Big man. Big stories.

December 1, 2015 |

We talk a lot about product stories with our clients, trying to get the really interesting brand traits and content out of their companies, their products and services and crucially their people. Sometimes people in business find this themselves, without any coaching from PR or creative agencies.

A great friend of mine, Gawain Davies, has made the jump from his successful career as a big brand designer to personal trainer for the over 40’s. He’s just started, so he’s in that enviable position where he has time to really think about and evolve his marketing and create great content. And it’s starting to show across his social channels.

As well as being cyborg fit and healthy (as you’d expect from someone in his industry), he has a wicked sense of humour, can illustrate beautifully and does a great line in measured self-deprecation. This means that he manages to make his subject matter more interesting for his audience, certainly better than is the norm for his industry. But more than that, he illustrates his own health and fitness journey in a way that the people that he wants to work with can relate to – Generation X and older basically. Watch the videos and you’ll see.

What he does really well though for me is the self-deprecation bit. To explain his offer and show people the sort of advice they will get from working with him, he uses stories highlighting his idiosyncratic niggles about himself growing up. He explains how he combatted these fitness and image issues personally through research, experimentation and He Man envy.

His stories are genuine and amusing by chance, and knowing him they probably always will be. This is a great mechanism that will make him appear believable, approachable and empathetic to his clients. For me from a brand perspective, some personal trainers seem more concerned with how they come across as Instagram ‘cross fit porn’, than they are with the emotional connection with their clients. I reckon that Gawain is going tap into a big market of affluent, busy people who like the ‘cut of his jib’, and feel that he can relate to them personally. This is not to say that he couldn’t compete with the Instagram set in the 1000 pull up, whilst neck pressing 200kg challenge.

Importantly he’s not telling a sob story, he’s telling a positive, and by chance humorous, story that really gets to the heart of the problems that a lot of his clients will be experiencing. This tone is coming out consistently and more frequently throughout, and it will be good to see how he factors client stories in.

I mentioned that he is a great illustrator, and I’m currently pressuring him (in ways like this) to use illustration more in the place of most photography and text instruction. I think that with even more of this, he will really blow his competitors out of the park (at 5am or whatever ungodly hour they all train people at).