Star Trac's mysterious 7-month 'Expect Different' campaign heading for a finale

After nearly seven months of mysterious announcements and a black-wallpapered website with a woman peering from a sticky cocoon, Star Trac is revealing its "Expect Different" campaign is not just about some swanky new product but about forging partnerships that will grow the number of people who workout.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

After nearly seven months of mysterious announcements and a black-wallpapered website with a woman peering from a sticky cocoon, Star Trac is revealing its "Expect Different" campaign is not just about some swanky new product but about forging partnerships that will grow the number of people who workout.

"We're becoming more intelligent, and we're building better equipment, but people are turning away from (fitness) in mass numbers," Keith White, the company's director of global branding since January, told SNEWS®. "What is 'expect different?' We'd better wake up. We start talking a new way.

"We need to come together and use the same voice and share the responsibility of making a change," added White about the campaign he helped nurture when he began at Star Trac as a consultant 10 months ago.

"It's throwing down the gauntlet," he said, to the industry as a whole.

White said Star Trac hopes to challenge other companies to join it in the effort to make a change and bring more people into the fitness arena, who will join clubs, use equipment and buy equipment.

Sure, he said Star Trac has some new pieces to exhibit at the IHRSA show this week in San Diego, particularly strength equipment, and a new license with Apple to use iPod-specific docking and incorporation into its pieces. It also has a whole new booth -- a gargantuan one which will be the largest on the show floor -- and a spiffed-up look to spice up its presence and prove it means business on its route to being among the elite of the equipment suppliers.

"We've been looking for a reason we're in existence," White said, aside from building a solid treadmill.

"I'm not going to sit here and say Life Fitness, Technogym, Cybex or Precor don't have good product. They certainly do," he said.

The problem is that there are fewer people in the pie to use the equipment. The simple quest is: to get more people getting fit and working out.

"We're talking to the loyalists," he explained, "and still leaving the (inactive) behind."

The website (www.expectdifferent.com) has a section on the global obesity and inactivity situation. It also has a series of five industrial metal doors under the tag "opportunity" that slid up upon clicking at specified dates since last September. The doors are called Unaware, Discover, Engage, Retain, and Maintain. They apparently are intended to stand for the five Stages of Change, a behavioral psychology concept that SNEWS®/GearTrends® wrote about in the 2006 GearTrends® magazine (click here to find "Path to Change."). It illustrates the typical stages that people go through on their path to change, which the psychologists call Pre-Contemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action, Maintenance. Before anyone makes the step to exercise (or quit drugs or file for divorce or make any number of huge life changes) they need to get to the Preparation stage. That is what Star Trac has dubbed "Engage."

The Expect Different campaign has already partnered with national companies such as Hansen's sodas, Asics and Nature's Way supplements. For example, Hansen's will put the campaign name and logo on many millions of soda cans this year.

But this campaign doesn't just mean talking people into buying equipment or joining clubs, but means trying to get them active in some small way -- even just walking or taking the stairs -- since that one step could lead them on the path of change. And that path could lead them toward a club and equipment.

"We're all sitting at the piano," he said, "but we're hitting different keys."

The program will involve product, but also education and programs, and dig into communities through grassroots programs, he said. Much of that detail and campaign components are still to be announced and some of that will also be revealed at the IHRSA show March 5-8.

"We need to come together and use the same voice and share the responsibility of making a change," White said. "This is a challenge for all of us to wake up and unify."

SNEWS® View: All the way around there seems to be a voice rising from the industry about the need to get people active and the need for the industry to somehow pool its resources and work together for the betterment of all companies. Floating a boat and all that. We'll be interested to see the details of the campaign. We'll also be interested to see how and if other companies are willing to take part. This could develop into a multi-pronged cooperative of various agencies and groups, all of which would benefit from simply spreading the word and getting people moving.

Related

Star Trac Launches “Expect Different” Campaign

Media Contacts:Christen LewisStar Trac714-508-3304clewis@startrac.comorAmy KocotParkerWhite760-783-2020amy@parkerwhite.comIrvine, Calif. – October 11, 2007 – Star Trac, a global leader in the commercial fitness industry, today announced the launch of its “Expect ...read more

Star Trac embarks on B2C brand awareness campaign

With a goal to do what few fitness equipment manufacturers have managed, Star Trac has announced an aggressive campaign that will go directly to consumers in marketing, promoting and selling its brand and products. "The goal is to build the brand," said Scott Eyler, director of ...read more

Star Trac teams with Lamar for first home equipment, own still pending

Still working on development of its own higher-end retail equipment, Star Trac has meanwhile partnered with Lamar Fitness for mid-priced product, showcasing the equipment on its consumer website, www.startracusa.com. The equipment, including treadmills, bikes, ellipticals and ...read more

Star Trac® Appoints New President and COO

IRVINE, CA – May 27, 2010- Star Trac announced today that Steven Nero has resigned as President and COO. He will be replaced by Mike Leveque, formerly Star Trac’s Managing Director for Europe and Africa and a 17 year Star Trac veteran. Leveque has held many positions at Star ...read more

Star Trac finalizes back-door deal to buy Lamar company assets hours after its sale

Within hours of an acquisition of the repossessed Lamar company assets at a bank sale by former Pacific Cycle CEO Chris Hornung, Star Trac had landed the goods for its newly beefed up consumer division now led by Kevin Lamar. How did that happen? It was a busy November for ...read more

Star Trac pumps it up with acquisition of Flex Fitness

In a move to allow it to compete globally with other full-line equipment companies, Star Trac has entered into an agreement to buy the assets of long-time strength supplier Flex Fitness Inc. The announcement was made quietly public at the Athletic Business show on Nov. 12 in ...read more

StarTracLogo.gif

Restructured Star Trac emerging from insolvency by summer

Not much more than a year after Michael Bruno acquired a controlling interest in Star Trac, the company will have completed restructuring, moved its manufacturing, and paid off creditors after it declared in November a less common, state-controlled version of bankruptcy. The ...read more

Strength designer Nalley signs on at Star Trac

One of the most highly respected strength-training equipment designers in the industry Mark Nalley has signed on at Star Trac to work with the company on additional improvements in and expansions of its strength line. Nalley, the founder of Flex Fitness, which Star Trac bought ...read more

Star Trac to go after consumer market, new division headed by Scott Eyler

A long-time commercial-only supplier, Star Trac, has decided it's time to make a play for the much larger consumer market for home exercise equipment, hiring Scott Eyler to head the division and develop strategic plans. "We have only dabbled in the category," Randy Bergstedt, ...read more