Sparxoo founder, David Capece’s take on Pilates start-up client, Fuse Pilates.
1) When and why did Fuse Pilates first start working with Sparxoo?
Fuse Pilates hired Sparxoo shortly after they launched their first pilates studio in Washington, DC in the summer of 2011. Their goal was to build a presence as a premiere pilates studio in Washington DC in the short-run, and as a lifestyle brand for the long-run.
2) What were your initial reactions to the brand and their current outreach efforts?
Upon kickoff with Fuse Pilates, we were immediately impressed by the passion and expertise of the founders: Mariska Breland and Roxanna Hakimi. They shared their vision of building much more than a studio. They had ambitions to build Fuse Pilates into a lifestyle brand and a community. They had a desire to build Fuse Pilates into a differentiated brand with a cutting edge personality.
3) What are some of the challenges that Fuse Pilates faces in getting their message heard?
As with any startup, there is so much to do and limited budget. Like most startups, the advertising budget was limited, so the focus at Fuse Pilates was primarily on building a digital footprint, winning at earned media and encouraging word of mouth. In terms of economics, it would be financially beneficial to apply marketing across multiple locations; however, at startup, Fuse Pilates had just their initial location.
4) What are some of the lessons that other brands can take away from how Sparxoo and Fuse Pilates have worked to overcome these challenges?
Over time, Fuse Pilates has built a loyal and engaged following through high customer satisfaction and by creating an experience. Other startups must recognize that it takes significant marketing resources and time to build customer relationships and create buzz. For example, our pr initiative took several months to gain traction. Since then, Fuse Pilates has been featured in a number of publications including Pilates Style, the Washingtonian, Washington Post, and DC Metro Mom. Likewise, Fuse Pilates is now optimized on several key words which took months to achieve. It is important to prioritize marketing initiatives ahead of time and account for the time and effort that is necessary to achieve the desired goals.
5) Fuse uses a fun and very distinct brand ‘voice’ in their social platforms (especially Facebook), how has that helped defined them?
At Sparxoo, we believe it is critical to present brands in a creative way that breaks through the clutter. From our perspective, Fuse Pilates has done a great job at breaking through the clutter. In particular, their photos are unique and different. They convey the hard core message in a way that connects with their target audience. Likewise, Fuse Pilates brings its attitude and inspiration to Facebook with light hearted humor that is surprisingly edgy yet sophisticated.
6) How does Fuse Pilates ‘connect’ with their target demographic?
Fuse Pilates uses every touch point to effectively communicate with their target audience. On digital, Fuse Pilates makes a great first impression through its web site and continues to impress through its newsletter, facebook, social marketing, and even its mobile app. In person, Fuse Pilates has great signage, collateral, and art work throughout its studio. Finally, the Fuse Pilates team and instructors bring the brand to life.
7) What has been the number one most significant factor that has improved and increased their reach since Sparxoo started working with them?
Fuse Pilates has tremendous customer satisfaction. As branding and marketing experts, we always say that you need to have a great product to be successful in the long-run. Fuse Pilates really does have a great product and they care deeply about being the best. They are also able to reach their target audience through a variety of channels, even posting workout videos digitally.
Closing Notes: One thing that’s very important is remaining relevant and fresh with Fuse’s demographic. Check out this New Year’s infographic we recently created for them.