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Brandwave’s Strategic Planning Director, Jessica takes a moment to consider some of the reasons why Joe Wicks AKA The Body Coach has been so successful in becoming a top social fitness influencer.

Like him or loath him, I think Joe Wicks is an amazing being. It still strikes me how humble he still is after the level of success that he’s achieved over the past few years.

Watching his recent address at St Mary’s University really hammered this home for me. It inspired me to consider more about what has made Joe and The Body Coach brand such a success. From a sports marketing perspective, I wanted to unbundle some of the many reasons he’s killing it. We think there is insight here for brands from inside and outside of the fitness sector to take note of. Love them or hate them, social influencers are often able to lead in a more dynamic way than brands are able to.

So, what is it that makes Joe Wicks and The Body Coach business stand out from the crowd?

1. A Premium Experience for the Many
Let’s be honest, no one has any time anymore. Although I’d love to I can’t afford nor do I have time to have a Personal Trainer coach me 5 times a week. For me, watching short videos in my living room is really convenient. Everyone has time to train for 20 minutes a day. Joe has created a very accessible product.

Many of us like to feel that we’re having a personal or premium experience when we’re training. What makes this product different for me, is that as a consumer I’m getting a Personal Training session for free. This is a premium experience that I’d normally have to pay for at the gym. That’s partly Joe’s personality coming across in his content but it’s also to do with the way the videos are filmed as if he’s in your gym/ living room with you. What’s clever about this is I’m more likely to spend money on his books or his SSS plan as I’m already hooked on his free workouts.

2. Do one thing and do it well
Many brands are trying to be a master of many things and expert in none. That’s not the case for The Body Coach. He focusses on 3 things and does them all really well: nutrition, fitness and body transformations. We see daily recipes and collaborations with great cooks; workouts and world record attempts with other Influencers; and the impact The Body Coach has had on many people all over the world. As a consumer you know exactly what you’re getting and the content that is delivered is inspiring and motivating.

3. People buy with their Heart over their Head
So often undervalued by gyms, Instructors are a key motivational asset in the fitness world. Instructors are more often that not the reason that members stay or leave a gym. Great instructors are masters of motivation. I’m lucky enough to spend a bit of time in a professional capacity with Instructors and they really are amazing at keeping you motivated and inspired.

Joe’s content is no exception. Motivation is a powerful thing. Something that we shout about again and again in the Brandwave office is that consumers buy for emotional reasons rather than for rational reasons. Sharing real, emotional stories where people have overcome adversity and changed their lives through a product is a powerful selling tool. Providing content that keeps us motivated every day also gives us a reason to keep coming back for more.

4. Simplify your Message
I’m a scientist by background so in theory diet and nutrition should come easier to me. It really doesn’t and I think most consumers feel the same. We’re fed conflicting information day in day out on the news, through social media and even in certain academic papers. Diet and losing weight is hard work and its very easy to fall off the wagon or think you’re doing the right thing and be misinformed. Joe has managed to simplify nutritional planning into something which for most of us is very complex. As a consumer if I understand something I’m more likely to buy into it. If on top of that you can also show how it makes a difference you’re really onto a winner.

5. Collaboration – Find the right partners for your brand
Here at Brandwave we’re big fans of collaboration, it’s something we foster within sports marketing. We’re often advising brands that it’s an easy way to work together to open up a new market, solve a problem, do something for the greater good or access a bigger target audience.

As his brand has grown this is something we’ve seen Joe do more and more of and it’s working really well. Choosing credible partners from a variety of different sectors (e.g. Jamie Oliver in food, or Mo Farah in sport) has meant that Joe has opened up interactions and built credibility with a variety of different audience groups through these collaborations. Its also inspiring to see him working other social influencers like Mr PMA who are on the up and up. He’s collaborating to support another brand, technically a potential ‘competitor’ but actually in doing so just trying to get more people inspired by fitness and nutrition. From our perspective collaboration with the right partners is truly only a good thing for a brand.

6. Be Real (and be a Bloody Lovely Bloke)
Do what you love day in day out and it really does shine through. If someone is passionate about something it’s infectious. For me personally, that’s what I love the most about Joe and The Body Coach brand. When he’s training he’s going through it with me, when he’s cooking he doesn’t have a lot of time, just like me, and when he has a bad day with food he tries to keep motivated and not fall fully off the wagon, just like me. There’s no bullshit its real and I’ve fully bought into this brand, I’ve (without realising) become a massive brand fan. The more you can tell the world more about your brand ethos (in Joe’s case inspiring a new generation to get healthy and active) the more likely a consumer will turn from a consumer into a brand fan and start spreading your love. Despite his monumental success Joe still seems like a really great human that wants to help people. I love that.

If I ever meet Joe – I’d love the opportunity to shake his hand and say well done. Bloody great job.  You smashed it and inspired a generation to get fit. #leanwinner

Jessica Rouse