Considering that active wear is a major trend right now, it may be as good a time as any to dip your toes into selling branded retail at your gym or studio.
Selling branded fitness apparel and merchandise like tanks, hoodies, totes, or water bottles can be a double investment because you add another stream of revenue while boosting marketing efforts organically as clients promote your brand by wearing and using your retail.
We touched base with Danielle Bigby of Green Monkey Yoga in Miami to get some insider tips on why they decided to carry branded retail and what has made it successful.
Build on a Sense of Community
Offering branded retail can build on a growing sense of community at a small studio or gym. When clients are out and about with your branded retail, there is still a connection to the studio, and spotting others sporting the logo can be a way to boost that connection.
According to Bigby this was an important factor for launching their line: “The greenmonkey community is always supportive. They are tight-knit and proud to rock the studio when they’re traveling in other cities or just going for coffee on a Tuesday. So it’s a must to have branded retail.”
Talking to your clients about what styles or merchandise they would like to see at the studio or even offering a few free samples can be a good way to gauge their interest and to show them that their input counts.
Also be sure to speak with your staff to learn what items and styles they think would do well and what retail they would like to use on and off the job!
Keep it Simple
When it comes to taking the next step in a branded retail launch—choosing what items to carry and how the logo and design should look—Bigby suggests keeping it simple. “There are always a few challenges when choosing new styles and graphics for our branded wear. Keeping it simple is best.”
Green Monkey typically carries about three to four styles of women’s branded wear, mixing camisoles with unique cuts and leggings of different lengths while playing with unique logo placement. For menswear they aim for two to three styles of tees or a unisex hoodie with quality materials and light branding.
Play around with designs that you think will best communicate your brand’s spirit, which is likely what your clients are drawn to in the first place! You might do this yourself if you’re creative, or you might work with a graphic designer.
Decide on a few items to start with that you think your clients will use: if you have a yoga studio in a warm climate, colorful camis and cropped leggings make sense, but if you have a cycling studio in Boston, carrying sweats and water bottles may be the way to go. bobble* offers the ability to customize water bottles with your studio’s branding. Learn more here.
If your clients like the look and find the items to be useful, they will be sold!
Going Wholesale or Small Batch
Once you decide to go ahead with branded retail, create a design, and figure out what items to sell, the next step is to determine whether to go wholesale or to opt for buying in small batches.
On this point Bigby explained that at Green Monkey, “Buying in big batches for us isn’t where it’s at. I want to be hot on the trends and make sure we have the latest. It is not any fun trying to push our branded wear that’s been sitting on the shelf for 6 months, so we try to print just right for every season.”
If you have a smaller client base that may be into dressing according to trends, or if there are marked seasons, keep this in mind when choosing between wholesale or small-batch. While it may seem cost effective to buy in bulk, if the merchandise sits on shelves for months, it will lose its value.
Have Fun with It
The biggest key to success when launching a branded retail line?
“Have fun.” Bigby said, “Play with fonts and graphics. It doesn’t have to be just your logo. This year we are expanding into a creative, hip, culture-inspired line called ‘live your practice.’ It has fun slogans that our community can relate to, and we can place our brand discretely on the garment.”
Have fun with the process of designing and selling your branded retail—your clients will take notice!
*ClassPass Partners: Access exclusive bobble perks via the ProPerks page in the Partner Dashboard!