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Ask the Expert: Layn Chess

Layn Chess

This month we spoke to Layn Chess, the founder and CEO of Facet Seven about rebranding.

Your business re-branded from Studio Fitness to Facet Seven. What prompted the name change?

LC: We started off with one small, 5,000-square-foot studio, and today we have two 20,000-square-foot facilities. With the objective to scale, we needed a name that was unique and represented not only who we are today, but who we’ll be in 20 years. Our model focuses on distilling the best methods from the industry and packaging them into our programs. Our brand name needed to encompass all things fitness, and Facet Seven is that name. Flexibility, agility, core, endurance, toning and strength (FACET + S) allow us to do that.

What are the biggest challenges of going through a name change?

LC: Keeping your mission in focus. Getting everyone in sync. And maintaining or elevating the culture of the company.

How did you overcome those challenges?

LC: We made sure to establish our mission as a company and repeated that over and over to ourselves, our teammates and our customers. People buy a brand’s mission, not a brand’s name.

We also hold regular meetings with management and with all staff, down to the front desk. These meetings are organized so we can educate the team on all needed things while allowing time for questions at the end. During the brand change, we focused more on hearing about the team’s experience with customers and their questions about the brand change. We spent a majority of the time on Q&A so we were all in sync.

As for culture, we protect this with everything we’ve got. Our culture shows itself through the onboarding process, how we treat our customers, and how we treat our teammates. We saw some cherished teammates who were not in sync with the brand change and became toxic. We had to part ways. Culture is the single most important thing when it comes to success as a company.

What was the member response?

LC: At first there was some confusion as to why we were changing, although after they found out it was the same ownership, there seemed to be support and excitement.

Why is branding so important for a health club business?

LC: Fitness is a religion, and people need a flag to wave when representing their beliefs in the “movement” arena. Your brand as a health club can attract, inspire and retain customers — as long as your service matches your words. 

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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