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Fitness Studio Pumps Up Its Brand on Windows and Walls

Inspirational Graphics Serve Dual Purpose

FLEXcon, a leading supplier of self-adhesive substrates, has had a lot of experience transforming retail stores, airports, museums and sports venues through the use of graphics printed on its products. However, high-profile venues such as these aren’t the only ones to benefit from their expertise. In keeping with their mantra of “one customer, one application at a time,” FLEXcon recently collaborated with brand consultancy Catalyst, Inc. (Providence, RI) and Graphic Innovations (Warwick, RI), a leading regional graphics printer, to bring marketing benefits to a single location fitness facility. As a result, this small business customer gained a big competitive edge and new business by featuring exciting and practical graphics printed on FLEXcon substrates.
Perfectly Fit Gym Wall
The client, a sole proprietor personal training and conditioning studio called Perfectly Fit, located in East Greenwich, RI, is flourishing due to a revitalized brand strategy drawn from its understanding of client needs and the optimal selection of special feature graphics to help it stand out in a crowded marketplace. What made this project so successful was the cooperation among all of the project partners: FLEXcon, Graphic Innovations, and Catalyst. They each played an important role in providing the technology-driven graphics solutions and highly responsive client service Perfectly Fit desired.

Perfectly Fit Gym Floor

Challenges and Opportunities for Perfectly Fit

Over the years, Perfectly Fit has built a solid reputation among fitness devotees within a ten mile radius of its Rhode Island home. “Highly-individualized training programs, expert coaching, and a fun, inspirational atmosphere are the cornerstones that set us apart with clients looking to meet a wide variety of fitness goals,” said Michael Hicks, president of Perfectly Fit. “We’ve seen that our approach can actually change people’s lives.” Hicks has found that his clients have clearly responded to his commitment to provide a fitness environment where they are encouraged to believe that anything is possible. Clients have also come to see the facility as an escape from other aspects of their hectic lives.

In addition to the challenging economic climate, Perfectly Fit faces competition from more well-known, better-funded, lower cost alternatives like the YMCA, What made the project so successful was the cooperation among all of the project partners: FLEXcon, Graphic Innovations and Catalyst. This small business customer gained a big competitive edge and new business by featuring exciting and practical graphics printed on FLEXcon substrates. Gold’s Gym and Curves, which also have facilities in its area – as well as from other local boutique gyms. To stand apart, Perfectly Fit needed a smart, customer-focused plan and a way to distinguish its facility from the others.

At the start, Hicks engaged Catalyst, Inc., a brand consultancy and design firm that partners with companies to sharpen their image and identify new opportunities for business growth. Through Catalyst’s client research, Hicks gained important insights about his facility and uncovered concerns that needed to be addressed. Two pressing issues were client discomfort with glare from the sun and the lack of privacy through the expansive front windows of the studio. Clients also suggested some type of engaging artwork, which they felt would inspire a better workout than four blank walls. After careful consideration of the options, Catalyst recommended in-studio branding with inspirational imagery to help distinguish Perfectly Fit and motivate clients, as well as exterior graphics to attract new clients.

Brian Odell, president of Catalyst, understood that a memorable experience inside the new studio facility would strengthen Hicks’ bond with his clients. “It always amazes me how a simple transformation with graphics can change the whole dynamic and client perceptions about their experience,” said Odell. “The challenge with Perfectly Fit was to do this with just four walls, some windows and a minimal budget.”

As soon as I looked at the physical layout and challenges at the Perfectly Fit studio, I knew we had to contact FLEXcon for the substrates.

Scott Lewis, Sales Representative, Graphic Innovations

The special requirements of the intended wall and window applications required unique self-adhesive film products that we knew FLEXcon could supply.

Scott Lewis, Sales Representative, Graphic Innovations

Creating a Branded Environment

Catalyst teamed with long-time partner Graphic Innovations, one of New England’s leading wide-format printers, to accomplish the objectives. Known for consistent quality in finishing graphics for both best appearance and optimal durability, the Graphic Innovations experts did not disappoint. Jim Larkin, president and founder of Graphic Innovations, has established an organization that takes pride in customer service and product knowledge. “Working together with Catalyst, we knew that relevant lifestyle imagery – vibrant, activity-centered graphics – would reflect the Perfectly Fit brand and ring true for their clients of all ages and levels of fitness. And we both knew FLEXcon would be the ideal choice to provide the substrates.”

Graphic Innovations’ sales rep, Scott Lewis, weighed in. “We’ve had some experience in fitness and lifestyle applications at some very prominent corporate and retail locations, so we instantly understood the upbeat feeling Perfectly Fit was trying to accomplish,” Lewis said. “As soon as I looked at the physical layout and challenges at the Perfectly Fit studio, I knew we had to contact FLEXcon for the substrates. The special requirements of the intended wall and window applications required unique self-adhesive film products that we knew FLEXcon could supply.”

Graphic Innovations invited FLEXcon to participate in a quick site visit. They worked closely together, identifying the best products for the wall and window applications that had been identified by Catalyst.

FLEXcon Product Manager Jodi Sawyer, who provided counsel on FLEXcon products for the application says, “FLEXcon provides applications consulting and substrate solutions for some of the world’s most well-known brand campaigns. But for me, a small customer like Perfectly Fit is just as important. To Mike Hicks, Perfectly Fit is his baby. We have a responsibility to treat him just as well as our large corporate customers.”

Mark Mudgett, local sales rep for FLEXcon, concurs. “We focus on each customer’s unique challenges, collaborating to solve problems and offering technical expertise and innovative products to meet business goals.”

This graphic rebranding helped set us apart from all the other fitness facilities.

– Mike Hicks, President, Perfectly Fit

Graphic Innovations and FLEXcon Provided the Whole Graphics Package

In the final Perfectly Fit application, a set of brilliantly colored photos of outdoor fitness activities were printed on a Seiko / Infotech ColorPainter 64S Wide-Format Solvent Printer at Graphic Innovations. The striking images were installed on the interior walls, and a set of situational fitness images were affixed to the windows.

The interior photos are scenic vistas selected to inspire clients, as well as to create the illusion of longer or wider space, such as a path or mountain range that extends outward. To complete the impression of openness and natural outdoor energy, the over-sized images were printed on FLEXcon® WALLdeco 6770, an environmentally-friendly, inkjet-printable, non-PVC, fabric engineered specifically for wall graphics. The soft matte finish of WALLdeco helped Catalyst and Graphic Innovations avoid a harsh, shiny look that would conflict with the natural, comfortable ambiance they were trying to achieve. The ease-of-use made installation simple and quick. The printability of WALLdeco allowed the imagery to look so realistic it seemed to jump off the wall.

As for the windows, the team agreed that covering them with an opaque graphic would ruin the brightness offered by the sun’s natural light; but still, clients needed relief from the direct glare. A further challenge was to maintain the open feeling the windows offered, while protecting client privacy as they worked out. For Catalyst and Mike Hicks, drawing attention from passersby to the Perfectly Fit facility was an important goal as well. The main road through East Greenwich passes directly in front of Perfectly Fit, offering an opportunity to promote the business in a more engaging way than standard signage.

Again, FLEXcon and Graphic Innovations solved both the privacy and glare control issues by recommending a state-of-the-art window film. The team decided on FLEXcon’s seeTHRU-sign® film solution, a perforated window film with amazing versatility. During daylight hours, the product creates almost a one-way mirror effect: clients in the studio can see out, but those on the street side can’t see in. The During daylight hours, the window graphics create almost a one-way mirror effect: clients in the studio can see out, but those on the street side can’t see in. perforated finish blocks much of the troublesome glare from the sun while maintaining the sense of freedom that unobstructed windows provide. The printability of the product allows for unmatched graphics visibility from the street. Now there are seven foot tall graphics drawing attention to Perfectly Fit and its premier fitness services.

Perfectly Fit’s clients, especially, have reacted enthusiastically to the newly branded and graphically enhanced studio interior. They’ve said the appearance of Perfectly Fit now matches the great training experience; they’ve called it fun, energetic and motivational. One client even commented that it was great to see life going by on the street as she used the elliptical machine – no more privacy concerns or uncomfortable, blinding glare. And the revitalized appearance of the storefront has attracted new business from the town’s Main Street, too. Mike Hicks reports that business is up 16% since the graphics were installed.

Perfectly Fit Gym Window
Next Steps in Perfectly Fit’s Brand Development

Professional partners Catalyst, Graphic Innovations and FLEXcon are already brainstorming next steps with Perfectly Fit. They have discussed graphics for the floor and ceiling to complete the facility branding. Mike Hicks is thrilled with the results and excited about the future. He states, “This graphic rebranding has helped set us apart from all the other fitness facilities. The combined efforts of Graphic Innovations, Catalyst and FLEXcon really made the process enjoyable and, most importantly, have really paid off for us.”

Hicks has even been talking about opening additional locations at some point, and of course, each will require specially selected graphics applications to strengthen the Perfectly Fit brand. The rest of the Hicks “brand” team looks forward to working together again, and will be there to help him every step of the way.