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Word of Mouth Marketing: How CrossFit Became Famous in the Fitness Industry

What’s the first rule of fight club? You DO NOT talk about fight club. What’s the first rule of CrossFit? Well, just the opposite. We all have that friend who won’t stop talking about it. Starting the next big fitness trend, or any trend, requires word-of-mouth marketing. We trust our friends, and when they’re part of something that excites them we must get in on it too. Word-of-mouth is one of the most effective marketing strategies for drawing customers to your business. Let’s look at CrossFit to get some ideas about how word-of-mouth can benefit your business!


What Is CrossFit and What Is Its Marketing Strategy?

Greg Glassman opened the first CrossFit gym in Santa Cruz in 2000. Glassman was a gymnast in his youth and was discouraged by athletes around him who specialized in one domain but could not compete whatsoever in others. By varying his workouts, he was able to become stronger than his peers. CrossFit was his ultimate creation– a highly intensive and varied workout program involving functional movements. CrossFit gyms now number over 13,000 and counting around the globe.


The Novelty Factor

Your CrossFit-crazed friends always have something new to tell you because at a CrossFit gym they vary the workouts constantly. Your WOD, or Workout of the Day, is brand new each time. It keeps the anticipation and excitement going even for experienced participants. Plus, there’s the competitive element in which you track your score and post it in the gym for everyone to see. Individual WOD sequences are known by names as unassuming as “Fran” or as daunting as “Fight Gone Bad.” The friendly competition within “the box” has exploded onto a huge stage in the form of The CrossFit Games, an olympic-like mega competition to find the fittest person on earth. Talk about good publicity!


Keep It Functional

You won’t find complicated machines in a CrossFit gym. No checking that little diagram stuck to the side of the equipment to see which muscle set you’ll be working. The exercises are based on motions that the human body does in everyday life and routine. Veterans have compared the short, high-intensity bursts to battle. Police officers have compared them to pursuits of criminals. You may not feel inspired to brag to all your friends about the incline setting you dialed into the treadmill today, but CrossFit acolytes always have a story about their WOD.


Peer Pressure

The origin of CrossFit’s group workout model was actually a business decision by Glassman. The demand for his private training in Santa Cruz was getting too high, and he began bundling students into groups to save time. This ultimately led to CrossFit’s camaraderie factor. Glassman noticed that his clients were enjoying their workouts more when they were sweating alongside their peers. It was the group class format that encouraged Glassman’s followers to reach out to their own friends about joining up. Glassman called it a “natural social phenomenon.”


Putting Marketing Into Action

Still, CrossFit has done a great job of tapping into the power of word-of-mouth marketing to grow their brand. Word-of-mouth is so effective because it is organic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t develop it around your own business. Take a lesson from CrossFit and follow these steps.

  • Make your brand unique and distinguishable from its competitors
  • Tap into your customers’ word-of-mouth potential by incorporating a competitive, yet supportive communal environment.
  • Use major events or gatherings based on your product to create buzz and community

Companies like Web Content Development have their finger on the pulse of marketing in the modern world. Whether it’s word-of-mouth and customer satisfaction or growing your online presence, let us help you develop your brand through an effective marketing strategy!

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About the Author

Erica D’Arcangelo – De Silva

Erica D’Arcangelo – De Silva has worked in the Internet marketing industry for the last 20-years. Erica is the top-secret SEO weapon to marketing and advertising agencies in the world. She has generated over 300+ million in revenue for high-value brands such as Walmart, Pottery Barn, iRobot, Cutting Edge Firewood, Kelley Blue Book, and many more. Erica has custom-created more than 1,000 content, SEO, and marketing strategies which held the key to doubling and tripling online traffic, and marketing ROI. She has also authored a series of online publications including The Digital Branding Survival Guide, Million Dollar Marketing, 5 Steps to Increase Web Traffic by Blogging, and Repairing Your Online Reputation.