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How to Get Your B2B Marketing in Shape with Tips from Orangetheory Fitness

Read time 3 min
It’s a new year with new resolutions, and Orangetheory Fitness is inspiring tighter abs, leaner limbs, and fewer pounds. But this fitness franchise is also proving an important lesson in marketing: It’s not about selling, it’s about sharing.
How to Get Your B2B Marketing

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Orangetheory Fitness, the frontrunner in heart-rate interval training and the world’s fastest-growing fitness chain, rang in the new year with a fresh global brand campaign. An extension of the company’s first national campaign that launched last year, “Welcome to More Life” includes three spots that will run through the first quarter of 2020. The first of these spots aired December 30, 2019 – just in time for the widespread health and weight loss resolutions that mark the beginning of each new year.

Orangetheory’s latest campaign doesn’t push messages of shedding pounds or shaping up. Nor does it feature guilt-inducing undertones of personal improvement like Peleton’s widely criticized holiday ad (a marketing move that’s been mocked by everyone from Ryan Reynolds to Planet Fitness). Instead, “Welcome to More Life” breaks the mold of many gym brands by telling a story that’s less about the brand and more about the customers.

Dooley Tombras, president of Orangetheory’s agency of record, sums up the message behind the campaign: “The Orangetheory workout is not just about weight loss or looking better, it’s about getting more from life – being there for your family, excelling in your career, and having the energy to pursue your passions.”

So what can your business learn from Orangetheory’s example? Here are a few B2B marketing “exercises” to get your company on a healthy track.

Know your customers

The “Welcome to More Life” campaign works not because of brilliant video editing or design, though it certainly has that going for it, but because it focuses on people. It celebrates the personal stories of the various personas who are integral to the Orangetheory brand.

As a creative marketing agency with B2B clients across a wide range of industries, we’ve seen that emotion is consistently one of the biggest motivators. And to engage your customer on an emotional level, you need to know them on a deeper level. Only then can you develop empathy for your customers and be the guide they need you to be.

Show, don’t tell

As painful as it is for copywriters (like me) to admit, the cliché is true more often than not: “Actions speak louder than words.” Go ahead and watch the first “Welcome to More Life” spot again. How many words do you see? Not many.

While messaging is a critical part of any brand or ad campaign, the more often your marketing can show what you’re all about rather than spouting a sea of words, the better. What’s appealing about the Orangetheory campaign isn’t just what it says. It’s the visual energy – the real-life snippets that culminate in a compelling final message.

Embrace authenticity

Customers and consumers are increasingly wary of both real and perceived marketing lies. Authenticity has become a primary driver of customer loyalty – with 90 percent of consumers claiming they like and support brands they see as authentic. And brand authenticity is something you just can’t fake.

A common characteristic of authentic brands is an honest desire to do what’s best for their customers. By shifting the focus from Orangetheory gyms to believable life experiences, the “Welcome to More Life” campaign establishes a genuine concern for what customers do and desire in everyday life. The initial launch spot also steers clear of pushy calls to action and overt brand references, instead offering statements that hold real meaning for existing and potential customers. Bottom line: the campaign isn’t about selling, it’s about sharing.

Ready to tone up your B2B marketing approach?

Your business might have little to nothing in common with the Orangetheory Fitness empire. Yet regardless of product, service, or industry, we can all draw inspiration from their customer-centric campaign. It’s in our nature as business experts, marketers, and human beings to look inward. But as Orangetheory so humbly reminds us, a brand story isn’t really about you. It’s about your customer and the story you help them “bring to life.” (See what I did there?)

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