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Who Runs London?

It's London Health Week this week and the organisers have put together an array of talks, classes, meals and tasters. All this talk of looking after the mind and the body has got me thinking about one question in particular; from a marketing point of view, what can we learn from the London health trend?

Everyone in London seems obsessed with health at the moment. It seems to have trickled through from LA and landed with a thud in London. And what a great trend it is if it results in everyone being fit, healthy and happy. Being a digital marketer and the ideal consumer (there may be a correlation between the two) I am a total sucker for the odd fad and fashion. I’ve been following Nike’s campaigns so closely I found myself accidentally signing up for a 10k the other day. With a hashtag like #WeRunLondon, who could resist? Who doesn’t want to run London? Although I’m not sure I meant to run it in such a physically exerting way.

6 months ago I’d tried yoga once or twice and in the last eight weeks I’ve somehow convinced myself that I want to be first in line for Psycle, or bettering my strength at Barre Core. Why is this??

Other than the fact that marketing health is a total dream, you are marketing something that people bodies very quickly become addicted to, these companies seem to be doing something very clever.

The clearest initial example I can think of is blogging. Two of the leading food blogs, Hemsley & Hemsley and Deliciously Ella aim at very similar target audiences. They appear in similar places, are marketing the same idea that ‘health is cool’ yet we don’t see them trying to push each other out of the lime light or jostle for domination. This town is, it seems, big enough for the two of them. In fact, they’ve even featured as guest bloggers on each other’s websites. They are leveraging each other to create a movement and opening a gateway for others to join. We are in the thick of the age of the internet and there are new businesses popping up all over the place. In many ways, this makes it much harder to be seen. Yes, we all want to be the first to find a niche market and we want to get all the customers, but people are now making their living out of passions and do you have the budget to be seen over and above the rest?

TIP ONE. This is the first thing we can learn from the health trend: Two hands are better than one. Collaborate, create a louder voice and work together. Why create a business when you can create a movement? You must have a clear mission statement to do this and be selective about the brands you work with.

Nike. Genius. These guy have done so many campaigns that, until I researched I hadn’t even seen despite the fact I see the Nike tip in one form or another every day at the moment. This is because they know and target their audineces. They help small communities, delve in to charities and enable people to do sport who may have otherwise not been able to. There’s always an ethical argument to creating profit through appearing charitable but there’s no doubt that Nike are leading the way and opening up opportunities for smaller businesses to follow in their footsteps. Nike Women put on free classes most days that anyone can book in to, some of which are held in the store. So do Sweaty Betty. I’ve been to a couple and definitely walk out passed their beautiful products thinking; “well, I deserve a reward after that! “. Plus, I can’t help but Instagram these classes. They make them so visual.

TIP TWO. What are the bigger brands doing? I always encourage clients to have a list of 5 competitive and non-competitive brands to look to for inspiration or to check themselves against. This becomes such a useful tool, some clients even end up forming alliances with these brands. Ask yourself the following;

  • What are they doing well?

  • Could a topic or strategy be applied to you?

  • What could they be doing better?

  • If you were to give them one idea or one piece of advice, what would it be? Could this piece of advice apply to you?

(We don’t copy, we work together to get inspired)

Workout classes. Class Pass is a big thing in LA and seems to constantly be improving in London too. I see new versions of the same concept every week. Some of my favourite classes aren’t yet on there but I’m watching this space like a hawk. It turns the city in to your gym, again associating brands and delivering them to the right market in one neat package. All the classes I go to easily enable you to book online. Their websites are very mobile which is key. If I haven’t paid for a class in advanced there’s a good chance I may change my mind. A class I tried recently allows you to save money by purchasing classes in packages. You get a discounted price for buying 2 or 10 or whatever the deal is. You’re then given one ‘buddy’ pass every time you purchase a package. This is great, it allows you to introduce someone new or take the buddy you go with every week for free. Either way, you’re either rewarding referral or encouraging work of mouth marketing. These are two of the most effective marketing strategies for services.

TIP 3, 4 & 5. Affiliate yourself with other brands but choose very carefully. BE MOBILE, make it as easy as possible for people to book online. Reward your customers and encourage referral.

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