Student: Benjamin Wiseman 1
Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu is a chain of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) gyms started by
Carlos Gracie Jr. in 1986. Gracie Barra London is an independent franchise of Gracie
Barra Jiu-Jitsu owned and operated by BJJ black belt Fateh Belkalem.
Beklahem has noticed that growth in gym membership has slowed down, and
is looking for a way to increase gym membership by 40% in the next year. Because
the current gym membership is 100 people, this means that the 40% increase is also
a forty member increase. With a $3,000 budget for promoting the business, and the
option of a gym expansion using 2/3 of the promotion budget and a private
investment, Belkalem is looking to target a specific market for membership.
In order to successfully achieve the marketing challenge of 40 new members
within a year it is necessary to analyze Belkalem’s business, as well as the
environment surrounding the business, its competitors and its consumers. It is also
necessary to recommend the most suitable target market for the 40 members, and
the best way in which to modify the gym’s product, placement, pricing and
After analyzing Gracie Barra London internally, and analyzing external
factors, it is clear that these are the best options for the gym’s target market,
product, placement, pricing and promotions:
- Target Market: Females ages 18-40
- Product: Addition of female beginner classes and self-defense classes
- Placement: unchanged
- Pricing: unchanged
- Promotions: LTC Bus Ads and Western Gazette Ad
These recommendations were made after analyzing all possible options. The
reason that females 18-40 are the target market is that Gracie Barra has zero
female clients and has no share in a large market, and that females 18-40 are
very concerned with learning a practical method of self-defense such as Brazilian
Jiu-Jitsu. The reason that these classes were added to the product was in order to
make a more female-friendly gym and classes that would be more attractive to
females whose priorities are self-defense and who feel uncomfortable grappling
with males. The placement and pricing remained the same because it was
unnecessary to change either, and changes to either could have had a negative
effect on reaching the goal of 40 new members. These promotions were chosen
because they will give the business the most positive publicity, they use the high
majority of the money allotted for promotion, and they will take very few new
memberships for Belkalem to profit from the investment.
Overall the recommendations made in this report will maximize Gracie Barra
London’s chances of successfully reaching their goal of 40 new members in the
next year. Student: Benjamin Wiseman 2
Fateh Belkalem is the owner and operator of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym “Gracie
Barra London”, and his marketing challenge is to improve enrollment in his gym by
40% in the upcoming year, from 100 full time members to 140. In order to do this
he intends to choose a target market, cater to their needs, invest $3,000 in
advertising and potentially expand his gym to incorporate strength and general
fitness training. This report will begin by analyzing Gracie Barra London and its
surrounding environment. This report will then recommend the ways in which
Belkalem should modify his business in order to successfully meet his goal of a 40%
increase in gym enrollment by the next year.
Gracie Barra London is very limited in their financial capabilities. Belkalem’s
initial investments have left him in a position where he has very little money to put
back into his company. Gracie Barra London is limited to $3,000 to spend on
marketing, $2000 of this money can be spent on a gym expansion for which he has
secured an $8,000 private investment.
Belkalem has very little experience in marketing his gym, with most
marketing in the past being through social media and word of mouth. Despite this,
the Gracie Barra franchise is incredibly marketable because it is one of the largest
and most prestigious Jiu-Jitsu gym franchises. Gracie Barra London gained half as
many members as they aim to gain this year despite the lack of advertisement. This Student: Benjamin Wiseman 3
success despite lack of advertisements shows consumer faith in the Gracie Barra
It is unlikely Gracie Barra London will experience capacity restrictions
because they have the opportunity to run many more classes in the time that they
are open, and also have the potential for the downstairs expansion if membership
growth is extreme. The facilities at Gracie Barra London are high quality do to the
money Fateh initially invested in the gym. The instructors other than Belkalem at
Gracie Barra London are of high quality, but they do have some issues with
Belkalem’s qualifications as a prestigious martial artist, and his enthusiasm
for the sport is very attractive to consumers. However, he worries that there may be
members who are unhappy with unreliable instructors. He has had successful
relations with many customers particularly males and children, but has had
difficulty establishing consistent female membership.
Belkalem should be optimistic that the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu industry is growing
due to increased interest in Mixed Martial Arts. However, he should consider the
current economic hardships in London, because Jiu Jitsu is one of the most
expensive fitness opportunities. Belkalem should also consider the social
implications of the popular culture spotlight on MMA and Jiu Jitsu competitors and
how competitors promoting gyms has led to greater success.
Competitive Analysis Student: Benjamin Wiseman 4
There are three direct competitors to Gracie Barra London: The Submission
Academy- Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Bindner’s Jiu-Jitsu Academy, and Adrenaline. Two
Competitive Positioning maps (see Exhibit 1) show Gracie Barra’s status amongst its
Submission Academy- Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s owner/operator is a purple belt.
This means that the instruction at Submission Academy is of a lower quality than at
Gracie Barra. Submission Academy is also inferior to Gracie Barra in the amount of
hours of lessons they offer weekly and thus the value of their memberships is lower.
Submission Academy is cheaper then Gracie Barra which is a big advantage in a
weak economy. Submission Academy’s biggest assets that separate itself from
Gracie Barra are its sleek website and presence in competitive Jiu-Jitsu, both of
these will attract new members who are interested in starting Jiu-Jitsu training.
Bindner’s Jiu-Jitsu Academy is operated by a very successful Aikido academy,
meaning it has the opportunity to attract customers from Aikido to try Jiu-Jitsu.
Bindner’s also offers the cheapest membership of Gracie Barra’s competitors, which
will attract member’s hurt by the weak economy. Bindner’s major drawbacks are
there lack of hours and inexperienced Jiu-Jitsu instructors meaning that Bindner’s
has much lower quality and value in its membership in comparison to Gracie Barra
and Submission Academy.
Adrenaline is primarily an MMA gym which teaches several martial arts. This
is an advantage because of the popularization of MMA and the potential for
crossover from wrestlers, kickboxers, and other martial artists into Jiu-Jitsu. It also
has the image of prestige because it is partly owned by some of the most famous Student: Benjamin Wiseman 5
Canadian UFC stars such as Mark Hominick. Adrenaline also offers the cheapest
children’s memberships, meaning that they could get many more children who
continue on to become members as adults. Adrenaline’s major drawback is that it
offers significantly less hours of actual Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu than the other three Jiu-
Jitsu gyms, meaning it is unlikely for a devoted BJJ practitioner to join Adrenaline.
The current customer base of Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu is comprised mainly of
males, and children, but potential customer groups include students and females.
Males practice BJJ for health, self-defence and competitveness. Males are a huge
market for Gracie Barra, but they can receive more memberships if they concentrate
more on physical fitness through the gym expansion, or offer more competitive
classes. Children practice BJJ for physical well being and for the martial arts
effectiveness as a anti-bullying tool. A way to increase children’s