A new breed of gym is set to disrupt the fitness market – and has a Swindon-based designer to thank for its branding and its success in attracting investors.
Solo60, which opened its first gym in October, is a unique concept, allowing one person to book out the entire gym at a time, for one hour.
And the branding for this business – now valued at £3 million - was created by Danny Matthews, founder of branding, design and content studio Danny&co. based near Swindon.
“Solo60 is such an exciting and totally new concept for the fitness industry, and it was such fun to work on this,” said Danny. “It’s fantastic to see this business doing so well, and to have played a part in its success. Being valued at £1million before getting your first customer is a big deal for a brand new business.”
Danny was approached by Solo60 founder Ben Alderton, after he spotted Danny’s work on social media. Ben had raised an initial sum from two angel investors and used this to kickstart the project.
“I raised that first amount by putting a quick PowerPoint together and talking to investors, but we really needed a solid brand identity,” said Ben. “I had approached other people too, but Danny and I really hit it off. I knew he was the person I wanted to take the brand – essentially my baby – and to build that up for me.
“I gave him a brief of our type of target market, the concept of the gyms and our plans, and that helped him form the basis of what look and feel we needed.”
When Ben took the brand out to investors it helped secure the necessary funding for the first gym, located in London. A second is due to open in the capital in the spring. Each gym is based in former retail or office space, and users can book their solo hour via an app.
Thanks in no small part to the branding, Ben was able to attract around £100,000 investment to acquire his first site.
He said: “The branding made it really exciting for investors to get involved. It even helped with my own understanding of the business and to be more confident in it.”
Now Solo60 is looking to raise another major round of investment to open additional gyms. Ben aims to open 20 during 2021, across different sites in London, then hopes to spread out to other UK cities, and eventually into Europe, the US and Asian markets.
Danny said: “We often underestimate the true return on really good branding. But whether the goal is to raise capital, get more customers or increase your company’s value these are all just natural byproducts of brand confidence.”