DANA POINT, CA: Equinox, the chain of premium fitness centres, is yielding major benefits from playing on "high-level emotional ground" and zeroing in on its most passionate brand enthusiasts.

Carlos Becil, Equinox's chief marketing officer, outlined the organisation's marketing strategy at the 2014 Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Digital & Social Media Conference in Dana Point, California.

"We play on a very high-level emotional ground," he told delegates. (For more, including details of the firm's "Equinox Made Me Do It" and "Preapologize" campaigns, read Warc's exclusive report: Equinox cheekily celebrates an upscale value proposition.)

One core component of the company's approach involves asking its members to tell their personal stories, and discuss how their lives have changed since joining Equinox.

"It's incredibly powerful when someone like that inspires us and we're able to share it with a broader audience and inspire others," said Becil.

Equinox's mission is premised around creating "the possibility for people to maximise the potential within themselves" – an objective which extends beyond exercise and into the lifestyle arena.

"Demand for life-maximisation content continues to grow with our focus on one-to-one personalised programmes," Becil said. "We have the authority to engage our members in the science of fitness and the art of living."

But rather than using an intense and overly-serious tone of voice, the brand connects with its current and potential clientele with messaging that Becil described as "irreverence justified".

Given its premium price point and self-ascribed status as a "temple of well-being", Equinox is able to attract its share of fervent advocates, even if it is not a mass-market proposition.

"We embrace being challenged. And we understand that we are not for everyone," said Becil. "Our members have a strong emotional connection to the brand. They are very protective and loyal."

Data sourced from Warc