May 3, 2024

How Your Branding Directly Impacts Client Relationships, Retention, and the Overall Studio Experience

Your studio brand isn’t just about the logo and colors; it’s about community, connections, and standing out online and in person.

How Your Branding Directly Impacts Client Relationships, Retention, and the Overall Studio Experience

Branding is traditionally defined as “the promotion of a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design.” But in the fitness and wellness industry, branding (and your brand) is so much more than that—it’s the connection, the thread between you and your clients. It’s what helps your studio stand out in-person and online, attracting new members and helping you retain current ones. At its foundation, branding represents your business and what makes you unique in combination with your schedule offerings, ultimately driving interest, purchases, and profitability.  

So, what are some tactics to optimize your current branding without needing a complete rebrand—and ensure all your channels are dialed in, from online to in-person, making every studio touchpoint consistent? Here are some strategies to reach and engage with your target audience, reinforce your brand identity, and build stronger relationships with your clients that can get you accurate, measurable results.

Maximizing branded channel effectiveness

Stay true to who your studio is while making the biggest branded impact! 

Search, click, scroll: Studio website

1. User-friendly, intuitive design: This might seem obvious, but when did you last look at your studio website on both your desktop and phone from a different perspective? Ensure your website is easy to navigate, mobile-responsive, and visually appealing. One way to test that is by asking someone you know who isn’t familiar with your studio for their feedback. Use clear calls to action (CTAs) to guide visitors to critical actions such as booking classes or signing up for memberships.

2. Compelling content: Create high-quality content that provides value to visitors, including class schedules, instructor profiles, workout tips, blog posts, and success stories. Incorporate visually appealing imagery and videos to enhance engagement. Also, be intentional about your messaging and placement based on your fitness modality and what your clients want (and search for)! 

3. Leverage SEO: Optimize your website for search engines using relevant keywords, meta tags, and descriptive URLs. Regularly update your content and incorporate local SEO strategies to improve visibility in search results. (And make sure you're using a local business schema!)

4. Conversion optimization: Implement strategies to improve conversion rates (and don’t be afraid to try something new), such as A/B testing of landing pages, optimizing forms for lead generation, and offering incentives for newsletter sign-ups or membership registrations.

TIP: Remember to tap into Walla lead forms—and if your website needs a refresh (and you want your widgets to shine), consider Websites by Walla!  

#engagement: Social media
Utilize UGC and have a posting schedule and strategy so you share meaningful content and don’t just post because “you have to.” 

1. Platform selection: Identify the social media platforms and channels where your target audience and members are most active and focus your efforts on those channels. Tailor your content and engagement strategies to suit the preferences of each platform. If you’re unsure what the best social platforms for your studio are, ask your clients for their input.

2. Consistent branding: Maintain a consistent brand identity across all social media profiles, including profile pictures, brand colors, cover photos, bio information, and tone of voice. Use branded hashtags and visual elements to reinforce your brand presence, and be intentional about using logos.

3. Content strategy: Develop a content calendar with various content types, including promotional posts, educational content, user-generated content (UGC), behind-the-scenes glimpses, and interactive polls or Q&A sessions. Experiment with different formats to keep your members engaged, such as videos, carousel posts, and stories.

4. Engagement and interaction: Actively engage with your audience by promptly responding to comments, messages, and mentions. Encourage conversation, ask questions, and solicit feedback to foster a sense of community and connection with your followers, which will help you post content they want to see and grow your follower base

5. Paid advertising: Consider investing in paid advertising on social media platforms to expand your reach and target specific demographics. Use audience targeting, retargeting, and ad creative that align with your brand messaging to maximize the effectiveness of your social campaigns.

Boost open rates: Email marketing

It’s all about sending the right message to the right people at the right time. 

1. Segmentation and personalization: Segment your email list based on client preferences, behaviors, and demographics to deliver personalized content and offers. Use dynamic content and automation to tailor messages to each segment and improve engagement. (That’s where Walla’s Marketing Suite comes in!)

2. Compelling subject lines: Write attention-grabbing subject lines that entice leads and members to open your emails. Incorporate personalization, urgency, and relevance to increase open rates and drive conversions, and consider what would capture your attention in a crowded inbox.

3. Value-driven content: Provide value to your clients by offering exclusive content, promotions, and insider updates. Balance promotional emails with educational content, fitness tips, success stories, and other valuable resources that keep subscribers engaged.

4. Clear CTAs: Use clear and compelling calls to action (CTAs) in your emails to prompt your clients to take action, whether booking a class, redeeming a promotion, or following your social media profiles. Ensure that CTAs are prominently displayed, easy to click, and not buried at the bottom of a long email.

Make it memorable: In-person experience

This is where your studio brand comes to life!

1. Branded environment: Ensure your physical studio space reflects your brand identity through decor, signage, branding materials, and merchandising. Create a welcoming and cohesive atmosphere that aligns with your brand values and enhances the client experience, making it a place where they feel comfortable, welcomed, and inspired

2. Staff training: Train your staff to embody your brand values and deliver a consistent brand experience to clients. Encourage friendly interactions, professionalism, and attentiveness that reinforce your brand image and encourage honest, positive relationships with members.

3. Community engagement: Host events, workshops, or fitness/wellness challenges that bring clients together and foster community. Create meaningful interactions between clients and staff to create a supportive and inclusive atmosphere that strengthens member relationships and, in turn, increases retention and revenue.

Consistent branding for consistent results

Influence client relationships and studio connections, and promote referrals while impacting profitability 

1. Professionalism and trust: Consistent branding establishes a sense of professionalism and reliability. When your studio brand looks cohesive across all channels—whether it's your website, social media profiles, emails, or physical location—it instills trust in your audience. Trust is vital in the fitness industry, as clients need to feel confident in your ability to help them achieve their goals wherever they are in their wellness journey.

2. Brand recognition: Consistency helps in creating strong brand recognition. When potential and existing clients encounter your brand across various platforms and channels, they're more likely to remember it. This familiarity can increase retention, as clients are more likely to return to a studio they recognize, see a lot of, and trust.

3. Customer experience: A consistent brand experience makes it easier for members to engage with your studio. Whether they visit your website, interact with you on social media, or attend a class, they should encounter the same look, feel, and messaging. This consistency creates a seamless customer experience, enhancing their overall satisfaction and likelihood to return.

4. Reinforcing your values and identity: Your brand identity reflects your studio's values, mission, and unique selling points. Consistent branding reinforces these aspects, helping clients understand what your studio stands for and why they should choose it over competitors. Clients who resonate with your values are more likely to become loyal customers.

5. Professional marketing efforts: Consistent branding extends to your marketing efforts, including advertisements, promotions, and campaigns. When your marketing materials align with your brand identity, they appear more professional and cohesive. This professionalism can attract new clients and encourage existing ones to continue engaging with your studio.

6. Encourage referrals and word-of-mouth marketing: Happy and satisfied members are more likely to refer their friends and family to your studio. Consistent branding reinforces positive experiences and makes it easier for clients to recommend your studio to others. Word-of-mouth marketing is compelling, and consistent branding enhances its effectiveness.

7. Support brand loyalty: Consistent branding encourages a sense of belonging and loyalty among your members. When they identify with your brand and feel connected, they will likely remain loyal over time. Loyal members continue to generate revenue through repeat visits and serve as brand advocates, further promoting your studio to others.

Overall, your studio brand is more than just visual assets; it impacts the client experience. When new or long-term members feel connected to your brand, they will become the greatest part of your community.

Customer retention is the key

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What are the most relevant factors to consider?

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Don’t overspend on growth marketing without good retention rates

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What’s the ideal customer retention rate?

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Next steps to increase your customer retention

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Director, Content & Communications

Strategist. Storyteller.

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