Jazzercise, the king of 1980s aerobics, has introduced a new logo to shake the leotard look. It’s part of a new Jazzercise brand identity that’s meant to be “edgy, intense, hard-hitting and modern” in what’s no doubt a response to the meteoric rise of Zumba and CrossFit help fuel growth and protect marketshare.
“Some people still think legwarmers and leotards when they hear Jazzercise, but we left the ’80s behind a long time ago,” said Judi Sheppard Missett, Jazzercise Founder and CEO, in a press statement.
While the old Jazzercise logo was a curtly playful embodiment of the word “jazz,” the new logo is a bold, forward-leaning sprint toward fitness. As Brand New so perfectly put it: “the old logo was all jazz and no exercise, and the new logo is no jazz and all exercise.” The early brand materials also include slogans like “Killer beats, hot moves” and greased up women showing off sexy six packs while striking a pose. Contrast those images to this gem:
No doubt, Jazzercise is feeling the heat from competitors fueled by both strong brands and enticing business plans. Hundreds of Jazzercise locations have closed down in the past two years, the brand has a more than 40-year-old legacy holding it back from looking hip, and it has a costly four- to five-figure franchise startup fee. Its most direct competitor, Zumba, allows anyone to open a studio and charge whatever they want for classes after investing a mere $250 to be licensed. Couple that with Zumba’s exuberantly sexy branding–full of neon and bare midriffs–pushed forward by a $63 million advertising budget in 2013, and it’s no surprise that, while Jazzercise is still a sizable U.S. fitness franchise with 8,300 franchisees teaching 32,000 classes per week in 32 countries around the world, Zumba has become a global tour de force, with 14 million participants every week in 140,000 locations across the world as of late 2012. (For this, our sister publication Inc. named Zumba Fitness Company of the Year.)
Jazzercise’s new branding has a serious fitness look–like something you’d see on a CrossFit club or a piece of fitness equipment (really, just Google “fitness equipment logo” and you’ll see that same bold italic look repeated again and again). In this sense, the Jazzercise logo is remarkably generic, but also strongly differentiated from its chief competitor, whose logo has more of a fun, whimsical vibe. It implies that Jazzercise is real exercise, and Zumba is just a good time.
[via Under Consideration]