énergie Fitness has tasted success at the bfa HSBC Franchise Awards, winning the Brand Awareness & Innovation category.
énergie beat off competition from a shortlist consisting of O2, The Christmas Decorators and Oscar Pet Foods to take the award, with Andy Brattesani, UK head of franchising at HSBC, saying the fitness operator had earned the accolade by “showing innovation in brand strategy and implementing this thoughtfully throughout the network”.
Pip Wilkins, CEO of the British Franchise Association, added: “All the finalists have shown excellence in innovation. But the judges were truly impressed with énergie Fitness’ rehaul of its identity to adapt to society.”
The rehaul of parts of the company’s portfolio ‒ from Fit4Less to énergie Fitness ‒ also saw the introduction of The Yard, an in-club boutique fitness concept, and the Take the Stage programme, which aimed to train gym owners to deliver a world-class service to every gym member on a daily basis.
In 2017, while the rebrand was underway, Health Club Management spoke to key members of the énergie Fitness management team, gaining an insight into the process of change at a major fitness operator.
Finance director Robin Cundell said the rebrand was centred on communicating that énergie is a place where everybody is welcome. “We’re focused on creating a functional space where you can get together with other people and do a sport or exercise, where your skill doesn’t matter,” he said.
Peter Croney, head of franchise recruitment, revealed that the company was receiving around 300 enquiries per month from prospective franchisees ‒ a number that needed to be whittled down significantly even before face-to-face meetings could take place.
“It’s very important that franchisees understand exactly what it takes to be successful. Franchising stacks the cards in their favour, but we still have to make it clear that running a franchise is much more than paying a fee, sitting back and waiting for the money to roll in.”
Related: énergie Fitness Franchise
And that’s where the Take the Stage programme comes in, with Ian Rushbury, head of training, fitness and innovation, saying: “My team is delivering four-hour in-club training sessions on our culture, service promise and member interaction. By the time the rebrand is finished, all clubs will be delivering the customer experience in a more unified way.”
By Andy Knaggs
Source: Leisure Opportunities