Our part-time marketing director helped this international fitness brand increase its brand awareness in the United Kingdom with the aim of becoming a major player in the market.

Company Profile

Les Mills UK, a subsidiary of Les Mills International, has been a prominent name in the global fitness branding since its inception in 1980 by Phillip Mills and Dr Jackie Mills. Established in March 2012, Les Mills UK has aimed to elevate Les Mills brand awareness and become a pivotal player in the health and fitness industry. The company prides itself on providing top-tier fitness programmes, equipment, apparel, instructor training, and customer service.

CEO’s Mission

The CEO has a mission to amplify brand awareness and position Les Mills as a dominant player in the UK fitness industry. They want to make it synonymous with innovative fitness marketing. They aim to deliver unparalleled customer experiences that build loyalty and advocacy. By forming strategic partnerships, developing innovative products, and targeting marketing and PR campaigns meticulously, the CEO plans to steer Les Mills UK to become a respected and recognised brand in the fitness market.

Marketing Director’s Objectives

  • Develop a B2B Marketing Strategy Aligned with CEO’s Mission
  • Then, collaborate with the CEO to Enhance Thought Leader Status in Strategic Marketing for Fitness
  • Forge Strategic Partnerships
  • Finally, ensure B2B Marketing Needs Are Communicated with the Global Team in New Zealand

What the Marketing Director Did

Research the Local Market and Current Customers

Upon transitioning from the NZ Head Office to the UK to assist in establishing the UK business, the Marketing Director conducted a comprehensive 360° evaluation of the existing business. This included gauging instructor perceptions, conducting a business customer survey, and qualitative research to comprehend the significance of a partner and brand awareness within the fitness brand strategy.

Build a Strong Local Team and Create a High-Performing Culture

In the initial 12 months, the Associate pinpointed areas that necessitated internal Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) to fortify the brand, escalate awareness, and support the Sales team. Therefore, six hires were completed from within the UK fitness industry to bring forth knowledge and credibility.

Thought Leadership

The Director worked alongside the CEO, Sales Director, & Instructor Experience Director to define our expertise in Instructor Training and Group Fitness Management. Engagements with industry experts like Ray Algar and David Minton were initiated. These helped to develop material for publication and posting through industry publications, events, and online media. A notably effective model was the seminar and webinar programme run for customers and potential customers. These aimed in covering 12 topics that addressed our expertise and, more crucially, the needs of club operators. These therefore facilitated retention and provided an active pipeline for our Customer Experience team.

Brand Recognition through Effective Marketing Campaigns

In collaboration with the CEO, the objective of creating a consumer following was apparent. Over the years, they set about directly targeting consumers. This was a lengthy process due to a limited budget and resources. The approach was twofold: Digital and Experiential Events that were self-funding (ticketed). By crafting authentic and challenging social media content, the brand resonated with both the licensed instructor base and their clients. Their events became a platform for thought leadership, brand hype and awareness, and strategic partnerships with clients and other health and fitness businesses, including Reebok.

The Results

Some notable results of these marketing efforts include: 

  • Growing the business revenue by 20% (£2m) YOY for three consecutive years 
  • Achieving the five-year business plan goal of 300 club growth within the first two years 
  • Improving ticket sales for annual events by 800% (2000 to 16000 attendees) over 2 years, adding over £600k in revenue 
  • Creating experiential branded events and delivering fitness festivals across the UK, Scotland and N.I 
  • Increasing the social community by 1440% (from <5000 Facebook followers to over 70,000) in 18 months 
  • Winning the Best Use of Video Award at the CorpComms Digital Awards – Consumer