Franchising that Fits
KOKO FITCLUB ANNOUNCES “15 MINUTES TO FIGHT CANCER” CHALLENGE
KOKO FITCLUB ANNOUNCES “15 MINUTES TO FIGHT CANCER” CHALLENGE
Health and fitness company pledges up to $20,000 to American Cancer Society Relay For Life®
(BOSTON) April 16, 2013 – Koko FitClub, the state-of-the-art workout centers with the patented Smartraining automated personal training system, launches its second annual “Koko 5 Million Point Challenge” campaign in support of the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life®.
For 24 hours, from 8 a.m. Saturday, May 4, to 8 a.m. Sunday, May 5, Koko FitClub members, employees and neighbors are invited to participate in one or more 15-minute cardio sessions at their local club. Each 15-minute session earns 500 Koko points that will be tallied across all 120 Koko FitClub locations throughout the nation. If the 5 million point goal is reached, Koko will donate $20,000 to the ACS in celebration of its 100th birthday on May 22.
“Members of the community and Koko FitClub can make a real difference in the fight against cancer by dedicating just 15 minutes of time to a great cardio workout,” said Koko FitClub President and Co-Founder Mary Obana. “We hope it will also inspire 10,000 workouts and encourage people to take charge of their own health and become more active with Koko’s personalized exercise and nutrition system.”
Koko FitClub will reward any non-member who volunteers 15 minutes to the 5 Million Point Challenge with a free 15-day membership.
“Each year, more than 4 million people in 20 countries take part in Relay For Life© events to raise much-needed funds and awareness to save lives from cancer,” said ACS Director, Distinguished Giving Cara Bauer. “Koko FitClub has come up with a unique event in support of Relay For Life®, and we appreciate the help of the clubs, the members and the local communities that participate.”
Last year, Koko FitClub donated $6,000 to the ACS and saw a 77 percent increase in cardio workouts for the 5 Million Point Challenge weekend over previous weekends.
For more information about Koko FitClub and the 5 Million Point Challenge, go to www.kokofitclub.com.
About Koko FitClub
Koko FitClub first opened in Boston in 2008 as an efficient, lean-muscle-building alternative to traditional gyms and today has more than 120 company-owned and franchise FitClubs in 30 states. Its name, Koko, inspired by the Japanese word for individual, refers to Koko FitClub’s fully customized fitness and nutrition programs that make up the patented Koko Smartraining System. The Smartraining System is automated personal strength and cardio training, offering the benefits of a 90-minute workout in just 30 minutes, combined with Koko Fuel, the program’s integrated nutritional component. In 2012, the company received a Franchise Business Review Franchisee Satisfaction Award and this year was named to the 2013 Entrepreneur Magazine Franchise 500. For more information, go to www.kokofitclub.com, www.youtube.com/user/KokoFitClubChannel or www.facebook.com/KokoFitClub.
Koko FitClub Fitness Franchise Introduces Koko Fuel Custom Nutrition
Personalized, results-driven nutritional guidance program is part of patented, high-tech fitness system
(BOSTON) Jan. 31, 2013 – On Feb. 4, Koko FitClub, the state-of-the-art workout centers with the patented Smartraining automated personal training system, launches Koko Fuel, an integrated nutrition program that builds individually customized, nutritionist-recommended, online meal plans for members at all its 120 locations nationwide.
Koko Fuel is the third element of the Koko Smartraining system that includes strength and cardio regimens designed for each member’s unique goals and fitness level. The visionary Koko FitClub workout centers are known for their commitment to helping members build healthy lifestyles upon a foundation of lean muscle with highly efficient, personalized fitness regimens that offer the benefits of a 90-minute workout in just 30 minutes.
Koko Fuel was developed by a team led by top nutritionist Debra Wein, MS, RD, LDN, CWPD. The program is not a diet, but rather provides research-based nutritional guidance and online meal plans to burn fat, build lean muscle and "Fuel" each member’s personal Smartraining workouts.
“Koko Fuel completes the Koko Smartraining experience with a sound, evidence-based nutrition program designed to help members build and preserve their body’s foundation of precious lean muscle,” said Koko FitClub President and co-founder Mary Obana. “We founded this company on the belief that through technology, we can help change lives with a simpler, faster, more effective path to fitness, and Koko Fuel is the next step in doing that.”
To get started with Koko Fuel, Koko FitClub members will consult with their club’s FitCoach, who will help select a fitness goal and intensity level. The member’s profile is then loaded onto a key that contains the member’s individual workout data that integrates with the Koko Fuel plan and is tracked on the member’s personal online portal at www.mykokofitclub.com.
“It’s no secret that being fit and healthy requires a combination of healthy eating and exercise, but no one has ever integrated the two like Koko FitClub does,” said Koko FitClub Chief Fitness Officer Michael Wood, CSCS. “No one else in the world can offer this holistic, simple path to success in a customized, automated fitness system like we do.”
About Koko FitClub
The first Koko FitClub opened in Boston in 2008 as an efficient, lean-muscle-building alternative to traditional gyms, and today has more than 120 company-owned and franchise FitClubs in 30 states. Its name, Koko, inspired by the Japanese word for individual, refers to Koko FitClub’s fully customized fitness and nutrition programs that make up the patented Koko Smartraining System. The Smartraining System is automated personal strength and cardio training, offering the benefits of a 90-minute workout in just 30 minutes, combined with Koko Fuel, the program’s integrated nutritional component. In 2012, the company received a Franchise Business Review Franchisee Satisfaction Award and this year was named to the 2013 Entrepreneur Magazine Franchise 500. For more information, go to www.kokofitclub.com, www.youtube.com/user/KokoFitClubChannel or www.facebook.com/KokoFitClub.
Customers.com & The Patricia Seybold Group Recognizes Koko FitClub for Customer-Led Innovation
Thought you might appreciate a little insight into what makes us tick here at Koko FitClub. We pride ourselves in being in tune with our customer. In fact, the entire genesis of this business came from the recognition of a huge, underserved need out there in the market: Millions of people with the desire to get in shape but struggling to find a way to get it done that is sustainable within their lives. Everything we have done, and continue to do at Koko FitClub, is in service to that need - that customer. Our members feel like Koko was made for them because Koko was made for them - and continues to evolve as their needs do.
We have been recognized for this single-minded focus on our customer by one of the most respected experts on customer-led innovation, Patricia Seybold, founder and CEO of the Patricia Seybold Group. In 2006, our young company, Koko Fitness, was a case study in her New York Times bestselling book, Outside Innovation. She has returned again to Koko in recent research, "As we work with clients today on developing a culture of CX [customer experience] and UX [user experience] best practices, we point back at how simply and elegantly Koko founders Mary Obana and Mike Lannon followed these practices before they were “hot.” Mary and Mike knew, deep down in their souls, that the key to designing a successful business was to truly understand what their customers wanted to achieve and how they, ideally, would like to achieve it."
Koko was also the focus of the Seybold Group's Total CX Blog last week for not only listening to customers in our product design, but also listening to them "regarding the environment in which they wanted to use the product." This attention to customer need led Koko to pivot our business model in 2008 from selling Koko Smartrainers to traditional health clubs- an environment our customers told us very clearly that they loathed- to creating, and ultimately franchising, Koko FitClubs. Koko FitClubs are, by design, exactly the kind of place our customers feel good in while using the Koko Smartraining System designed just for them.
If you'd like a glimpse at Koko FitClub's roots, and an understanding of our deep commitment to customer experience, you can read the post at the Customers.com Total CX Blog: http://bit.ly/j5cstA
In good health,
President & Co-Founder
The Fitness Revolution Hits Florida: Spring Break Hot Spot has Sprung a Koko FitClub
Add Florida to Koko FitClub's growing locations list. We are happy to announce our debut in the Sunshine State: a whole new way for Floridians to get healthy and fit. Koko FitClub Coral Springs/Parkland, Florida has joined the Koko family of nearly 40 health clubs nationwide. Owners Amy and Rob Sottile have opened their first of three fitness clubs planned for the area at 6290 West Sample Road, Suite 104 in Coral Springs.
Rob and Amy Sottile are Coral Springs locals whose family and professional lives are woven tightly into the fabric of the local community. Helping their friends and neighbors live healthier lives through their new Koko FitClub is the natural next step for a couple who has made it a professional priority to do good. Rob and Amy successfully ran a children's fitness franchise for 10 years, helping thousands of local kids get fit, build self-confidence and have fun. In addition, Amy is certified as a doula, a professional child birth coach who has been the maternity support for many Coral Springs women and a one woman welcome wagon for some of its newest little faces. Says Amy, "We want to help people, and that's what Koko is all about. Helping people be healthier."
Like many of our owners with franchise experience under their belts, the Sottiles were also drawn to Koko because of its sharp contrast, operationally, to their last franchise business. According to Amy, "if we weren't at our old business, then it wasn't running the way we wanted it to run." They found great experiences for their customers were wholly dependent on the quality of their staff. It was tough to find, manage and schedule enough great people. Rob says, "we found people enrolling their kids based on who was teaching, and more often than not, Amy and I were the preferred instructors." Koko is different, Amy explains, "we are here, building our business and making people feel welcome, but it isn't us or our staff that people come for. They come because they love the Koko Smartraining System."
Rob and Amy have solid franchising experience combined with a passion and enthusiasm for improving the well-being of their community- for years they have made it a personal and professional priority. I can't imagine any two people better suited to introduce Koko FitClub to Florida. That mix of business know-how and altruism is going to make a huge, positive impact on the health of their community. Welcome to the Koko family!
Yours in good health,
President & Co-Founder
Koko FitClub featured in IFA Smartbrief & AMEX OPEN Forum blog by “Franchise King” Joel Libava
Great to see Koko FitClub mentioned yesterday in this business innovation blog post on the American Express OPEN Forum.
The peice, written by respected franchise writer and consultant, Joel "The Franchise King" Libava, highlights a few of the innovations that have kept fitness and health club franchises strong during a weak economy. Koko FitClub's revolutionary technology earned a spotlight!
The New York Times Reveals Koko FitClub Franchising’s Golden Opportunity
I’d like to share a revealing article I came across in the New York Times this week about the state of the health club industry. It truly highlights the huge opportunity that exists for Koko FitClub.
It reinforced for me why my husband and I founded Koko FitClub in the first place. In the article, a Mr. Boggs pointed out that only 15 percent of the American population belongs to gyms: “When you’ve got 85 percent saying ‘I don’t think so,’ we’ve got to recalibrate what we’re doing.” He’s spot on.
The fact is, gyms simply don’t work for most people. This is not about making them fancier or pricing them cheaper. Why else, according to the article, would “45 percent of fitness-club members quit going in any given year?”
The answer, in our mind, is creating a place where people want to go because it actually works. What a radical, revolutionary idea! It’s the idea that gave birth to Koko FitClub. Koko is a place where folks like us, the other “85%,” can get fit.
At Koko, we leverage technology to prescribe exercise, every time, for every member, so they know they are doing exactly what they need to. Whether you’re a frustrated exerciser or an ex-Division1 athlete, our patented Koko Smartraining System creates custom workouts for you based on your goals and your unique fitness level, guiding you every step of the way. Every day is a new workout, so it never gets boring. And every session is 30 minutes or less, something even the busiest people can squeeze in. To top it all off, we quantify what you’ve accomplished - not only every session, but over time- so you know what you are doing is working.
Koko members are engaged and motivated to exercise like nowhere else because it works! Many are exercising consistently and effectively for the first time in their lives- and loving it. They’ve become “KokoNuts!”
It’s no wonder, as the New York Times article implies, that the old “gyms” are a dying breed. Times have changed. There’s a whole new future of fitness happening everyday at Koko FitClub. Viva la revolution!
Yours in good health,
President and Co-Founder
Koko FitClub in 2010: What a Year it’s Been!
New Year's Greetings to you!
It's hard to believe that we are ringing in 2011. Time passes so quickly. And 2010- what an exciting year it's been at Koko FitClub!
Last year at this time we had 5 franchised clubs open in addition to our corporate club in Pembroke, MA. This year, to date, we have 22 clubs open- and 6 more scheduled to open in January. By the summer, I predict we will have nearly 50 clubs open around the country!
Much of our growth in the latter half of 2010 can be attributed to the execution of multi-unit agreements- owners who have successfully launched club one, moving forward on to their second Koko FitClub. Multi-unit owners are going to continue to play a big role in our growth in the coming year, with half of the clubs scheduled to open through June either second, third and even fourth clubs for owners already in our system, a testament to their success.
In 2010, we truly became a national-and international- franchise. At the end of 2009 Koko FitClubs were open in Massachusetts, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Idaho and Toronto. Now we have locations open from coast to coast after adding clubs in Washington, New Jersey, Texas, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Tennessee, and Michigan. And, not long into the New Year we will be adding California, Arizona, Nevada, New York and Florida to the list with multiple developers in many of these states and even more exciting announcements imminent.
But the most important news from the past year is our growing business has touched the lives of thousands and thousands of members who have now experienced the benefits of Koko FitClub first hand. We have been humbled by the personal stories from individuals who are losing weight, off their blood pressure and diabetes medications and overall feeling energized in way they haven't in years. I encourage you to read them for yourselves on facebook, yelp, or on any number of the sites out there where people share their experiences. (In fact, you can easily find Koko on facebook using the button to the right.)
This is why my husband Mike Lannon and I started this incredible journey in the first place and why our club owners and staff do what they do - to help people be their healthiest, strongest selves and to put our energies into something that makes a difference. We have changed so many lives this year, but our work has only just begun. We know that Koko is the solution for the millions upon millions of people who struggle with exercise.
We continue to be highly selective about to whom we extend Koko FitClub franchise offerings. We are keenly aware that the quality of our owners directly impacts our ability to serve the people in their communities. Those who have been invited to join the Koko family come from a whole host of unique backgrounds and experiences, but all are accomplished in their own right. We are proud of the high-quality people who have joined us in our mission to change lives. If you're curious about who our Koko FitClub owners are, I invite you to get to know them better on our website at http://franchise.kokofitclub.com. Maybe this coming year you'll be there too?
To you and your's, we wish you a wonderful new year filled with reward and fulfillment.
Here's to a happy, healthy 2011!
President & Co-Founder
Making the Leap from Employee to Business Owner: It’s Really Not About Risk
Interesting perspective on the effect this tough economy is having on prospective franchisee decision making from Dan Archer who, like me, is in the thick of franchisee selection everyday:
After a handful of his clients chose to “take a job” rather than go into business for themselves in a franchise system because they considered it “more secure at the moment,” Dan makes the argument that taking control of your own future through business ownership IS the most secure route. I wholeheartedly agree, with one caveat: you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.
In other words, people who instead gravitate toward the employee vs business ownership route, may dream about “being on their own” someday, but just aren’t yet ready to step out of their comfort zone. In their mind it’s “less scary” to work for someone else, which translates in their conversations with Dan and I to, “less risky.” Whether or not it truly is less risky is beside the point. (I read about people being laid off from their “secure” jobs everyday.) Trying to talk someone out of their fear, when they just aren’t ready, is simply not going to work; no amount of logic from me will overcome that emotional hurdle.
This realization has become an important part of the selection process I have in place at Koko FitClub. A great fit is critical for our success and the success of our owners; the right business owner mindset is high on my list of “good fit” prerequisites. I make a conscious effort to focus my time on those who have already made the mental leap to business ownership...while leaving the door open to anyone who has change of heart.