If you want to study an organization that brands itself so well that it defines branding, take a look at Planet Fitness.

Planet Fitness is an American franchise of fitness centers based in Newington, New Hampshire (Wikipedia). They have built their entire branding and marketing strategy around one simple claim:

No Gymtimidation

The idea behind this brand is that there is a large portion of people who wish to exercise, yet, feel intimidated walking into and exercising in a traditional gym stereotypically filled with skinny female models and 325 lb male gorillas. So, instead of marketing to the traditional gym enthusiast, they have made an effort to market directly to those turned off by those same enthusiasts. That's why they label their gyms as "judgment free zones." This way people who don't feel attractive, fit, young or beautiful (if you buy into cliched images of attractiveness) can workout in an environment where, ideally, everyone feels the same exact way and is less prone to judge the other.

So, you can easily see how the founders of Planet Fitness had many options in the interest of differentiation; however, they branded their franchises with the intent of absorbing market share traditional gyms potentially alienate. Many gyms simply market directly to older people, younger people, fit people or all people, respectively. Not Planet Fitness. They captured a portion of all of these segments in the stable of their membership subscriptions by implicitly alienating "lunks, and the judgemental."

So, you have the potential to brand your business for customers your competitors are alienating thereby increasing your revenue. There are literally endless ways your competitors could be alienating a certain percentage of their market share right now, for example:

  • Price is too high/low
  • They don't deliver
  • Their transactional period is long and confusing
  • They focus on certain markets and not others (age, ethnicity, sex, sexual affiliation, non-veteran, disabled, etc.)
  • They are too big/small
  • They are outwardly liberal/conservative
  • They aren't open during certain times
  • They don't take certain forms of payment
  • Etc.

All you really need to do is:

  1. Identify your chief competitors with more market share than you
  2. Determine who they aren't directly targeting which makes up a fair to large percentage of your collective target market
  3. Brand your business with only that market segment in mind. For instance, why are you better for them versus your competitor? 
  4. Advertise!

That's about it.


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