By: Andrew Tuck
In the TV show Mad Men, an advertising agency provides insight into what the clients are really selling. Kodak doesn’t sell pictures – they sell memories. By telling a story of how that product meets their needs, they turn a gadget into a must-have. In the fitness industry our tendency is to highlight the gadgets like equipment and group exercise rooms, when we should be focusing on telling the story of fitness that transforms a treadmill into a vehicle for healthfulness.
Every club has dumbbells, but there are heavy things to lift at home. Every club provides customers with a place to be active, but so do parks. You aren’t selling a place where people can lift heavy objects or run around; you are selling admission to a place where fitness dreams can come true.
A health club is a nexus of the features necessary to achieve a healthful lifestyle. Your club’s success hangs on your ability to cogently articulate the story of fitness while highlighting how your club’s distinctive features are designed to make that story a reality. Have a smoothie bar? Give prospects a sample while they peek in on a spinning class. Better yet, provide Smoothie Order forms to your members heading into a group class or personal training session and show prospective members how your staff will have their smoothie ready to drink as soon as they are done. Highlight how easy it is to schedule personal training sessions from their iPad or home computer using MYiCLUBonline. Don’t just show them a machine, show them how this machine or that functional training area fits in with the whole story of fitness.
The Hunger Games, the hugely popular book series, was made into a blockbuster movie, and has given rise to fitness plans inspired by the movie (see:http://life.nationalpost.com/2012/03/23/as-trim-as-a-tribute-gyms-offering-hunger-games-inspired-fitness-plans-but-do-they-work/). Quite literally clubs are using a story to promote fitness! You don’t have to piggy-back on a hit movie. Everyone wants to be healthy and feel good, and your club has its own story. Whether it is suspension training or small group classes, tell the story of how your club is just the place to find a fitness happy ending.