is perceived as totally badass, so throw your logo on something and sell it to someone! And who better to sell it to than a member who already believes in you?

Make your members ambassadors of your brand and dare to be different. You will be noticed, remembered and talked about as a result.


By Manda Freyman

President of Badass W.O.D. Wear, Inc.