Franchise/Restaurant Advertising


These 3 Gyms Stopped Trying to Please Everyone: You Can Too

January 23, 2018 Nicole Settecasi

It’s hard to please everyone, so it’s important to make the people that like you become passionate about you. To do this, make sure you know your audience. We mean really know your audience. Digital Media Solutions, LLC (DMS) has proprietary marketing technology and access to customer insights that allow us to laser focus on consumers that matter most. With this, we’re able to look at the overall demographic information (like age, income and geography) and media habits (like internet usage, device usage and when they’re on their devices) of our client’s customers. All marketers should find a source for insights like these to create branded experiences that reflect the attributes of their target audiences and not try to please everyone. Here are three gyms that tightened up their targeting by focusing on what they do best.

Equinox – The rich person’s gym 

According to Equinox CEO Harvey Spevak, gym fees are, “a small percentage of their customers’ overall discretionary spending,” so when planning expansion, the brand targets cities with a high percentage of wealthy residents.

The Equinox brand is based on the “ideal” gym in which they imply you will not find bodybuilders, you will not hear grunting or the slamming of weights, and you certainly will not find anyone wearing no-name workout gear. What you will see, is a cream, black and gray color scheme, where flashiness seems forbidden when it comes to one's body. Lean is the physical ideal here. According to GQ, “company executives actually use the term ‘Equinox body,’ which is a toned, androgynous shape designed to glide in and out of $300 Acne jeans and sleep (‘regenerate’) on the finest linens.”

Planet Fitness – The judgment free zone 

Planet Fitness is an affordable gym meant, according to their messaging, to serve as a sanctuary for anyone that feels awkward in a stereotypical gym. As a matter of fact, Planet Fitness doesn’t even consider themselves a gym. And that’s okay, because that is exactly what their target audience is looking for. “Now a preeminent leader in the category, ‘The World Judges, We Don't. At Planet Fitness, Be Free’ campaign, created with agency-of-record Hill Holliday, is an evolution of the Planet Fitness brand spirit and puts Judgment-Free in the context of society: the world, not just other gyms, can be a very intimidating and judgmental place, but Planet Fitness is a place you can go and be yourself and ‘be free’ without fear of being judged.”

You also will not find any unnecessary add-ons like babysitters, massage therapists, steam rooms or scented towels at Planet Fitness. This crowd is there to work out, without any judgment, and have fun doing it.   

Gold’s Gym – The mecca  

At Gold’s Gym, it is assumed everybody is here to train, and they’re looking to get down to business. This crowd is not there to simply “get a workout in.” Gold’s Gym targets the hardcore bodybuilders that love the old-school feel the gym portrays. At Gold’s Gym, you may find members who take their training very seriously and others that are looking to compete. While picking up the metal plates (and possibly grunting while doing so), the ideal Gold’s Gym customer just might wrap up their workout by chugging a protein shake. Once that’s done, they might proceed to eat the chicken and rice they’ve prepped Sunday night. Many believe this is the result of having used famous figures, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dwayne Johnson, in their marketing campaigns. Not to mention that Gold’s Gym original logo, which was designed by Ric Drasin in 1973, was, and is still to this day, the stereotypical bodybuilder holding a barbell. Simply put, Gold’s is “designed to accommodate serious lifting.” No funny business.


Many businesses make the mistake of thinking too big. They try to be everything to everyone — sell all the products possible in a particular industry, appeal to every demographic, hit every price point.

We get it. It can be scary choosing a single target in a specific industry or demographic, because you may believe it will too narrowly limit sales possibilities.

The key takeaway here is to remember, if you’re everything to everyone, you risk being nothing to everybody. Stop trying to please everyone, focus on what you’re good at, and opportunities should come. 


Ready to laser in on the consumers that matter most to you? Team DMS is here to help! Fill out this form to have someone contact you directly.

About the Author

Nicole Settecasi

Nicole Settecasi is an Associate Marketing Manager at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), the fastest-growing independent digital performance marketing company. DMS helps its clients accelerate growth by deploying diversified and data-driven customer acquisition solutions that deliver scalable, sustainable and measurable marketing results. DMS performance marketing solutions connect the right consumers with the right offers at the right time to achieve the marketing objectives of our clients. DMS is continually innovating to provide new and emerging media and technology solutions that minimize waste and maximize results across the most competitive industries. Since its inception, DMS has demonstrated incredible year-over-year growth which has earned recognition on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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