I am quite annoyed with myself.
You see, I usually pride myself of seeing through tempting packaging or sales deals, and base my purchase decisions on the product and its value for me, more than anything else.
Yet, here I am, very foolishly mourning the fact that the gym that I usually go to was bought by another company and is trading under a new brand. All the factors that arguably matter for gym choice (equipment and classes, opening hours and quality of personnel, supplementary benefits, and social factors) are still the same. The main things that changed are that the gym is no longer so red, and that there is a new website to book classes. So, it really should not make any difference to me.
I guess that, after all, I was attached to that gym’s brand. I liked the former brand’s focus on fitness, rather than the current one’s focus on health. And I like the sense of mischief and fun associated with the former brand, better than the ‘sensible’ image projected by the new one.
And maybe the former gym brand is actually onto something because this study by Carolina O. C. Werle, Brian Wansink and Collin R. Payne found that when exercise is perceived as fun, it leads to less snacking and over-eating than when exercise is perceived as hard work.
Will I change gym because of the new owner? Well, unlikely.
Research in the hotel environment, concluded that consumers’ identification with the brand affects their evaluation of the brand but that, at the end of the day, hotel choice depends on the customers’ evaluation of the service experience. Likewise, I am likely to continue to use the gym because it scores well on the gym choice factors mentioned above.
But, boy, do I hope that the new brand will start injecting some fun into its identity and activities.
To what extent is interacting with a fun fitness brand important for you?