You’d think a fitness clothing brand would profit more when folks are actually going to the gym. But when COVID-19 swept the world, Gymshark, a United Kingdom-based brand, was on the social media front lines, encouraging its followers to stay safe by staying home.
On March 27, Gymshark changed its various social media handles to “Homeshark.” The change came with an explaining tweet: “We changed our name to Homeshark, ‘cause some of you needed reminding to stay home.”
On Instagram, a screenshot of the tweet was shared to the brand’s account with the caption, “This ain’t no joke. Stay safe, Gymshark fam.”
It was a bold move. But Gymshark has always been extremely social media savvy.
Founded in 2012, Gymshark generated $128 million in annual sales in just six years, making it one of the fastest-growing companies in the world. Gymshark achieved its staggering success by pairing stylish, quality workout clothing with a clever marketing strategy that utilizes social media influencers. Gymshark currently has over 5 million followers on Instagram, 289,000 followers on Twitter, and 1.7 million followers on Facebook.
Any company could have changed its social media handle during the pandemic, though. What makes Gymshark’s strategy remarkable is that it didn’t just “tweet the tweet” by using social media to remind followers to stay home.
The clothing brand made it easier for its fitness-enthusiast followers to stay home while staying fit by posting free home-workout videos online. Gymshark also helped combat the COVID-19 virus.
For every post-workout photo posted on social media with #NHSSweatySelfie, Gymshark donated £5 to United Kingdom’s National Health Service, with a goal to donate £175,000.
Changing their name to Homeshark might not have convinced all of Gymshark’s followers to stay home during the pandemic, but it highlighted the brand’s commitment to health and safety.
The social media strategy cemented Gymshark’s status not only as a fashionable clothing brand but also as a company that genuinely cares about the health of its customers. That’s the kind of goodwill that lasts for years to come.