The Making of the Aaptiv Rebrand

A Letter from our CRO

Welcome to Our Rebrand

Today we unveiled Aaptiv’s new branding—a strategic rethink of our brand expression and identity designed not just to elevate the look and feel of the Aaptiv brand, but also, to bring the company’s visual representation to a level that demonstrates the values and vibrancy of our fast-growing community.

To understand what we were aiming for with this rebrand, it’s important to know that for us, branding is not just our opinion on how things look and sound. It’s not just about making things pretty or winning design awards. To us, branding is the means by which we tell the world what Aaptiv stands for.

This is the story of how the Aaptiv rebrand came to life and what this new look represents.

Deciding to Make a Change

The process for the rebrand began in fall 2017. Since launching the company in 2015, we have been humbled to watch the lightning speed of growth. In order to continue this upward trajectory into 2018, we had our work cut out for us, but, none of us were thinking “we have to redo our logo and the brand colors.” After all, why change what’s working? However, it didn’t take long to realize that the immense energy, depth of values, and strength of purpose that existed between the employees and Aaptiv members was a gem hidden from most.

The world needed to see what we were seeing on a day-to-day basis—a group of high caliber, dedicated trainers, a highly supportive community of members, and a business that emphasizes strength-of-mind and purpose over vanity and appearance. This was a tale worth telling and thus we set out to rethink how we might expose the stories of success and failure, of persistence and perseverance, of heart and soul that make up Aaptiv.

Assembling a Dream Team

Our first task was to build a team that could deliver such expression without just thinking of it as a redesign of a logo. To lead the charge we hired Matt Angorn, then head of brand at Audible, as our VP of Brand & Creative. If there’s someone who can make magic happen, it’s him. With Matt, and two rock-stars, Bethany Cantor and Shauntay Pitts who are our resident experts in community and video respectively, we had an internal crew assembled to take on this task. Next, we joined forces with the design pros at Red Antler and set out on a journey to rethink Aaptiv.

As mentioned before, to the Aaptiv team, branding is so much more than pretty colors and symbols. In order to show the world the values and ideas we represent we had to dig deep and take a stand on who we are, who we are not, and what we believe as a brand. To start, we made a list of both.

Who we are not:

With our list of “who we are not” thinned down to a core set, it was time to define who we are. To understand that ourselves, we needed to go through a beliefs exercise. The outcome of that was a few simple statements:

What we believe:

This values exercise brought us to the point where we could define who we are.

Who we are:

Doing the Work

This part was tough. On one hand, we are different from others in remarkable ways: we have incredible music that we license and use in our classes (no stock or elevator music allowed). Crucially, we don’t just place a time-based playlist on our classes—the music is carefully selected to match your level of effort—and, each workout is specifically designed to motivate and inspire you during those key times in the workout that are most challenging.

In a more general sense, we are an entirely audio based product which in-and-of-itself is unique in an industry where most products are video based. So many positive attributes and values—the question we faced was: To which attribute do we anchor the strategy of this rebrand? This was a grueling creative exercise. After all, strategy is more about what you decide not to do, than what you actually do. We had long discussions and frequent, short-lived, moments of discovery that felt like we’d found the perfect direction. After much exploration of music, audio, motivation, freshness of content, etc. we found the answer at the very core of our product.

The “Spark”

In the end the answer was sitting right in front of us. It came down to the moment when someone hits play and the trainer and member meet in a virtual private session—when the music is just right, the instruction is perfectly clear, the class is invigorating, and the trainer knows just what to say to push you forward—the moment that allows you to tune out everything and make noticeable progress.

While it took many twists and turns (we even had headphones in one of the wordmarks, no joke!) the first time we saw this logo we were hooked. It had a pull and energy. This moment was the spark. Hence our logo—which we now call “The Spark”—was born.

The Spark is many things—it’s a representation of the two A’s in the word Aaptiv. The two A’s have forever been symbolic of the Aaptiv member and the trainer. The transformation that our members feel when they play a class is the essence we have captured in this logo.

The colors in the logo are also very deliberate. Like the logo, they mean many things. At one level, our gradient shows transformation and energy over time and at another level the individual colors used showcase the calm moods of meditation and yoga and the intense moods of cardio and strength training. In this, we found our balance.

Bringing the Trainers to the Forefront

Once we had our logo and colors locked down, we knew the next crucial step was to lead with our trainers—the incredibly humble and talented group of people who are truly changing lives of millions of people.

In this rebrand, you will see them proudly wearing Aaptiv attire and hear a lot more about their stories, their talents, and their work. This is, by far, the best gathering of personal training talent, anywhere. Period. We knew their stories were worth telling so we hired a biographer to work with each of our trainers so we can bring their lives to you. More to come on this over time.

Looking Forward

The collective focus and months of hard work from the team at Aaptiv and Red Antler have finally come to an exciting conclusion and I am very proud of what this team has accomplished. While our brand will evolve multiple times over its lifetime, this is a key milestone for us that moves Aaptiv forward in a positive way.

Armed with a renewed sense of purpose, a new logo, a new wordmark, and an updated look and feel, we are ready to bring Aaptiv to the larger universe. While it’s impossible to name all the people within the company and externally who helped get us to this point, this rebrand was truly the work of many devoted men and women who share one single resolve—to help you live a healthier life and treat you with dignity while doing so.

From all of us at Aaptiv, we hope that you will appreciate the hard work and thought that went into bringing this idea to life and come to love this young and growing brand, as much as we all do.


On behalf of Team Aaptiv,
Arjun Kapur



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