In this article, we explore how innovative fitness operator Gymbox is evolving its business to engage with members in new ways, offer flexible membership options, and bring the signature Gymbox lifestyle fitness experience directly into the homes of its members.
Gymbox is a fitness and lifestyle brand, operating 11 clubs across London, with a focus on combining exercise and entertainment – including live nightly DJs, London’s most unique and creative classes and top of the range fitness equipment.
Obsessive About Engagement & Community
Gymbox were quick to pivot from in-person to virtual when the COVID-19 pandemic forced clubs to close. During the first lockdown, a regular schedule of classes was launched on Instagram Live – a quick way to reach the core of its community.
Creating the right Gymbox brand experience is always essential and lockdown posed some obvious branding challenges. Careful consideration was given which instructors would not only be able to deliver classes, but had the right background setting to do so. No boring front rooms allowed!
While Instagram Live allowed Gymbox to reach their community, the platform was only a temporary solution. The fitness innovator then decided to work with video-on-demand platform, Uscreen, to launch ‘Out The Box’. A digital fitness service focused in true Gymbox-style on redefining home workouts with a mix of on-demand and scheduled creative classes. Initially the solution was available free to members, with an option to make a donation to NHS Charities Together. It is now available for £10 a month.
“We’re renowned for our unique class timetable, which is created by our very talented studio team and it’s built solely by us for us so you can’t get the content anywhere else – we don’t want to offer the standard on-demand content you can find elsewhere so we are focusing on what makes us different, the creative classes. People like coming to us, specifically for our unique classes, live DJs and our top of the range equipment. With Gymbox they’re getting something that they can’t get anywhere else and we need to transfer this online as well.” – Marc Diaper, CEO, Gymbox
Gymbox is just getting started on Out The Box. The platform will be developed beyond classes with richer features providing personalisation, rewards, performance tracking, creating community amongst members, providing a range of fitness programmes designed to both complement their in-gym classes and cater to those needing at-home workouts only.
Understanding that there’s really only one chance to get it right with their digital fitness offering, the fitness operator has softly promoted Out The Box to members initially. Uptake has been positive but the aim is to create a product with a wider reach. Gymbox needs to be happy that the product is right to do this.
Having partnered with Legend for over 10 years, Gymbox relies on our leisure management solution to keep its business running smoothly. Through the native app members can view timetables and book classes, as well as manage many aspects of their membership. Out The Box will be integrated into Gymbox’s native app to provide a seamless experience for members whether they are working out at home or in-club.
As taking classes will not be for all members, and sometimes equipment is needed for a satisfying home workout, Gymbox is offering members the perk of discounts on high quality equipment. Members have been also entertained with online quizzes, DJ sets and more to help maintain community engagement with their local gym whilst facilities have been closed.
Obsessive About Flexible Membership Options
When reopened, footfall in city centre locations has been affected more than residential locations, with more commuters now working from home. All the more reason for Gymbox to focus on providing a truly flexible fitness experience and a range of membership options for their members.
“We expect to see a more permanent switch to working habits with most commuters opting to work from home 2-3 days a week. As our locations are all in London, there’s more need than ever to make sure we create a product that people can also take home with them too. That will be key to retaining members and prevent them going to the likes of Peloton or FIIT.” – Marc Diaper, CEO, Gymbox
To create the right brand experience, the background and feel of digital classes have been key for Gymbox. While other classes from other services typically have a staged studio view, Gymbox has moved to filming classes in its gyms to create an authentic branded experience.
Of course, the instructors are also a vital element of any Gymbox class, each adding their own unique personality. While there are some classes that can be challenging to recreate for an at-home experience, Out The Box offers classes that will give the fundamentals of a certain exercise class, such as aerial yoga, that can be easily transferred to an in-gym class once they’re able to return to the gym. Giving members a different experience to other virtual classes.
Gymbox has always understood the importance of flexible membership options. These have proved popular with members wanting more casual options in uncertain times.
“We’ve always had flexible memberships, PAYG or annual. Over the years we’ve evolved to now offering options that range from no commitment, to PAYG, and memberships for set time periods. We’ve always been completely flexible, and we’re now finding that people are looking for shorter terms. In the past around half of our members would have been on an annual membership, but now we’re starting to see three month memberships become the most popular option. There’s a definite trend towards that given people are working more from home.” – Marc Diaper, CEO, Gymbox
Obsessive About Cleanliness & Safety
Vocal about the important role of gyms and fitness facilities in the fight against COVID-19, Gymbox approaches cleanliness and safety of members with the same vigor and passion.
“We’re obsessive about our customers’ perceptions of cleanliness and safety – and making sure they feel both safe and comfortable about exercising in the gym. Getting ready to reopen we added a lot of new cleaning processes and checks in place, including temperature check monitors, new screens at reception, lots of signage, antiviral wipes near all equipment and hand sanitiser stations located throughout the gym. We’ve also continually talked to both employees and members about safety.
Interestingly our member survey results showed that our members’ perceptions of our cleanliness and safety standards were much higher in October than they were earlier this year. Not that surprising given the clubs have been less busy, but it’s really encouraging to know that our customers are noticing what we’re doing and how seriously we take both theirs, and our employees, safety. Ongoing operational costs are going to be much higher with these new cleaning regimes, but that’s the new norm, and we’re taking it seriously.” – Marc Diaper, CEO, Gymbox
Adapting to changing operating conditions, Gymbox is constantly monitoring and adjusting capacity across its clubs to keep members safe – even if that means reducing capacity at times. Legend’s leisure management software makes this simple for Gymbox to manage with tools to set limits on class and gym capacity, as well as access to live data showing attendance levels. Members can easily book classes online and via the Gymbox app.
Gymbox: Doing Things Differently
“We pride ourselves on being disruptive, but not offensive in our marketing. We’ll continue to be obsessed with creating the Gymbox lifestyle that reaches beyond fitness for our tight-knit community of members.” – Marc Diaper, CEO, Gymbox
Gymbox is a lifestyle fitness brand that prides itself on doing things differently, and creating the most fun experience possible for all members. With a mission to make workouts anything but boring, the Gymbox team is using technology in innovative ways to not only offer a range of fitness experiences to their members, whether they’re exercising in the gym or at home – but also to connect with members in a way that speaks to their brand values and differentiates themselves from competitors. The Gymbox team are obsessed about making it as easy for their community to interact with their brand, meet their fitness goals, and have fun while doing so. Their network of fiercely loyal members proves they are onto the right thing.