Have you ever wondered what makes brand names so important? Brand names surround us, everywhere we turn, often to the point that we integrate them into our daily dialogues. There are countless components that make up a successful brand – the most important being to provide quality products and/or service. The same concept applies in the fitness industry.

According to a 2018 Life Decisions AAU Study, three out of four Core Health & Fitness brands rank in the top four in the US fitness market and all four brands rank in the top eight. StairMaster, Schwinn, and Nautilus rank 1st, 2nd, and 4th respectively, with Star Trac ranking 8th. StairMaster is the #1 most widely known brand with nearly 75% of participants reporting strong brand recognition.

So why are brands important to recreation facilities? Brand names can be viewed as a word association game – each brand is attributed to positive or negative connotations. When it comes to recreation facilities, brand recognition and positive connotations are vital to the survival of that brand within the facility. When facility members recognize a particular brand name, they are more or less likely to use that piece of equipment based off their past experiences with that brand. If there is no experience with the brand, this is an opportunity to create positive connotations around the brand name. When the product performs as designed, it creates a positive connotation for the user, which ultimately makes the user more inclined to become an advocate for that brand.

Eric Anderson, Director of Campus Recreation & Wellness at Saint Louis University says, “A recognized brand gives the end user a consistent and familiar experience. Recognition qualities include product performance, display screens, contact/adjustment points, built in amenities and a similar look/feel overall. Brands that have an established product reputation across the industry provide facility operators additional piece of mind when making purchasing decisions.”

An on campus research study for the National Association of College Stores (NACS) highlights student brand loyalty further by revealing that 47% choose a store solely by the fact that it carries name brands they want. When asked why brands are important to students, Anderson relayed, “High schools often have fitness equipment available for their athletes and students, which means incoming college students already have previous experiences with equipment manufacturers. For us, having equipment that is reliable, consistent and user friendly enhances the student experience within our facilities and encourages them to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

Additional findings from Life Decisions AAU Study revealed some powerful domestic and global results among student consumers.


Core Health & Fitness’s brands StairMaster, Schwinn, Nautilus and Star Trac continue to establish and strengthen their roots in recreation facilities across the country and continually instill confidence among students in the market place today. To learn more information about the brands you know and love, contact one of our product experts today!


By: Ken Wolters | Global Education Manager

Core Health & Fitness, LLC

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