In the modern fitness world, it’s not enough to just provide a space for your members to get fit and healthy. You need to be providing far more – from a sense of community and belonging to a strong brand identity and advocacy, running a fitness business is no longer just about health.
If you have a strong and loyal group of members, one of the most effective and reliable revenue streams you can have is fitness merchandise. From the water bottles your members bring to your location to the hoodies they wear to the store – you need to help them become the loyal brand advocates you need to become a thriving fitness franchise.
In this article, we’re going to be providing you with all the steps to develop, source, and release fitness merchandise. However, more importantly, we’ll be showing you how to do it successfully.
Why Fitness Merchandise is a Gamechanger
Developing your own fitness merchandise does more than just provide you with a dependable revenue stream – it can also revolutionize your brand awareness and business popularity.
In fact, you most likely won’t be able to develop a successful fitness merchandise demand without an exceptional and dependable brand.
Think about all the top fitness brands: we all know which ones come immediately to mind. Now, think about those brands: why did they pop into your head?
They’re not selling millions in merchandise every year because of the quality of the shirts or water bottles: they’re making that money because of their exceptionally powerful brand.
So, before we show you how to build your fitness merch empire, we need to explore a few brand-building essentials.
How to Build a Killer Brand
1. Understand Your Audience
Are you a wellness studio? A boxing gym? A spin cycle class?
For every fitness business, you provide a different service, feeling, and sense of identity to your members. If you’re going to develop a brand that truly speaks to your members, you need to understand exactly who they are and why they use your services.
For example, let’s say you’re a yoga or pilates studio. You’re not going to use harsh, aggressive colors and typography to promote your brand, because your audience won’t connect with it. Instead, you’d use more soothing, calming designs – creating a sense of empathy and connection with your members that they would be happy to wear themselves.
2. Build Your Community
In the modern fitness industry, community is everything.
Think about your own wardrobe and the merchandise you buy: why did you give those businesses money?
More often than not, it was because you wanted to be a part of the brand community.
Other reasons for buying merchandise like quality, style, and price certainly come into it, but the deciding factor is the community feeling you provide.
Take a hard look at the business model you have and where community fits into it. If you’re not creating events, engaging with members, and sending out regular updates, you’re not going to have the fitness community that would want to wear or buy your merchandise.
Get Your Brand Out There
If you design an incredible brand logo and then just place it as your social media profile photos, you’ve wasted your time and money. Your brand and logo should be put everywhere and anywhere you can.
Remember: branding is more than just a logo – it’s your color scheme, tone of voice, and total member experience.
The truly successful fitness businesses weave a unique sense of branding throughout their business and member experience. From your front door to opening your app, your members should immediately know who you are and what you represent.
How to Leverage Your Brand Using Fitness Merchandise
If you’ve read above and feel that you have your brand poised and ready to become the next hot fitness brand on the block, then you’re ready for the next step – getting your merch out there. Let’s go through all the steps.
Sourcing, Design, and Pricing
It has never been easier to create a brand and merch to promote your business identity. There are hundreds, if not thousands of websites that can print clothing, bottles, and a wide variety of other merchandise for you to sell in your business.
The Top 10 Barriers Discover more
Slowing Your Fitness
1. Your Design
Before you go anywhere, make sure your logo and design are ideally suited to your market audience and desired brand feel.
If you don’t have a logo for your business, there are a couple of ways of getting one. You can:
- Go it alone and design it yourself (best for artists, creatives, and people who deeply understand their business and Unique Selling Point)
- Use an online service (Fiverr, Upwork, and a range of other freelance sites can get you a logo in as little as 24 hours)
- Reach out to your local graphic designer (This is the most expensive but most high-quality solution for branding)
Once you’ve finalized your brand, you can move on to the manufacture and supply.
2. Producing Your Fitness Merchandise
In the incredibly interconnected world we live in, you can have a truckload of branded merch outside your business in as little as a week. The fastest and cheapest way to do this is to go through an online merchandise printing service. Printify, Printful – basically Google any variation of the word “Print” and you’ll find online merchandising services that will give you affordable, customizable, and high-quality merchandise for you to sell to your members.
Many of these businesses will even work out the profit margins for you, showing you exactly how much to sell each item for to reach your desired revenue amount.
So now you have your brand, your supplier, and your profit margins all worked out: now on to the part that makes you money.
Naturally, every business and product is going to have a different profit margin, but just make sure you’re making more than 5% on each product. Sometimes, it can be effective to be a loss leader on smaller items like pens and lower-quality water bottles, but just ensure that you have a solid profitability plan in place for every piece of merchandise you order.
If you’re a higher-end business, you may sell fewer products but at a much higher markup. If you’re a more high-volume establishment, it may be better to offer a cheaper, more accessible product with a lower profit margin but a higher overall volume. Every business will be different, but make sure you factor all costs into your accounting and predictions.
Selling Your Fitness Merchandise
Naturally, once your fitness merchandise arrives from your supplier, you can hang it up and place it in your lobby for your members to see, and this is a tried and tested way of selling merchandise, but it’s the bare minimum. Here are a few more inventive ways of selling your fitness merchandise.
1. Give Them Away As Prizes
If one of your members makes it to 10 workouts in a month, give them a t-shirt. If someone signs an annual contract with you, give them a free water bottle. Have raffles and giveaways on social media to boost demand and awareness: you’ll make the money back in brand awareness and signups in a very short amount of time.
2. Have an Online Store
E-commerce is exploding in recent years, and there is a lot of money to be made for well-branded, in-demand fitness clothing at an accessible price and place. You can build a website in an afternoon, and if you’re not tech-savvy you can hire a freelancer to do it in the same amount of time.
Once you have your website built, present your merchandise front and center, run and test some ads to your target audience, and watch the revenue roll in. This is one of the most effective ways of selling merchandise for your business because it requires practically zero effort on your part. Once the website is set up and the connection with the supplier made, all you need to do is monitor the ad performance and sales numbers.
3. Sell Them In Your App
Your app should be the center of all your business practices. From online advertising and communication to upselling and boosting your memberships, it should all happen centrally from your app.
Adding a store to your app is one of the easiest and most profitable ways for you to sell your fitness merch. Simple prompts offering a discounted towel or water bottle while your members are booking a class can easily double your profit from that member. Even just having a shop offering pickup services for water bottles, gym equipment, and even snacks or food can be a major boost to your profitability.
How to Keep Your Fitness Merchandise Selling
Let’s do a quick recap of what you need to successfully market and sell your fitness merchandise:
- Have a killer brand
- Have a devoted community
- Create a dependable connection with suppliers and designers
- Sell it in your store, online, and on your app
It’s four simple steps, but they’re only possible if you do the truly hard work of building a dependable, relatable, and shareable brand that people want to represent and be a part of. That’s certainly possible to build on your own, but it’s not easy.
At ABC Glofox, we’ve built a fitness platform that’s specifically designed to make your fitness business more efficient (and profitable).
Our smooth interface, branded member app, and automated messaging system can help you create a far more dependable revenue stream.
In fact, just using Amplify, our messaging and promotion tool, can boost your leads by 250%.
That’s before your members are even using our intuitive booking platform, your trainers are using our appointments system, and you’re taking it easy knowing that all the background processes are being handled by ABC Glofox.
Want to learn more about how we can help you boost your fitness business?