Freeletics – a promise of “building the greatest self”

26 April 2017

In our Brand Profile Series, we take a closer look at surging brands across the world. For this fifth article of the series, we invite you to the world of online fitness – here is Freeletics!

Artificial intelligence to the rescue

We all have that friend who really, really wants to work out, but really, really hates going to the gym. Good news, more and more fitness apps are now available to help you stay fit wherever you want – and amongst them is Freeletics. Founded in 2013, this artificial intelligence coach offers tailored training programs to help you reach your fitness goals. No need to use machines or extra weights, it’s all about bodyweight training. And it seems to be just what was needed: more than 15 million people have already been seduced.


You have no excuse

“Get in the shape of your life”, “become your greatest self”: Freeletics’ reason of being and key brand promises are pretty straightforward. Aimed at an urban and busy clientele, the brand’s main narrative is focused on rapid physical transformations rather than on a long-term general wellbeing.  Unlike other more traditional fitness apps, their positioning is extremely result and appearance oriented – their coaching is straightforward, their nutrition tips are supposed to help you get ripped. The true message behind all this? Freeletics will do what other fitness gyms or apps could have failed: give you the body you have always wanted. But it will come at a price, and this price is hard work from the client’s side. #nopainnogain.

A world of bare essentials

Freeletics’ visuals are dark, rough and urban. The idea is not to depict people working out in their city’s most wanted rooftop gyms, but rather in empty industrial estates or in their own back alley. This new take on crossfit imagery enhances the toughness of effort required, as well as the brand’s unwillingness to waste time making the experience unnecessarily comfortable for their clients. Even the clothes you can browse in their online shop are all in plain colours like black, grey, khaki or white – military and minimalistic outfits that will allow you to get your workout done without any unwanted touch of glamour thrown into the mix. It is an interesting contrast to note with the usual peach, pink and turquoise leggings or bralettes you can find in Nikes or Adidas’ collections, for instance.


Power to the user

Aside from the online shop, which is a great way to engage with their crowd and with a potential wider one, Freeletics is very keen on sharing before and after videos: their community’s “free athletes” (as they are called) film themselves during the whole process of getting into shape and send it to Freeletics as a “success story”. The brand displays those videos on their frontpage, as well as in notifications sent to the user when they are logged in their personal account. It allows the users’ community to be very involved in the brand’s actions and to support each other, which is especially clever for people who constantly work out alone.
There is also a “community feed” when you are logged in – it looks like an instagram feed, filled with motivational quotes, hashtags, portraits of coaches or athletes to follow and get inspired from. Freeletics’ brand engagement is hence very present and their proximity to their clients allows them to constantly be aware of their needs, they say it so themselves on their website: “learning from millions, adapting to you”.

How to secure a place?

If the goal is to get fit, and you do train as you are told, and you do reach your goals in a couple of weeks or months, do you continue using your fitness app? Or has it now become obsolete? For a brand that is extremely focused on results, it can be difficult to trigger long-term loyalty from people whose first interest was just to get in shape. One way to do so could be to extend a brand: with the addition of a whole service dedicated to nutrition, an online shop, a running app and a very performant social media platform, it seems like Freeletics is aware of its limited longevity and has already taken action. Could the next step be the launch of a Freeletics fitness gym or a running group? We cannot help but think of Under Armour, which started as an underground MMA brand and which is now in the closet of every athlete – even very occasional ones.

We are always looking for new, fresh brands to make appearance in our articles. Would you like a certain brand to get featured? Get in touch.

Image credit: © Freeletics

Brand Storytelling, Technology