One of the biggest challenges most brands face is meeting the constantly shifting standards of the modern consumer. Over time, all brands reach a point where they need to transform themselves in order to remain competitive within their industry.
This was the situation Gold's Gym faced in 2016, shortly after celebrating our brand's 50-year anniversary. The fitness industry had been maturing, and with that came growing niche competition like inexpensive HVLP (high volume low price) gyms as well as higher end boutique studios and digital fitness offerings.
As the most widely known fitness brand in the world, we needed to leverage our expertise and global footprint to differentiate ourselves and take advantage of the growing demand for fitness. We shifted our focus to brand innovation and introduced a new gym prototype offering enhanced products and services, a revamped pricing structure, a proprietary digital personal training app, and more. As the changes proved successful in our company-owned locations, we began partnering with our franchisees to implement this strategy across the brand's more than 700 locations in 28 countries across six continents.
Of course, implementing significant change takes time and investment. So the question then became how to showcase the "new Gold's Gym experience" at an accelerated rate. The answer was clear: multi-unit franchising. For a global brand with a complex system such as Gold's Gym, multi-unit franchisees are attractive assets because they have the financial and operational infrastructure to foster rapid growth, which is necessary for brand-wide change. They also bring fresh energy and extensive expertise, which are valuable to an evolving brand.
If you are looking to utilize multi-unit franchisees as a tool to accelerate your brand efforts, here are some important "X-factors" to consider based on our experience at Gold's Gym.
X-Fac t or 1
Look for multi-unit franchise groups with strong financial and business acumen but also an aggressive approach to development. For successful multi-unit franchising with Gold's Gym, the multi-unit franchise group needs to have the resources available to be proficient at managing group exercise programs, personal training, membership sales, day-to-day operations, digital innovation, international insights and more across multiple units.
When the time comes for evolving the brand, all of these responsibilities must be maintained while simultaneously...