When a woman tries on a sweater and it feels itchy, chances are she won’t buy it. It’s the same thing with fitness products, Oxygenfit founders said – if she doesn't feel good during a workout, she probably won’t make the purchase.
The two men behind Oxygenfit (www.oxygenfit.com) – David Griffin and Robert Reiff – said their goal is to offer products that make women feel good about about fitness.
“Quality is a big thing for us,” Griffin said. “You touch (the products) and they feel good. That’s what we wanted to achieve.”
California-based Oxygenfit has been offering its Fit-Stiks (photo, right) and toning bands to women online since 2007. Now new innovative products will soon be in retailers like baby boutiques and stores in airport terminals after the company launches its new line at the Health & Fitness Business Expo in September.
“We’re putting new energy into a brand that people think they already know,” Griffin said. The new move is “so strong it’s almost a rebrand.”
Griffin said he chose HFB to debut the new line because he’s always liked the show as an attendee, and said he feels it will expose his products to a wide variety of retailers.
The company’s never had a booth at HFB before, Reiff said, because they didn’t want to scale a big launch and then experience failure, but now there's more confidence behind the new products.
“This year is when everything has finally come together for us,” Reiff said. “We have a state-of-the-art booth design that we’re very proud of. We think it’s as good as any booth that’s out there today. It’s modular so it allows us to go from a small booth to a large one.”
Griffin gave some insight into the goodies to come.
One improvement is packaging and delivery in replacing the mundane brown box often used for online deliveries. When Oxygenfit products hit retailers at the end of 2011 and early 2012 that will change. Women will be able to go into a participating retailer and pick out either a fashionable diaper bag with some the the company's fitness bands inside or a purse-like bag with a compact gym inside.
“When they get that bag, they cannot only use that bag and the products, but they can throw laptop in there, throw a phone in there, throw some diapers, a business portfolio,” Griffin said. “They can have their exercise bands in this item and from there they can go to a coffee shop and meet their girlfriends.”
Griffin said he feels companies weren’t offering women everything they needed in terms of ways to tote and store their fitness equipment.
“They weren’t really addressing the needs of the female customer,” Griffin said. Women “work out in all different places and areas and ways.”
Oxygenfit will also begin offering free online videos with workouts centered on improving fitness and stregnth for other activities women may be involved in, such as horseback riding or stand-up paddleboarding. The videos will double as a marketing tool to try to get women who participate in those activities and “live the Oxygenfit lifestyle” to purchase Oxygenfit products, Griffin said.
Griffin said the new products are designed mostly with mothers, travelers and businesswomen in mind. “It’s not so fitness based, it’s more lifestyle based,” he said. That’s why the products will be available in airport terminal stores, baby boutiques, hotels and warehouse stores, as well as high-end gyms.
Offering something different in a different way is what Oxygenfit is all about, Reiff said.
“It’s a lot of trial-and-error,” Reiff said. “You’re constantly adjusting. Nothing is constant so you have to be able to be flexible with the changing economy and changing marketplace.”
The pair first launched the Internet-based store in 2007 after they’d worked together for a number of years doing freelance marketing for companies like Reebok, Nautilus and Bowflex. Reiff shot all the photos (he’s a professional photographer by trade) and Griffin handled the marketing logistics.
“After a while we decided rather than help everybody else become successful we would launch our own business,” Reiff said.
They chose to offer high-quality products for women who already lived a healthy lifestyle because, Griffin said, he was already familiar with that demographic.
“We knew that would be the best kind of consumer,” Griffin said. “We’ve been working with women for so many years on products, on photography and doing different parts of production for other clients,” Griffin said. “We are intuitive in what we do with our customer because we listen to them and we have feedback.”
The company experienced a great initial success, Griffin said, but soon it began to arc and it experienced a lull, which is why they decided to spice things up with a new line.
“Variety adds spice to life therefore variety adds spice to your workout,” Griffin said.
Griffin said Oxygenfit strives to give women a variety of tools to stay fit and healthy in their lives.
“We get up and we breathe – that’s the first thing that we do,” Griffin said. “Oxygenfit is about living and breathing that lifestyle – the fitness lifestyle.”