Brand Story Canvas: Freeletics

28 February 2019

We analyse fitness app Freeletics using our Brand Story Canvas, breaking down the success of their branding step by step.

A great brand story can make a company – but how does a company make a great brand story?

We at Creative Supply developed a tool to do exactly that: The Brand Story Canvas. In our new series we look at specific brands and walk you through how their narratives fit into its seven components – Context, Trigger, Hero, Ideal, Plot, Themes, and Resources.

Founded as a bootstrapped German startup in 2013, Freeletics is a fitness app offering personalised workout plans to help customers reach their fitness goals – gym and equipment free. Now with four apps, twenty-nine million users, a clothing line, Freeletics is one of the fastest growing sport and lifestyle brands in the world.

1) Context

Lack of motivation and discipline to do sports.

The first component of the Brand Story Canvas, Context, is generally an external force or issue which lays the ground and out of which everything else grows. In this case, an epidemic in the world of fitness. It is from a desire to help cure this epidemic that Freeletics was founded.

To address the poor state of adult fitness, one could focus on any number of contributing factors. Yet Freeletics focus specifically on a lack of motivation and discipline. Why? First of all, it resonates strongly with young, urban people who have lost their connection to sport and fitness. Secondly, while a brand story must be organic, it must also be crafted with precision to best serve the overall story.

2) Trigger

“No excuse not to be fit.”

And like the first seed to sprout from the well-tended ground comes the Trigger. Growing naturally out of the context, the Trigger is the idea, the moment of realisation, that brings the brand story to life.

“No excuse not to be fit” is not a remedy to the epidemic lack of motivation and discipline to do sports but it is a general concept that ignites the narrative, sets the ball rolling, and from which a fully rounded brand can develop.

3) Hero

Disciplined. Bossy. Humorous.

To address the Hero component let’s look back at the Trigger: “No excuse not to be fit.” The wording is neither polite nor forgiving, nor scared to hurt feelings – but direct and to the point. It is the voice and personification of the brand itself: a strict but motivating personal trainer.

Sprinklings of humour and irony keep people engaged, but also allows Freeletics to push hard. An urban and busy clientele have no time for time-wasting comforts, so Freeletics gives them a glamourless, #nopainsnogains, results-driven product. And the tone of the brand, the Hero, reflects this with aplomb.

4) Ideal

Help people become the best version of themselves.

With the Ideal we come to the very core of the brand. The raison d’etre. All other brand story components feed into it, and are in turn fed by it.

The real beauty of this particular ideal is that it contains an ideal for both the brand and consumer; to help people become, and to become, one’s best self. Neither can ever be achieved fully, for human nature intrinsically contains room for improvement, but with striving towards it comes constant progress. Thus this ideal is inspirational, aspirational and timeless, while creating a bond between brand and consumer.

5) Plot

Equipmentless workout. Tailored program. Social competition.

If the ideal is the ultimate goal, the Plot is the actions taken to reach it. The first step for Freeletics was to create an intuitive, tailored program that takes all the planning and thinking out of getting fit. A program that takes all the equipment and gym-embarrassment out of getting fit. Essentially, taking away any excuse not to get fit. (Note how it interweaves with the Trigger).

Step two is to keep people motivated. To do this Freeletics has built a competitive aspect into the app which, along with before and after shots, can be shared to the strong online community of “free athletes” – who effectively motivate one another.

6) Themes

Personal strength. New Routine. Determination.

The Themes are the ideas you want the public to think of when they think of your brand. Freeletics is fantastic at using its distinctive Hero voice to achieve this. It personifies personal strength and determination, new routines and new beginnings. The bold imagery used in their branding and advertising – think epic pics of people working out in abandoned warehouses, think bold fonts and empowering straplines – bolsters this effect and burns it into the minds of the public. And, of course, these themes are always relevant to the ever central Ideal.

7) Resources

App. Workouts developed by sport scientists and athletes. Online community.

These resources are all things owned by Freeletics that further the ideal of helping people become the best version of themselves. The app, with its industry-leading AI, via the Plot of taking the planning out of exercise, helps get people engaged in the Ideal. The workouts being developed by sport scientists and athletes makes that engagement more effective. It also adds prestige and weight to the brand. And the online community provides motivation and promotes continued engagement, which in turn promotes continued progress towards the Ideal – both for the brand and the ripped, healthy consumer.

Photo credit: © Freeletics official

Brand Leadership, Brand Storytelling, Technology