The UK is fitter than ever – can your brand keep up?
Getting fit is a way of life these days. From parkour to pilates, capoeira to CrossFit, fitness regimes have come a long way since the days of squat thrusts and burpees in the rain.
As Hitwise’s Clean Living report shows, consumers no longer see exercise as a chore. Searches for gyms and exercise have increased by over 30% in the past three years and, as interest in fitness grows, people are increasingly looking for more diverse, exciting and challenging ways to get in shape.
The fitness industry has responded with a dizzying array of exercise choices for the consumer. We can now dance Zumba on a Monday, go ‘pilloxing’ on a Wednesday and spend Friday at the climbing wall, before going on any manner of weekend yoga retreat.
As a result, the fitness and health club industry is in rude health, now boasting more members than ever: a record 9.2 million in 2015. Likewise, as consumer choice continues to grow, consumers are reaping the benefits, finding sports and fitness regimes that are right for them.
Exercise challenge accepted
One of the most noticeable growth areas is the exercise challenge. Once the preserve of formidable fitness fanatics, challenges such as Tough Mudder, Ironman and the traditional marathon are now firmly in the mainstream, with visits to the Tough Mudder and CrossFit websites up 68% and 65% respectively from 2014-2016.
While these challenges are embraced by all manner of people, our report shows that different challenges appeal to different consumer segments. For example, CrossFit attracts the youngest profile, with 47% of under 34-year olds, while Ironman appeals to the highest proportion of 35-44 year olds.
How brands can stay in shape
It is important for brands to understand the range and diversity of these consumers in order to tap into this growing industry. Doing so will allow them to connect with passionate, health driven communities, such as Virgin Active’s successful official partnership with Tough Mudder.
For more insights to help your brand build long term relationships with consumers, supporting their discovery and growth as they navigate this changing sector, read our Clean Living report here.