ClassPass, is that you?
The fitness class subscription service, which first debuted in 2013, is unveiling a brand new look today, complete with new typefaces, a new logo and a recommitted brand ethos.
Greg Hathaway, ClassPass creative director, spearheaded this transformation and has been working on it ever since he joined the company just over a year ago. The goal of this revamp is to bring in the next phase of ClassPass, one where they expand their customer base and tap into new markets. Hathaway said that in the past, the brand was lucky enough to be carried by organic growth, particularly in the coastal city market. (Despite some user backlash along the way, thanks to a substantial price hike in 2016.) Now, they’re hoping to expand beyond their initial dedicated following.
“We had this historic growth and explosive, viral appeal that was really word-of-mouth driven,” said Hathaway. “But in terms of entering new markets or appealing to people we hadn’t already appealed to or taking a lot of the passion our customers have and expressing that in the brand, we hadn’t really done it.”
The challenge, Hathaway said, was to “tell a new market, who has no idea who we are, who we are at ClassPass in a really interesting way that breaks through.”
ClassPass’ in-house team was responsible in large part for the rebranding, though they collaborated with Creech branding studio, who helped them get “going on brand strategy and the initial voice.” They also worked with Triboro, a design studio based in Brooklyn, on the logo and typeface. Hathaway said they went for a “softer” logo (ultimately created internally), with a “cranked up, sporty” typeface. The branding is simple but in bold colors and thick, eye-catching type.
“Between the two, we feel like it really has the balance of ClassPass,” Hathaway said.
Much of the visual elements of the rebrand revolve around illustration, which Hathaway says offers a bit more room for expression than photos. “It knocks down a lot of walls,” he said. “Photography has a history of feeling more like an ad. Illustration can really break through and express the fun you can have on the platform without being cheesy.”
Another priority was establishing ClassPass’ brand tenants and manifesto in the rebrand, something it hadn’t yet conquered. Hathaway said that desire really came from within the company. “Internally, there was a ton of hunger to express ourselves, and to be a product not only helps you book a workout, but motivates you to go work out, and celebrates you,” he said. “There was a lot of internal energy that pushed it.”
That ethos is all about carving your own path when it comes to fitness, which is fitting, as a video launching ClassPass’ rebrand encourages viewers to “find your thing.” Taglines like this one are internal manifestos that ClassPass is now trying out in their marketing materials, thanks to the relaunch. The goal, Hathaway said, is to “see if they resonate with other people as much as they do with us.” The other hope, of course, is that it’ll push people to do just that—with a ClassPass subscription. “It’s a suggestion and invitation,” he said.
Hathaway added that this encouragement of flexibility and individuality in an exercise routine fits the brand’s latest innovations, too, like ClassPass Live, which allows you to take workout classes via video at home.
“We’re trying to get you to design a workout into your life, we’re not telling you that you need to,” said Hathaway. “It’s about experimentation, encouraging people to find new things on the platform, ultimately finding what fits for them.”
For ClassPass itself, the rebrand is about experimentation, too. Hathaway said that the team hopes to further expand into new territory: more events, more use of video, working more closely with studio partners, bigger campaigns and more.
“This whole effort, as much work as it was, has provided us with a real framework on which to build new stuff,” he said. “How do we experiment more with video? What do events look like for us going forward? We’re revving the engine a bit with all the new work, and it’s setting us up to express ourselves more often and in bigger ways.”