BrandCulture: The Recipe for Success for Boutique Fitness

Amy Hochhauser

Co-Founder and CEO of JoyRide Cycling + Fitness

BrandCulture (not a typo, think MindBody), is your company’s unique DNA. It’s a living, breathing manifestation of your organization’s purpose and core values. In today’s overexposed society, it’s no longer sufficient to just create an external image as a way to influence prospects and clients. Today’s consumers are savvy, and they will see right through this. You can’t TELL your customers what you are all about. You must SHOW them, by authentically living your BrandCulture. In other words, your insides must match your outsides.

That sounds great, right? Be authentic. No problem! Well…it’s not that simple. Living your BrandCulture may seem easy when you have one studio led by the company’s founders, but as your brand grows and each new studio is further removed from the origin, it becomes more and more challenging to preserve.  

The following are 3 key steps you can take to successfully maintain your BrandCulture:

1. Clearly define your purpose, aka, your “why” beyond profit

There are a variety of techniques that companies use to define their purpose. One easy method is to send out a survey to your existing employees and ask them to choose three key adjectives that best describe your company and why. You’ll find a lot of common themes that will help you define your companies larger purpose beyond generating profit.

2. Establish core values to help you achieve your purpose

Core values are behavioral cues and guardrails that help your employees achieve the company’s larger purpose. These values should be a part of every decision and interaction between your employees, customers, vendors, and investors. Each major decision should be analyzed through the lens of these values. This will help your team achieve the company’s brand purpose.

3. Systematize your BrandCulture education

When you have a single studio, BrandCulture education happens naturally. As you grow and add new locations, it becomes more and more challenging to transfer your culture to new employees and team members. That’s why it’s essential to systematize this process to ensure that each employee understands and is aligned with your company’s BrandCulture. This education should start as early as possible, ideally at the recruitment and on-boarding phase, and carry over through training, reviews, and rewards.

“Maintaining a BrandCulture is not easy, it requires dedication and consistent effort. When done well, however, the results are a happier team and a more successful and profitable company.”

When JoyRide Cycling + Fitness opened in 2010, the boutique fitness industry was in its infancy. In fact, JoyRide was the first boutique cycling studio in the state of Connecticut. Fast forward to 2019, there are now 10 national studio brands within one-square mile of our Westport flagship studio, all with substantial resources and large marketing teams. Yet, despite the incredible influx in competition, JoyRide continues to thrive.

At JoyRide we devote time and resources to our BrandCulture indoctrination. We’ve found that a key to surviving the influx of boutique studio competition is to make sure that each and every one of your employees understand your company’s WHY. We use a host of methods to accomplish this, touching everything from hiring and recruitment to training and rewards.

Bottom line — branding is no longer “fluff” for the marketing team. It’s mission critical and should govern every interaction and communication both internally with your employees and investors, and externally with your customers and vendors. It’s an investment worth making; a competitor may offer the same fitness modalities you do, but they cannot copy the unique how and why that is YOUR BrandCulture.

To learn more about JoyRide Cycling + Fitness, visit:

Learn more about Amy

Join us at the Boutique Fitness Summit in DC on August 1st. Click here to register. 

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