Imagine a world where urban millennials whip out their Chase Sapphire Reserves left and right to pay upwards of $300 per month for a gym membership. That world is Equinox, a brand of high-end gyms with 95 locations in the US, Canada, and London. And they’re expanding — to hotels. Equinox Hotels launches later this year with its first location in Manhattan.
The Equinox Brand
We’re talking luxury gyms. Cool off with a chilled eucalyptus towel. Refresh with Kiehl’s branded shower products. Some locations can even press your suit, massage your sore body, and babysit your kids. Oh, you’re there to work out? Yes, they have that too.
While the value of a $300 gym membership can be debated another time, Equinox has without a doubt created an incredibly strong brand as the company that first created the concept of a luxury gym.
They’ve done a bunch of unique partnerships like with Delta to combat the effects of jetlag. And now, they’re attempting to redefine the hotel space with Equinox Hotels.
Incredibly Slick, Incredibly Obnoxious Marketing
Companies love to market to millennials. Often, it doesn’t work. Like Air France’s attempt at a millennial airline, Joon, which it is now killing off.
Equinox has been successful though. Their brand slogan is “Equinox made me do it.” What they’re trying to tell you is that by being an Equinox member, it will embolden you to excel in life. In their campaign video, they also say it will embolden you to become a criminal…
Equinox’s branding is slick. It appeals to millennials, and it’s edgy. They’ve created a certain lifestyle and cult following, and any lifestyle brand knows it should transition to other areas of your life…
Equinox Hotel Coming This Year
The first Equinox Hotel will be opening in the Hudson Yards neighborhood of New York in June 2019. Hudson Yards is a new urban development project on the west side of Manhattan. I literally have no idea what Equinox means when its calls its new hotel there “the center of the new cultural crucible of New York City.”
Another Equinox Hotel in Los Angeles is also supposed to open last this year. Neither hotel has opened up for bookings yet.
Their Equinox Hotel concept is to create a luxurious experience that combines fitness, well-being, and rest. Sounds a little like The Westin, no?
The Equinox Hotel Brand Video: Oh, Dear.
I get it, the fusion of wellness and travel is hot these days. Hotels are increasingly catering to healthy lifestyle habits.
So it makes total sense to me why Equinox would extend its brand to hotels. But I’m entirely skeptical about how they will change the entire hotel experience. The company hasn’t even revealed any details yet on that front. However, Equinox has unveiled its first brand video for Equinox Hotel and boy, it’s interesting…
In the video, Equinox breaks down this new hotel into three aspects: move, nourish, and dream. Seems simple enough. But this is Equinox after all. There won’t be any narrative in the video, and there most definitely will be sex appeal.
Here’s some screenshots of the video to whet your appetite:
Throughout the video, a woman played by actress Naomi Campbell embodies the three elements of Equinox Hotels. This includes her sensually eating fruit (nourish), boxing with the camera (move), and cocooning into a ball of blankets while wearing heels (dream).
The entire video honestly should’ve come with a seizure warning since the visual stimuli is excessive.
Equinox’s line of hotels has so far given us a ton of style, and literally zero substance. I have to admit their gyms are really nice, and the experience is markedly better than most other gyms (you pay for it, clearly). However, hotels are a whole other world — there are a ton of luxury, lifestyle focused hotels so it’s harder to differentiate the hard product.
Whatever Equinox does end up doing with its hotels, I’m sure they will be popular. As heavy-handed (and obnoxious) as I think the marketing is, people will still buy into the emotional appeal regardless of a product not being unique.
We’ll see what differentiating features Equinox will unveil as part of its new hotel initiative. For now, I’m not buying into their tagline: “Equinox Hotels. For those who want it all.”