Building Sweat Equity for a Community Brand
For more than a century-and-a-half, the YMCA of Greater Richmond has been building healthy spirits, minds and bodies for people throughout the Richmond area. But in 2020, like other fitness centers across the country, the pandemic forced the YMCA to temporarily close facilities and suspend vital programs that support youth and families. Fortunately, the YMCA does much more for the community than provide a great place to work out. But the fact remains that its own vitality relies strongly on membership revenue.
Faced with adversity, the organization took a step back in 2021 to reassess its value and story beyond wellness offerings. An existing relationship with our Joe Smith team provided a natural opportunity to build strategic brand alignment that the YMCA can put into action.
In the summer of 2021, we conducted an innovation workshop with 20 YMCA leaders to better understand their goals and challenges so the organization could create programs that resonate strongly with the community as we emerge from pandemic restrictions. This included evolving traditional offers and expanding focus on social responsibility programming that could reach even more people. The workshop helped leaders strengthen their DE+I commitment and imagine what else is possible to deliver on their “open for all” mission.
Armed with a Strategic Action Plan, the YMCA of Greater Richmond is better equipped to think outside the gym and provide a place where everyone in the community can thrive.