Journey Fitness Company: a personal services business transformed by intellectual property strategy

Journey Fitness Company: a personal services business transformed by intellectual property strategy

Journey Fitness Company (“Journey Fitness”) is an organisation that embraces technology to teach and empower triathletes and runners to train and participate in endurance races. Through its services, Journey Fitness CoachTM and Journey Fitness Lab, the company provides a mix of personalized training solutions with a group support system that helps to keep athletes motivated, continually improving and on track for their own performance goals.

Founded in 2008 by award-winning triathletes and coaches, Ben Pulham and Jonathan Fong, Journey Fitness is today regarded as one of Asia’s leading organisations in supporting training and preparation for endurance events, for both amateur and professional athletes.

LOGO_H_LGEIn its early days, Journey Fitness provided individual coaches to its clients. Traditionally, coaching is a personalized, time-intensive service. Clients, like those who wish to embark on endurance sports or those who seek to better their stamina and performance, largely require 1-to-1 sessions involving customized training advice, plans and strategies, as well as systematic action plans to be implemented. Clients couldn’t get enough of both Ben and Jon’s time, especially when race dates were approaching! This naturally placed a strain on the resources of the company, and both founders sought to find a more efficient way to run the business, without compromising on the level of customized service that each client deserves.


Coach Jon

Using the knowledge that the founders amassed from their own racing experience, track record of coaching over 1,000 athletes, analysis of lab test results, and testing of performance optimization strategies, the founders developed Journey Fitness Coach TM, a proprietary, online personal coaching system with the perfect blend of technology and human touch. Based on a subscription model, first-time users of Journey Fitness Coach TM begin by developing an online personalised training plan, which provides users with the know-how and structure to effectively train for an event. Each personalized plan takes into consideration the users’ current fitness levels, training history and the amount of time each week that they have available to prepare for an event. Each user is also provided with a personalised heart rate training zone.

Developed with both the beginner athlete and seasoned competitor in mind, Journey Fitness Coach TM was designed to maximise the benefits of time spent for training. The platform also provides users with the ability to connect with other like-minded individuals – allowing them to motivate or share experiences one another through training discussions and forums.

Journey Fitness Coach TM was a phenomenal success. Today, the number of online subscribers are growing exponentially, leading to an increase in demand for Journey Fitness Lab’s testing services as well. What is truly encouraging is the social bond and community that has also sprung up on the platform by connecting like-minded enthusiasts.

Turning a localised, time and labour-constrained business into a highly scalable one targeting an international customer base, the company now seeks further growth via area developers in key cities of the world.

Lessons Learnt

  1. Integrate IP into your business strategy. Even for SMEs who do not have a large IP portfolio, it’s good to get into a habit of considering IP in all stages of your business operations – this could be as early as business planning and internal brainstorming sessions. Find ways to capture and build IP assets, such as customer information, in your business operations. This is demonstrated by Journey Fitness’ subscriber platform where customers’ information can be captured (with their consent) and protected.
  2. Leverage on IP when you scale your business. Journey Fitness has shown how a personalized, labour-intensive coaching service can be transformed into a large scale online business model. This is done by documenting Journey Fitness’ coaches’ ‘head knowledge’ into intellectual assets/copyright materials, such as training logic, which will in turn be used in the development of training plans and recommendations for Journey Fitness’ subscribers.
    Do not underestimate the power of your intellectual capital! SMEs often rely on the business know-how of the management team and staff, so one way to leverage on this is to turn their ‘experience’ into a systemized training curriculum and tools, such as videos, so as to train new staff or franchisees.
  3. Build brand equity, supported by strong trademarks. Take time to craft your brand identity and brand proposition well. You’ll need your target customers to recognize your brand, and instantly know what it stands for. The founders of Journey Fitness built a revolutionary product and business model but more importantly, they also explained it clearly and succinctly, making it easy for anyone to comprehend.


Contributed by

Altiply Pte Ltd

Altiply Consulting is a strategic business consultancy dedicated to helping businesses grow. We adopt a focused approach in helping our clients to capitalise on their core competitive advantage and intellectual assets. We build franchise or licensing systems to enable them to scale their business effectively, plus franchise brokerage and IP registration services. Altiply Consulting is a subsidiary of Louken Group. Since the year 2000, Altiply has served as trusted advisor to diverse industries such as food and beverage, retail, education, wellness, services, technology and business-to-business companies.

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