Marketing Report – Gracie Barra London
007 Executive Summary
Fateh Belkalem, the owner/operator of the Brazilian Jiu-itsu (BJJ) gym in Gracie Barra
London (GBL), has noticed that in the recent months, the customer base had levelled out. The
plateau effect of customer traffic was due to the increase in the baby boomer population. As a
result, Belkalem aims to increase enrolment by 40% – from 100 existing customers to 140 – by
2013, and has devoted a $3000 budget to marketing and advertisement. As well, he plans to quit
his current position and dedicate his full time to GBL. This would greatly help the studio, as
Berkalem is well trained himself, and is a highly qualified instructor.
The main recommendations outlined in this report are the following:
GBL should refine its target market, and focus specifically on women and children, as the
female market is significantly less competitive, and remains relatively untouched, in
comparison to the male market. Children, on the other hand, will likely become loyal
customers, and will encourage their peers to enrol with them, making use of word of mouth.
GBL should offer a wide variety of classes, included female-only, children and various
martial arts classes, in order to carter to all members of the selected target market.
GBL should maintain its current price, in order to complement its marketed image as a
prestigious and specialized martial arts studio, with accomplished and highly qualified
GBL should begin actively marketing by increasing brand awareness through the use of LTC
and direct mail, which effectively target the potential customers – females and children.
In general, BJJ is much more favourable to women and children, as its focus is not on
physical strength and force, but rather on pressure points and leverage, thus enabling even those
with small physical builds to excel and protect themselves. As well, mothers of children will be
able to bring their children, saving travel time and expenses. To further encourage females and
children to enrol, different programs, such as female-only classes, children’s classes, anti-
bullying, etc. are essential. Giving females the option of attending female-only classes will
greatly increase the attractiveness BJJ as they will be able to attend without fear of being
intimidated by males, and it can offset the general impression that all martial arts are highly
competitive and dangerous activities. Children’s classes and anti-bullying will encourage
mothers to bring their children along, thus increasing the number of potential customers.
In addition to maintaining its current price, GBL should also offer free trials so potential
customers will be able to see the high quality of instruction offered by the studios, as well as gain
a sense of what they are enrolling for before they commit as a member. Additionally, the usage
of LTC and direct mail as main forms of advertisement will benefit the studio greatly, as they are
not costly, and will be effective in drawing in members of the female population, as well as their
children. It is not necessary to expand into a gym at the moment, as GBL should direct its
attention, and funds, mainly on gaining brand awareness and marketing to its selected target
A more in depth analysis of these main points will be discussed further in this report. Introduction
Fateh Belkalem, the owner/operator of Gracie Barra London (GBL), noticed that in
recent months, the enrolment in the gym has started to level out. He wishes to develop a
marketing campaign that will increase the customer traffic for 2013 by 40%; this requires an
additional 40 year-round members, as outlined in Exhibit 1. To achieve his goal, Belkalem has a
personal savings of $3000 for advertising and marketing expenses. Belkalem would like a
combination of marketing options to optimize his marketing campaign.
Finance: Seeing that Gracie Barra London is part of a franchise, there is already an established
logo, mission statement and reputation. Also, Belkalem has set aside a $3000 budget of his
personal savings for his marketing campaign. This implies that he is not restrained to the
expectations of the franchise and he has the flexibility to use it on what he desires is optimal for
GBL. There is also an additional $8000 that Belkalem acquired from a private investor for a
possible gym expansion which costs $10,000, leaving $1000 for the marketing campaign. A
combination of his marketing campaign and the gym expansion will attract male and female
customers because they are interested in physical fitness.
Marketing: The marketing that has been running for GBL has been successful through word of
mouth, Facebook, newspaper articles and a sports television program. However, these strategies
of marketing do not target a specific market. Using the London Transit Commission (LTC) is
more viable since it specifically targets London residences. Another problem is that Belkalem
has been running the GBL for six years on a part-time basis. Therefore, he needs to commit to
the gym fully in order to maximize operational efficiency and accommodate more hours of class. He has five assistant instructors who are qualified, dedicated and reliable; however, there has
been a lot of last-minute rescheduling. This severely affects the atmosphere of the gym because
constantly rotating the instructor will disrupt the flow of learning. Also, if instructors were to
continue changing, this could give the company a poor image and harm their reputation.
Operations: Belkalem plans to resign his old full-time job at Robarts School for the Deaf and
plans to work full time at GBL. This allows him to increase the volume and variety of classes
including the following: self-defence class, anti-bullying class, competitive training, female only
and various martial arts. The self-defence class will attract males, females, children and Western
students. Anti-bullying will be specifically targeted towards children because bullying is
prevailing issue that young children should be aware an informed of. Competitive training will
allow males and females who are competitive in the sport to progress to national and even
international levels. Female-only classes are favourable, as they allow females to practice BJJ in
a comfortable environment without the intimidation from males. Various martial arts classes are
highly beneficial because they appeal to a wide array of customers who are interested in different
disciplines of martial arts.
Human Resources: BJJ has a record of being one of the best ground-games in all of MMA,
making it appealing to many people who are interested mix martial arts. GBL itself is highly
respected due to the number of successful BJJ competitors that they have trained. More
customers will likely come to GBL because of its reputable franchise and the success of its
students. Also, the slight premium price and advertising will add to credibility of the gym.
Fateh Belkalem has been practicing martial arts for over 40 years and has taught for
almost 20 years. He also took the time to train, and was patient throughout the BJJ belt grading
system; this shows that Belkalem is responsible, dedicated and qualified to teach BJJ. As a result, his gym would be better suited for older students who are willing to put the same commitment
into the program.
Economic: London’s government encouraged and started the program Active London 2010 to
endorse physical activity. As physical activity is encouraged throughout the city, residences in
London will begin looking for activities like BJJ. London has not recovered from the 2008
recession, resulting in the highest unemployment rate at 8%. This will affect individuals because
they will not have enough disposable income to join extra activities like BJJ. Also, even those
who are already enrolled in various programs such as GBL may withdraw their membership
because they are still undergoing a recession. Therefore, enrollment numbers may fluctuate
depending on the state and effects of the recession.
Social: In London, there is a slightly greater proportion of females to males. This, along with the
fact that most of the female market remains untouched, mean that there is much potential for
growth by targeting females. However, 17% of the population consists of baby boomers reaching
almost 65 years of age and this number is expected to increase. This may reduce the incoming
customers because the population is too old to participate in the BJJ classes.
Direct Competitor: The Submission Academy – Brazillion Jiu-Jitsu: The Submission Academy is
a relatively new gym, which works in the benefit of GBL, as this gym has not yet developed
strong customer loyalty. The Submission Academy does not have a variety of classes like GBL,
such as self-defence classes, anti-bullying classes, competition and female only classes.
Therefore it is not seen as a threat to GBL, due to its limited faithful customer population and
lack of variety of classes. Direct Competitor: Bindner’s Jiu-Jitsu Academy: Bindner’s has been opened for several years,
meaning that there is quite an amount of customer competition because they have acquired loyal
customers. However, Bindner is more focused at Aikido and is only qualified at a purple belt, so
the quality of the BJJ c