Fast Facts: Position Your Facility as Unique
An interesting observation from the 2001 IDEA Programs and Equipment Survey is not the points of differences among types of fitness facilities and their different clientele (for example a YMCA or a corporate fitness center), but rather the points of similarity.
- Everyone offers a lot of different types of equipment, classes and options, as many as size permits.
- Almost nobody charges for special events or classes independent of a membership fee to access the facility.
- Even most specialty classes, like yoga or indoor cycling, are free to facility members.
- Multipurpose facilities with the most square feet do the "most" of everything because of the space availability, but that means they offer programs less frequently than smaller facilities.
As much as each facility owner tries to differentiate that “we are special” or “I’m better than they are,” when you look at the programs, it’s all the same offerings.
Do your current and potential customers see any difference in you, versus the facility down the street? Of course, we’re all selling the same fitness product and that means similar types of equipment and facilities. So what can you compete with? Cleanliness? Staff? Quality? Ease of access? Think about it.
A survey collects numbers. It doesn’t tell us if the boxing class is high-quality and fun or a minefield; if the staff is knowledgeable or indifferent. But will your potential customers know that? We have all heard over and over that you sell results, not the facility’s equipment. Maybe now is the time to really think about what you are selling, and what you can do to make the difference.For the latest research, statistics, sample classes, and more, "Like" IDEA on Facebook here.
A quick look at trends that surfaced in the IDEA Group Fitness Trendwatch 2002 and the IDEA Personal Training Trendwatch 2002 firms up the similarities in facility offerings.
- core conditioning
- personal training
- combination classes
- stability ball training
- strength training (group)
- other mind-body formats
- sport-specific training
- kids-specific classes
- clients' desire for one-to-one training
- clients' goals for general fitness
- clients' interest in weight management
- clients with postrehabilitation or special medical needs
- martial arts-based aerobics
- mixed-impact aerobics
- boxing-based classes
For full copies of the IDEA reports cited here, call IDEA Member Services at (800) 999-4332, ext. 7 or (858) 535-8979, ext. 7.
idea fitness manager
© 2002 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.
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