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Newsletter #985: The “Lessons from Gyms” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Gyms are complicated. They’re a physical space, a support community, a self-serve product, a commitment, and sometimes a chore. And to top it off, there are lots of them. So gyms have to get creative to stand out.

Here are three examples:

1. Have a party for “people like you”
2. Reward your loyal customers
3. Make it a privilege
4. Check it out: Burgers

1. Have a party for “people like you”

Planet Fitness

Photo thanks to Business Insider.

Planet Fitness says they’re “not a gym.” Instead, they’ve built a reputation for being a place for people who hate gyms — regular folks who aren’t into beefing up, extreme CrossFit, or juicing. In fact, Planet Fitness has a pizza party once a month. It’s a way to get their members back in the door — not to work out, but to build a community. It’s a completely different take on an industry that’s traditionally thought of as exclusionary or judgmental. (And it’s one of the reasons Planet Fitness is the fastest growing gym franchise in America.)

The lesson: Want your customers to feel like they’re among friends? Give them opportunities to meet those friends.

Learn more: Business Insider

2. Reward your loyal customers

Gym memberships are only worth it if you actually go to the gym. But lots of people pay for memberships they rarely use and end up cancelling instead. That’s a lot of customers who only have a negative experience to tell their friends about. So to encourage people to come to more fitness classes, Fitmob created a pricing model that makes each consecutive class in a week cheaper than the last. (For example, taking one class a week costs the same as taking three a week.) Members who don’t make it to the classes they sign up for are charged a small “Flake Fee” that benefits local parks and recreation charities.

The lesson: How are you encouraging customers to get the most out of your stuff?

Learn more: Springwise

3. Make it a privilege

theMill gym

Photo thanks to theMill.

A lot of gyms try their best to get people to wear their logo. They’ll give away swag, sell t-shirts, and hand out bumper stickers (which are great word of mouth techniques). But theMill, a gym in Perth, Australia, does the opposite. You have to earn the right to wear their logo after you become a member. In fact, according to their site: “Items bearing our name are not and can not be purchased with money.”

The lesson: That may seem pretty extreme, and it could turn some people off. But the few people that meet theMill’s strict membership requirements and get to wear theMill’s stuff feel important (and when people feel important, they tell everyone else about it).

Learn more: The Story of Telling

4. Check it out: Burgers


Photo thanks to The Age of Mammals.

Watch this totally mesmerizing, totally pointless wall of burgers. As you mouse over each Big Mac, Whopper, and Filet-O-Fish, it only gets more mesmerizing and more pointless.

Check it out: The Age of Mammals

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